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Rutgers performance is definite positive that Katin Houser can build on

Houser was a bright spot in the Rutgers loss.



Katin Houser
© Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Katin Houser showed up as the QB1 on Saturday and played well. Any doubters of the redshirt freshman were silenced.

It’s hard to find anything good to say after the heartbreaking loss to Rutgers. We were flying high through the first three quarters of this game until the disastrous fourth quarter started. I usually am not one for moral victories, but if we are going to take anything positive away from this game it’s the solid performance from Katin Houser in his first game as starter.

Katin Houser solid stats in loss

Katin was 18-for-29 through the air for 133 yards. He also threw for two touchdowns, one to Tre Mosley and one to Montorie Foster Jr. On top of his passing stats, Houser also ran the ball eight times for 27 yards and one touchdown.

However, it wasn’t all good for Houser in his first start. He did fumble the ball once during the game as well. It didn’t result in a turnover, but you never like to see your quarterback put the ball on the ground.

Overcoming difficult circumstances

At first glance, Katin’s stat line doesn’t jump out to you as being overly impressive. However, when you consider the circumstances surrounding the game it proves this was a very good start. First of all, the weather in this game was brutal. It rained the entire game and got progressively worse as the game went on. Constant rain makes passing the ball extremely difficult, so when you consider the horrible weather it puts into perspective how good his stats are.

The second obvious barrier impacting Houser is the Mel Tucker drama surrounding the entire team. Being an FBS quarterback is hard under any circumstances. But adding the drama created by your former head coach makes it nearly impossible to perform well. Katin however was able to put that aside and still play well against Rutgers.

Finally, the pressure surrounding this game also could have impacted his performance. The pressure of potentially missing a bowl game was in full effect this weekend with only four winnable games left on the schedule. Having to jump into the starting role with that pressure is no small task, but Houser was able to overcome that and still play well.

This is a start that Houser can build on

Katin Houser has a difficult challenge now in front of him. No. 2 Michigan comes to town with one of the best defenses in the country. Michigan’s defense has given up 6.7 points per game on average this year. In their seven games, only one team has scored double digit points on them when Minnesota scored 10 in Week 6.

Michigan’s offense unfortunately has also been extremely dominant this year as well. Their offense has averaged 39.4 points per game this season, a total Michigan State has only put up once this season. If Michigan State is going to win this game, Katin is going to have to have the game of his life. I don’t see our defense being able to slow Michigan’s offense down too much, so Houser will need to score at least 30 points to give us a chance.

Can Houser get it done in his second career start? I have to admit, it sounds unlikely. However, crazier things have happened before. Who knows, maybe Michigan State and Katin Houser will play out of their minds and this will be a game that gets talked about forever.

Regardless of the result this weekend, Houser showed that he has the potential to be a great quarterback for Michigan State. This season is all but lost, but these last six games will be huge for his development as we prepare for next season.