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The Spartans Struggles

It seemed that history was only once again repeating itself as the Michigan State Spartans offense struggled against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, leading to the Spartans’ first loss of the season – 17-13 against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

It was a neck-to-neck game as both teams went into the fourth quarter, only to watch the Spartans offense continue to kick the ball back after numerous third down disappointments. There was a look of both concern and pure frustration on the face of MSU head coach Mark Dantonio as he watched the chance of winning slip out of the Spartans hands.

Realistically, the Spartans could have won this game. MSU rushed for a total of 119 yards, while ND only had 82. Notre Dame only had 142 net yards passing and the Spartans were not far behind with 135. Although it seemed as if the Spartan offense had finally found their solid foundation built around starting QB Connor Cook, they still continued to struggle.

So what seems to be the problem the Spartans are facing if they were able to keep up with the Fighting Irish? The same problem from the very beginning, the quarterbacks.

While Cook helped lead the Spartans to a dominating victory against Youngstown State, he seemed to be having an off-game. Cook threw 16-32 for a 50% completion percentage and only one touchdown. When Cook was replaced with former starting QB Andrew Maxwell, the Spartans soon crumbled. Maxwell went 0-3 for his passes, failing to get the ball down the field in a last effort chance to get the victory for MSU.

Their next battle is against Big Ten Division rivals the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday September 28th. The Hawkeyes clearly have no lack of offensive power after they destroyed Western Michigan 59-3, the same Western Michigan that MSU beat only by a narrow 13 points.

Now as the Spartans have a bye week before facing Iowa, they hope to fix the problems that will indefinitely destroy the remainder of their season as they face teams such as Indiana, Michigan and Northwestern.


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