Connect with us


Michigan State football: 5 things we need to see vs. Richmond

The last warmup before Washington awaits.



Michigan State football

Michigan State football opened the season with a 24-point win over Central Michigan. What do we need to see in Week 2?

Thank goodness we finally have actual games to overreact to now that Michigan State football is back.

The Spartans enjoyed a comfortable win over central Michigan last Friday night. The final score of 31-7 doesn’t tell the full story. The first half was full of mistakes, missed opportunities and mental lapses. The second half was a well executed domination on both sides of the ball. Following the win, there were plenty of positives to take away from the game, as well as questions.

With the first game now in the rearview mirror, here are five things fans will want to see from Michigan State in its next game against Richmond on Saturday.

1. A fast start

Last season Michigan State had a bad trend of starting games slowly. With a full offseason to prepare for the opening kickoff, fans were underwhelmed with how the Spartans came out of the gate to start their season. There should be no excuses for the Spartans as they head into a matchup with Richmond. The momentum that began to take place in the second half against Central Michigan needs to carry over to the start of this Saturday’s matchup from the first snap.

2. Execution

Michigan State continued to put itself in a bad position against Central Michigan with dropped passes and penalties. The coaching staff has plenty of tape to show this week in areas of improvement. While the Spartans had a couple incredible catches, the drops were equally as bad as the catches were good. On both sides of the ball, the team should be able to execute the game plan to its full extent.

3. Offensive line domination

While the Spartans were able to put together a strong game on the ground on the legs of transfer running back Nathan Carter, the offensive line had more struggles than anticipated against the Chippewas. Against Richmond, we should expect to see large running lanes and a clean pocket for Noah Kim to operate. A recent injury to Stanton Ramill hurts the Spartans’ depth up front but this group should be able dominate this weekend and dictate the game. The Spartans should look to not only hit fast but show they can grind out long, time-consuming drives that are critical in Big Ten play.

4. More creative play-calling

Offensive coordinator Jay Johnson received criticism last weekend with poor play selections in short yardage situations. These are similar remarks fans found themselves saying multiple times throughout the season last year as well. This weekend is an opportunity to open the playbook and find more options that work. The Spartans are going to have a long season if they can’t find more ways to gain a tough yard than what we’ve continued to see.

5. Strong secondary play

The Spartans’ defense put together an impressive showing last Friday. However, it’s fair to assess that they weren’t really tested, especially on the backend. Richmond will likely attempt more passes against the Spartans than Central Michigan did. While the quality of opponent isn’t going to prepare Michigan State football for its next test with Washington, it’s an opportunity for the young secondary to show what they’re capable of prior to a big home matchup with Michael Penix Jr. in Week 3.