Michigan State football: Elijah Collins will always be a Spartan Dawg
Elijah Collins may be transferring, but he’s forever a Spartan Dawg.
Elijah Collins has officially entered the transfer portal, leaving a lasting legacy with Michigan State football.
After a forgettable Michigan State football game against Indiana, which was the worst loss in the Mel Tucker era, it is understandable to want to forget everything that happened. That football game pointed out many issues that need to be fixed but it also showed that the 2022 team had some Spartan Dawgs and Elijah Collins was one of them.
On Wednesday, the veteran running back decided to hit the transfer portal, but he’ll forever be considered a Spartan Dawg for what he did for the MSU football program.
When you think of the term “Spartan Dawg” you may think of the hardest-working players or some of the best players to ever see the field at Michigan State. Some of the names that you might think of are Kirk Cousins, Connor Cook, Kenneth Walker III, and maybe even Xavier Henderson. These are just a few of the many amazing football players that Michigan State has had but this article is about one of them: Elijah Collins.
If you look at all the players this article has named, Collins is the most likely player that will be forgotten years down the road but he should not be forgotten. In order to understand why he should not be, Elijah’s whole journey will have to be looked at.
Elijah first stepped on the scene at Michigan State in 2019. That year, Michigan State was looking for a running back as LJ Scott was no longer on the team. For those who remember the 2019 season, it was a frustrating season that ended with a win over Wake Forest in the Pinstripe Bowl. Collins made going to a bowl possible with his ability to find the open hole and make plays all over the field. In that season, he ran for just under 1,000 yards and five touchdowns. While Elijah did not score much that season, it looked like Michigan State might have found its future running back.
Next was the season that no one ever saw happening, the COVID-19 season. There were many things that were canceled or affected because of Covid. Michigan State fans will especially never forget COVID-19 because it took Cassius Winston’s last chance to win a national championship away. Would Cassius and the basketball team have won the national title? That question will never be answered but it also affected the football team and Collins.
Another big impact on Elijah and the football team was Mark Dantonio’s sudden retirement and the hiring of Mel Tucker. This not only impacted the team but it especially impacted Collins. After a great 2019 season, Elijah only ran for 90 yards that season and zero touchdowns. While this was the season no one wanted, 2021 was just around the corner.
The 2020 season ended with no bowl game and just a few weeks after the season, it was announced that Walker was transferring from Wake Forest to Michigan State. The excitement for K9 to come to Michigan State was felt but it meant that Elijah’s season again was going to be impacted. No Michigan State fan would have expected the season that Walker had, but when you have a transfer coming in at the position you play, it does impact things. It led to Elijah rushing for 102 yards last year. With Walker going to the draft, was 2022 the year in which Elijah could be the RB1 again?
Like in 2019, Michigan State again had a question mark at the running back position without Walker. Would this be like 2019 when Elijah took over the team at the running back position? The answer seemed like it would be transfer running back, Jalen Berger. While Berger was the starting running back all year, Elijah had a very solid season which included a performance against Indiana, where he ran for 107 yards and two touchdowns on senior day. This was the type of performance that Elijah was having consistently back in 2019.
This type of performance was the reason why Elijah is a Spartan Dawg.
Having one game where a running back runs for over 100 yards does not make you someone that should be remembered. The reason why this situation is different is because of what the Indiana game meant especially when you put Elijah’s whole career in picture.
In a world where many players leave when they do not get a chance, Elijah never did. After the transfer portal started, no one would have blamed Elijah if he transferred but again, he didn’t. Michigan State fans know that Elijah Collins is a good running back that just never got a chance. The reason why Elijah Collins is that “Spartan Dawg” is because he stuck with the team and because of that he finally got the game he very much deserved on senior day.
This decision to finally transfer is expected and celebrated by Michigan State football fans because Elijah deserves that shot and I can bet Tucker wanted this for him.
Michigan State football: Washington game time, channel announced
Fans won’t be too thrilled about the channel.
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.
MSU-Washington will be a 5 p.m. kickoff at Spartan Stadum on Sept. 16 and air exclusively on NBC’s Peacock streaming platform.
— Chris Solari (@chrissolari) May 31, 2023
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.
Jordan Hall hosts second annual free youth football camp (Video)
Jordan Hall is a legend already.
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.
The Jordan Hall Youth Football Camp…
Jordan’s youth football “career” started at this field with one goal post, uncut grass, car lights at night for light to be able to practice and woods for bathroom breaks; but one thing it didn’t lack was LOVE, GUIDANCE, & LIFE LESSONS. 💚🤍 pic.twitter.com/8kjJD7mTkP
— Cyreeta Hall (@MommaHall2U) May 31, 2023
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.
Mel Tucker is best coach in the Big Ten when it comes to one stat
This may surprise you.
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:
- Michigan State: 10-1 (.909)
- Maryland: 8-3 (.727)
- Iowa: 11-5 (.688)
- Indiana: 7-4 (.636)
- Purdue: 12-7 (.632)
- Ohio State: 3-2 (.600)
- Michigan: 6-4 (.600)
- Minnesota: 9-7 (.563)
- Rutgers: 7-6 (.538)
- Wisconsin: 6-7 (.462)
- Penn State: 5-7 (.417)
- Northwestern: 5-9 (.357)
- Illinois: 6-11 (.353)
- 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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