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Michigan State football: Could absence of “alpha” WR actually help the offense?

No more relying on one guy.



Michigan State football
© Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

It looks as if Michigan State football and Keon Coleman are parting ways, but could the absence of an “alpha” help the offense?

It’s looking more and more likely that it’s no longer Keon Coleman time for Michigan State football.

How could this impact the Michigan State offense? We know it’s already exploring a few portal receivers so the roster isn’t entirely set yet. For the sake of this article, we’ll look at those that are currently on the team and not speculate on who else might be joining.

The Michigan State offense for the last couple of years has been predictable as far as the passing game goes. In 2021, the offense featured Jayden Reed and Jalen Nailor. In 2022 it was Keon Coleman and Reed. It’s hard to say whether or not this was the design of the offense or if this was primarily due to Payton Thorne’s tendencies to lock in on his primary reads.

In 2020, Michigan State offensive coordinator Jay Johnson said, “To me, in a certain sense of the word, the tight end is the MVP of what we do offensively.”

The reality is, though, we’ve yet to see this materialize.

Michigan State brought in transfer tight end Daniel Barker last season and the hope was that he’d be another big redzone target alongside Maliq Carr. Barker didn’t produce to the level that most expected.

When we look back on Johnson’s quote and pair it with the level of production we’ve seen from the tight end position, I think we can draw a conclusion that he envisions an offense that spreads the ball around more rather than hinging solely on a couple of guys.

When a quarterback has a clear-cut alpha receiver in the offense, it can often create tunnel vision. Understandably so, at that. With Michigan State introducing a new quarterback to the starting lineup, it would’ve been predictable for either guy to force-feed Keon Coleman.

With the absence of Keon in the starting lineup, the quarterback won’t be able to key in on one read and let it rip. Rather than trying to force the ball to WR1, the quarterbacks will need to make the appropriate reads and find the open man. This development could also allow Johnson to get a little more creative with the playbook.

In the Michigan State receiver room, it’s logical to assume that Tre Mosley will slot in as the primary receiver but there’s a lot to like in the guys behind him. Montorie Foster recently stated he believes he’s back to 100 percent health after having screws put in his injured foot in 2022. Tyrell Henry, Antonio Gates Jr., and Jaron Glover have all been gaining buzz through the spring as well. On top of these receivers, the Michigan State tight end room is deeper than it’s been in years past with young talent.

This may be a little more “glass half full” than most Michigan State fans are ready for right now but it’s time we move forward. In trying to find the silver lining for this team moving forward, I believe this will be an underrated development that most fans aren’t considering.

The last time Michigan State had three receivers have 40-plus receptions each was 2015. That Michigan State team had a lot of things in its favor but the ball being spread around on offense was certainly one of the dynamics that propelled that team to a Big Ten title and the College Football Playoff.

I’m not predicting this year’s team to be 2015 Michigan State, but I do believe this will be the first year since then that we see three guys reach that 40-plus reception mark.


Michigan State football: Washington game time, channel announced

Fans won’t be too thrilled about the channel.



Michigan State football
© Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington vs. Michigan State football rematch is on Sept. 16, and the Spartans have revenge on their minds.

The game time for the Washington vs. Michigan State football game was just announced and is one I think most Michigan State fans will be happy with. The game will kick off at 5 p.m. ET on Sept. 16.

This is a great start time for Michigan State fans. That will give fans plenty of time to travel to East Lansing, enjoy a tailgate and get into the stadium. On top of that, the game will get down around 8 p.m. ET which is good for the crowd that does not like to be out late.

However, I think a lot of fans were hoping for a noon start time in this game. A noon start would have been a 9 a.m. local time for Washington, likely giving the Spartans a slight advantage. It’s no surprise seeing this big of a game scheduled in the evening to avoid that.

On top of the game time announcement, where the game will be aired on TV was also announced. This is where the good news ends. The Spartans game against Washington will only be available for streaming on Peacock. That means Spartan fans at home will have to pay to watch this game. However, a simple Google search showed me that Peacock currently only costs $20 for the entire year. A lot of Big Ten football and basketball games will only be available on Peacock this season, so that may not be a bad investment to make right now if you can.

What would a win mean for Michigan State football?

Michigan State will have revenge on its mind in this game. Washington beat the Spartans last season in Seattle 39-28. The game however did not feel that close. Michigan State made a late comeback to make the final score look respectable, but a lot of fans will tell you we never really stood a chance.

Washington will likely be a top 10 heading into this matchup, so Michigan State has a great opportunity in front of it. A win would would help spring the Spartans into the conference season with a lot of positive momentum.

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Jordan Hall hosts second annual free youth football camp (Video)

Jordan Hall is a legend already.



