Ohio State is latest opponent to hammer the Spartans!


It was an idyllic early autumn afternoon; leaves were changing colors while Scarlet was the dominant color inside Spartan Stadium.

Yet, there wasn’t anything idyllic for Spartan fans as Ohio State partisans watched as the Buckeyes beat down the Spartans 49-20.

Meanwhile, the 29 point differential, doesn’t speak to the magnitude of the beatdown and sadly, the wheels are about to come off the Spartans football cart.


The metrics:

Ohio State struck fast.

It only took Ohio State 2:20 on their first possession to go 80 yards in 7 plays for their first TD.

The Buckeyes found gaping holes in the Spartans Pass Defense (no surprise), completed 15 of 18 pass attempts (83%) at 19 Yards per completion and posted a 35-13 lead at halftime.

The Buckeyes also pounded out 144 Rushing Yards in the 1st Half at 6.9 Yards per attempt while yielding just four (4) net Rushing Yards to the Spartans.

At the end of the day, Ohio State compiled 377 Yards Passing, 237 Yards Rushing for 614 Yards of Total Offense while yielding just seven (7) net Rushing Yards and 202 Yards of Total Offense to the Spartans, a differential of 412 yards.

Yet, think about the Rushing differential?

The Spartans compiled just seven (7) net Rushing Yards at 0.4 Yards per attempt compared to 237 Rushing Yards for Ohio State, a differential of 230 Yards.

That is the kind of statistical discrepancy we would expect between a Power 5 school and an FCS School, yet the Buckeyes and Spartans both play in the Big Ten.

Yet, 6 games into the 2022 season, it is obvious the Spartans Offensive Line is totally incapable of controlling the Line of Scrimmage and in 3 Big Ten games, the Spartans Rushing Offense has compiled a grand total of 145 Yards Rushing, or just 48 Yards Rushing per game.


More miserable measurables:

We know the Spartans Pass Defense finished “dead ass last” (#130) last season when measured against 130 D-1/FBS schools yielding 325 Yards per game.

Yet, during the offseason, Mel Tucker appointed himself Cornerback Coach and so we contemplated major improvement.

Fast forward to 2022: After the Spartans played WMU and Akron, two of the worst teams in the country, the Spartans Pass Defense was ranked #48 in the land, and it seemed plausible the Pass Defense was indeed fixed…

But not so fast, the Spartans had yet to play a Power 5 school.

The Spartans travelled to Seattle for their first road trip and Washington gashed the Spartans Pass Defense for 397 Yards.

The following week Minnesota visited Spartan Stadium and completed 88% of its passes for 268 Yards.

Then the Spartans travelled to Maryland and the Terps posted 314 Passing Yards.

And finally Ohio State completed 82% of its passes for 377 Yards and just like that, the Spartans revamped Pass Defense under the guidance of Cornerback Coach, Mel Tucker is now ranked #122 (out of 130 schools) yielding nearly 300 Yards per game…which is virtually where Michigan State finished in 2021.

Nothing is fixed.

Ohio State receivers ran free all day long and enjoyed 5 yards of separation or more throughout the day.

Of course, if Pass Defense was the only problematic position group, then maybe the Spartans could find some measure of success.

Unfortunately, the Spartans rank #100 or worse in 10 “key” statistical categories, including but not limited to Total Defense #113…Pass Defense #122…Pass Efficiency Defense #124…3rd Down Defense #113…4th Down Defense #103…and 1st Down Defense #116.

Regarding the Spartans Defense, will someone please remind me “why” Scottie Hazelton (D-Coordinator) and Harlon Barnett (Defensive Secondary Coach) have coaching jobs at Michigan State?

Of course, the Spartans have problems on Offense as well and rank #90 or worse in 4 “key” statistical categories including but not limited to Total Offense #104…Rush Offense #114…Scoring Offense #90…and Red Zone Offense #90.

Following the same line of questioning, will someone please remind me “why” Chris Kapilovic (O-Line Coach & Run Game Coordinator) and Jay Johnson (O-Coordinator and Pass Game Coordinator) are employed by Michigan State?

Yes, there have been injuries…but let’s be honest…the dreadful statistics underscore the fact the Spartans are a horribly coached football team.

In fact, there isn’t any aspect of Spartan Football that looks consistent, purposeful, or successful and by all accounts, player morale is starting to flag.

If player confidence falters, then look out, that’s the worst that can happen.


The Tale of two programs:

This is a tale of two programs.

One program (Ohio State) is unequivocally committed to winning championships and demonstrates in word and deed they are committed to competing for Championships in everything they do.

