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Michigan State football: More or less optimism after CMU win?

What are the vibes?



Michigan State football

After beating Central Michigan handily in Week 1, are we more or less confident about Michigan State football in 2023?

After a long offseason of debating 2023 Michigan State football expectations, the Spartans finally took the field in Week 1 against Central Michigan.

For about 25 minutes to start the game, it felt like 2023 was going to be a painful replay of 2022. Poor execution, stupid penalties, lackluster quarterback play, and unimaginative play-calling led to boo birds raining down from Spartan Stadium.

Things quickly shifted near the end of the first half with a nice touchdown drive and subsequent defensive stop that nearly turned into a Hail Mary touchdown pass from Noah Kim to Montorie Foster — it bounced off Foster’s facemask. Heading into the half, fans really didn’t know how to feel with a 10-7 lead. The defense was playing well, but the offense looked horrible for 85 percent of the half.

Michigan State came out much stronger in the second half and scored 21 unanswered points behind much improved play from Kim and the receivers. They were on the same page for the final 30 minutes and the new QB1 finished 18-for-31 with 279 yards and two scores.

A 24-point win felt good after the slow start and it seemed as if Michigan State was just shaking some first-game jitters off.

But do I feel better about the 2023 outlook after the 31-7 win or do I feel worse?

My expectations for the Spartans to start the year were around 6-7 wins. Did that change after the season-opening win over Central? Slightly.

Through 25 minutes, I was ready to declare the season over and I was ready to move on to basketball season. The final 35 minutes won me back. Michigan State dominated in every facet of the game and rolled to a 31-7 win over a team that expected to pull off an upset. The Spartans asserted dominance. If the first and second half were flipped, no one would be talking about how poorly MSU played for 25 minutes.

Did my expectations change wildly after seeing MSU struggled for 25 minutes against a mediocre MAC team? Not a ton, but the second half convinced me that if this team can play to its potential, it could be really solid. I went from hoping for six wins to thinking seven should be the floor.

Am I drinking way too much Kool-Aid after a win in the opener? Absolutely. Does that mean I’m going to change my mind? Nope.

Mel Tucker was right, this is the most talented team he’s had yet and the depth was obvious against Central.

Writer, co-owner of Spartan Shadows. Michigan State and college football expert at FanSided and formerly of The Detroit News. Expert on all things Michigan State. Connor Muldowney has written about Michigan State since graduating from the university with a degree in journalism back in 2013. Ten years of experience as a Michigan State writer/reporter.