Jordan Hall
© Nick King/Lansing State Journal via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Michigan State freshman linebacker Jordan Hall continues to show just why he’s one of the best out there.

Jordan Hall is already showing signs of being the next great Spartan on and off the field.

The Michigan State freshman linebacker was born and raised in Fredericksburg, Va. However, he most recently moved to Bradenton, Fla., to play football at IMG Academy.

This past weekend, Hall returned home to Fredericksburg to host his second annual free Jordan Hall Youth Football Camp.

Hall has already been making a name for himself on the field for the Spartans this spring. His play and effort has been praised by fellow players and coaches alike. IMG Academy has a long history of producing high-quality athletes. This makes Hall’s tenure in the program even more noteworthy. He became the first three-time captain in IMG Academy history.

When coaches are recruiting players, they are hoping to find the perfect mix of talent and character. You don’t become a three-time captain of a storied school like IMG Academy without having both.

In a recent interview with Spartan Shadows, Cryeeta Hall said of her son, “One of his favorite things he loves to do is teach the game of football to kids. He loves to coach.”

Michigan State fans are excited to see what Jordan Hall can contribute on the field, but his character off the field so far is creating just as much excitement. When you see a young man with the heart and determination to give back to his hometown, it lets fans know this is the sort of player you can to rally around and support. Mel Tucker has shown intentionality in his recruiting. He has a specific type of player that he’s looking for. Jordan Hall epitomizes a Tucker type of player.

Hall has the potential to earn immediate playing time this year as a true freshman. I’m not a betting man but if I were, I’d wager that we’ll see him as a team captain for the green and white sooner than later.

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Mel Tucker is best coach in the Big Ten when it comes to one stat

This may surprise you.



Mel Tucker

Mel Tucker is the best coach in the conference when it comes to this one surprising stat.

Michigan State football coach Mel Tucker is one of the best coaches in the Big Ten when it comes to close games.

This may surprise some considering two of Tucker’s three years at Michigan State have resulted in losing seasons. But the data shows that Tucker knows how to come out on top when the game is close.

He has been at Michigan State since 2020. During that three year timeframe he boasts a 10-1 record in games decided by 10 points or less which is the best record in the conference during that span.

Here is a list of all 11 of those games:


  • at Michigan (W 27-24)
  • vs. Northwestern (W 29-20)


  • vs. Nebraska (W 23-20)
  • at Indiana (W 20-15)
  • vs. Michigan (W 37-33)
  • vs. Penn State (W 30-27)
  • vs. Pittsburgh (W 31-21)


  • vs. Wisconsin (W 34-28)
  • at Illinois (W 23-15)
  • vs. Rutgers (W 27-21)
  • vs. Indiana (L 39-31)

How impressive is this really?

A 10-1 record when games are within 10 points is extremely impressive. The only loss on this list is Indiana from last season, a game Michigan State likely should have one. The Spartans ended up losing in overtime to the Hoosiers, but were a chip shot field goal away from winning in regulation. That is a field goal college kickers make almost every time, so Tucker’s one loss on this list could easily have been another win.

Regardless, 10-1 is the best winning percentage in games decided by 10 points or less in the Big Ten during that three-year span.

This is how the rest of the Big Ten teams fared during this same timeframe:

  1. Michigan State: 10-1 (.909)
  2. Maryland: 8-3 (.727)
  3. Iowa: 11-5 (.688)
  4. Indiana: 7-4 (.636)
  5. Purdue: 12-7 (.632)
  6. Ohio State: 3-2 (.600)
  7. Michigan: 6-4 (.600)
  8. Minnesota: 9-7 (.563)
  9. Rutgers: 7-6 (.538)
  10. Wisconsin: 6-7 (.462)
  11. Penn State: 5-7 (.417)
  12. Northwestern: 5-9 (.357)
  13. Illinois: 6-11 (.353)
  14. Nebraska: 5-16 (.238)

What does this tell us about Mel Tucker?

One thing this tells us is the Tuck is a great in game coach in tight situations. No coach goes 10-1 in close games by accident. Sometimes there is a lot of luck involved with winning close games, but that’s not necessarily the case when you win them this efficiently. Anyone can close a game out when you are up by 20, but not everyone can win a close game in the closing seconds.

This statistic is not all good though. Michigan State has won 18 games during the past three seasons. This means that over half of the games Mel Tucker has won at Michigan State have been within 10 points. For a program with extremely high goals, that fact is a little scary.

As I mentioned before, sometimes luck has to be on your side to win these close games. So relying on winning a lot of close games to have a great season is not a recipe for success.

One things for sure though, as long as Mel Tucker is the coach at Michigan State, we stand a very good chance at winning any close game.

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