Meanwhile the other program (Michigan State) talks about winning championships yet is seemingly content to stay the course even when their boat is taking on water.

2021 provides a backdrop.

Both Ohio State and Michigan State posted 11-2 records, but each program responded distinctly different at the end of last season. Considering post season reviews with each position group, Ryan Day determined he needed to make changes to his staff.

Here is what Ryan Day said at Big Ten media days:

“Maybe at some places 11-2 with a Rose Bowl victory is a good year. It isn’t at Ohio State.

“Our three goals are beat the team up north, win the Big Ten Championship, win the National Championship. That’s our goals, and those things didn’t happen last year. Our goals haven’t changed” (unquote).

And with that declaration, Ryan Day, who has compiled a brilliant record of 39-4 at Ohio State, set about to overhaul his coaching staff.

From a head coaching perspective, Ryan Day was not pleased with his Pass Defense ranked #97…Total Defense ranked #59… and Rushing Offense ranked #47.

Yet, keep in mind, the Spartans ranked measurably worse in those same statistical categories: #130…#111…and #53 respectively.

Yet, Ryan Day and Ohio State Athletic Department being guided by their commitment in word and deed to competing for championships created a plan and acted accordingly.

Ryan Day parted company with Matt Barnes (Secondary Coach) …Al Washington (LB’s)…and Greg Studwara (O-Line)

In turn, Ryan Day hired Jim Knowles (D Coordinator/Linebackers) …Perry Eliano (Safeties)…Tim Walton (Cornerbacks)…and Justin Frye (O-Line/Run Game Coordinator)

Meanwhile, Michigan State, which also posted a record of 11-2, was blissfully content and stayed the course despite harboring the most dysfunctional Pass Defense in the land.

Mel Tucker retained Harlon Barnett (Defensive Secondary) …Scottie Hazelton (Defensive Coordinator) …and Chris Kapilovic (O-Line Coach and Run Game Coordinator).

Whilst Ohio State made “key” changes amongst their assistant coaches, on the other hand Michigan State stayed the course, and the results are stunning when we check the rankings:

  • Total Defense: Ohio State #7…Michigan State #113
  • Pass Defense: Ohio State #8…Michigan State #122
  • Rushing Offense: Ohio State #14…Michigan State #114

Ohio State is 6-0 ranked #3 in the land, while Michigan State is 2-4 and ranked #65 so we have to ask: which program made the best organizational decisions and which program made the most progress since last season?


At the bottom line: will the Spartans ship sink before someone (anyone) takes action?

The most important job of a Head Football Coach is building a championship caliber staff.

Ryan Day has built a championship caliber staff and his overall record is 39-4.

Even Jim Harbaugh incessantly (and obsessively) tinkers with his staff and his overall record is 67-24.

Yet, Mel Tucker has posted just one winning season in 3 seasons at Michigan State, his overall record is just 15-11, he is compiling some of the worst statistical measurements in recent NCAA history and yet he has essentially stayed the course for 3 years, in other words his Coordinators remain unchanged.

Take the name off the jersey!

I’m certain Mel Tucker is a good man of great character, but can he coach championship caliber football?

The woeful stats he has compiled in 3 years should give everyone pause…

If you took the name Michigan State off Mel Tucker’s jersey and parking space, is he the man you would hire to coach your program?

When you consider that prior to being hired at Michigan State virtually no one had the foggiest knowledge of Mel Tucker, Scottie Hazelton, Chris Kapilovic and/or Jay Johnson (that should give you pause) and yet they are carrying the flag for Green & White football…so, are they coaches you want guiding your program?

What gives you confidence that Scottie Hazelton, Chris Kapilovic and Jay Johnson (Offense) can take Michigan State Football to the promised land?

And what in the world gives anyone confidence that Harlon Barnett can script a successful Pass Defense?

Let’s make this observation, Mel Tucker’s dismal statistical rankings in year 3 are equal to or worse than stats compiled his first year at Michigan State: is he the man you want leading your program?

Michigan State has compiled a dismal record of 2-4 this season compounded by some of the worst stats in college football history, so what is the likelihood the Spartans can post a winning record with 6 games remaining vs Wisconsin (3-3), Michigan (6-0), Illinois (5-1), Rutgers (3-3), Indiana (3-3), or Penn State (5-0)?

The oddsmakers say highly unlikely…

So, if Mel Tucker finishes 2022 with a record of 2-10 (or 15-17 overall since arriving at Michigan State) will you still be “bullish” on Mel Tucker?

I’m just asking questions.

Thank you for reading and I always welcome your comments and opinions.