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They lost Foreman to graduation, Jackson and Fonoti to season ending injuries (early) and Sims for a key stretch in the middle of the year. I mention a TE because we often have one on the field, and Sims was the most productive TE in the nation prior to injury.
There were a ton of other injuries as well, giving us a changing starting OL each week. That is not conducive to success.
I see plenty of reason to be optimistic. College players tend to improve with experience. A lot of our other problems on the offense like the receivers and the play of Maxwell. Keep in mind that, for all of them, this was their first year getting major playing time. They are going to progress quite a bit during bowl practice, winter conditioning, and spring practice now that they have time to process and evaluate what happened this year, they will get better. If this were an issue of talent, then yes, I wouldn't be hopeful. But it isn't. The talent is there. It's just young. It needs more time to be refined. They will get there and the offense will be better than next year.
As far as offensive linemen that have improved and developed under this staff, I can think of a few. Rocco CIroni was a VERY mediocre lineman brought in the last few years of the JLS era. By his senior year, he wasn't great but he was a solid left tackle. Also, you can look at the Big Ten Championship line of 2010. It featured 3 guys who either at MSU or at another school were defensive linemen 2 years prior. However, by the end of that season, DJ Young, J'Michael Deane, and John Stipek anchored a line that performed pretty darn well.
I don't think the problem with our lines has been poor coaching or development. If our players stay healthy, they get better. The problem is that all of our most talented recruits have been the ones to get injured. The less talented ones have been the ones to stay healthy and they have developed, they just simply have a lower ceiling.
Good teams find ways to overcome them
I've been through this. 1-2 injuries? Yea, a good team should have the depth to overcome those. 3 is really pushing your luck. 4 or more and that's ridiculous: no team in the NCAA has 9+ Starter quality OL sitting on their roster.
MSU was at 3 men down with Jackson, Fonoti and Treadwell out. Got Treadwell back and lost France for some games. All in all, 9 OL played for MSU this year:
France, Fonoti, Burkland, Clark at OT.
Treadwell, McDonald, Allen, Ruhland at OG
Jackson at C
Throw Michael Dennis, the #2 LT in the mix as an injured guy out and MSU was rolling with a 3rd stringer converted OG at LT for the UM game. No one expects 3 OTs to go down in one season (France, Fonoti, Dennis).
You can be as "no excuses" as you'd like, but you can't ignore the facts. Name a good team this year who overcame a plethora of OL injuries. Bama? Nope. ND? Nope. Stanford, Oregon, Florida, LSU, FSU, KSU, Oklahoma . . . . name a single one that had 3 or more OL starters out this year.
Michigan State does not and will not run the 3-4 defense.
Feel free to show me a team that has lost 60% or more of it's starting OL for at least 75% of the season this year. Then tell me what their record is.
Allen got wrecked at OG. He is not a solution there. If need be, keep Jackson at C (he has been very good the last year and the first half of this year) and then put in Clark or McGowan.
When you have multiple season ending injuries to a position group where you're thin in the first place, that's a recipe for disaster. Secondly, haven't you already been whining about how MSU 2012 wasn't a good team? So this should have fit your predictions perfectly.
He scuttled the season when Caleb Benenoch decomitted.
youngblood96/viggo martyr/jargon: tRCMB's answer to Vidkun Quisling and Fred Phelps.
France is a revolving door. I can understand Burkland's struggles due to his injury bug.
I thought Clark was supposed to move to OG after this year?
1 O-Lineman in 2013 Class
Clark is an OG now. The only reason he played tackle is because France and his backup, Michael Dennis were out injured.
Also, France is a weird case. He's not the revolving door you describe. Truth be told, for the most part he's been VERY solid this year. His problem is that once per game he has a total brain fart and just blows it. It typically happens early, but after that he's fine for the most part for the rest of game. We think of him as a revolving door, but that's more because we focus on the one play he screws up as opposed to the 70 others where he's doing his job.
France also seems to turn his brain off vs. ND.
But somehow he managed to hold Jarvis Jones without a sack last year.
Well, he did get blown up by Jones on a play (jones knocked him flat on his rear) and Cousins took a shot (was able to get the ball away). After seeing Clark get abused by Wisky's DE, it was pretty clear that France probably isn't as bad as we thought (he was playing with a hurt knee in that game too and was also beaten once).
You're VIP. You should know that MSU is comfortable with 1-2 OL in this year's class because of how the '12 OL recruits have been performing. You also forget about Kruse and Lints, 2 walk-ons who had multiple FBS scholarship offers who are in the 3-deep at OG and OT. Kruse is a RS Soph and Lints a RS FR. Add those guys in to the 4 OL taken last year and the 3 the year before and you have 9 OL in 2 classes. Hardly bad #s.
Everybody's making fun, but of course he meant "whoas". Like:
"Whoa, we dropped another pass."
"Here comes LeVeon...WHOA, drilled behind the line of scrimmage again."
Yes. Dennis has seen the field. He's been a third tackle on our jumbo package.
PS. You aren't going to own anybody.
This post was edited by wingfanjim 19 months ago
The run blocking wasn't insanely poor. Teams stacked the box against us and we didn't make them pay through the air.
Rocky - All good points, except wasn't the '13 class supposed to be loaded with big-time O-line prospects,,,,especially in the Midwest ? We all know MD was recruiting those kids, but didn't get any of them. You have to admit,,,,that is disappointing.
Fou played 2 games, one of which was a nearly 300 yard rushing performance. He's the most mobile OT MSU has.
Speaking with you about football is like trying to explain quantum physics to a four year-old . . .
This post was edited by MalibuMan 19 months ago
Yea, the one guy stud OL that should have been at MSU was Riley Norman, and he dropped football for track. After that, it was Elmer (ND), Dawson (UM), Lisle (tOSU), Bosch (UM) and Pocic (LSU, which still kinda baffles me). Darius Latham (once Wisky, now IU) is more of a DT I think.
I'm still going to hope that Norman decides to play But yeah. Some people would probably feeling less panicked with Finley and Norman as our OL recruits or even Cameron Dillard who the staff passed on.
I know about his star ranking and all, but from what I've read online (admittedly, not that much), Norman was portrayed as not all that impressive this season in high school. If that is accurate, he may not be of much help to MSU's o-line woes even if he were to end up playing football.
This post was edited by 0915426A 19 months ago
I'll believe it when I see it.
2013 was supposed to be a class for us to stack the O-Line. It didnt happen. In fact, we're short. Now 2014 has to be a really good offensive line class for us or we're in big trouble. You never want to have it all riding on one year.
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