Teams & Conferences

2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 31 Michigan State Spartans

2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 31 Michigan State Spartans


The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Michigan State Spartans


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No. 31: Michigan State Spartans

Michigan State Spartans Prespring Status

It’s do over time for Michigan State after a stunningly disastrous 3-9 campaign that was every bit the clunker the record makes it out to be. The defense was okay at times, the offense was miserable and weird, and the program that made its reputation over the last few years by being able to win tough games, suddenly seemed to find ways to lose them as it dropped nine of its last ten.

This year’s team has the potential to come up with a quick turnaround, but it needs to establish the starting quarterback situation, needs better play out of an O line that loses three starters, and needs more pop and explosion overall. The defense has to be steadier, even though it loses five starters including Malik McDowell off the interior.

Michigan State Spartans Biggest Issue

The passing game has to be stronger. Yes, there has to be more of a pass rush, and yes, the offensive line has to provide more of a blast despite the loss of those three starters, and yes, there are issues in several other areas for a team that won just three games. But the Spartans have to be more dangerous and more efficient.

It’ll be up to Brian Lewerke, Damion Terry or even Messiah deWeaver to own the quarterback gig – Lewerke probably has the job if he’s 100% – but where are the receivers? Donnie Corley’s a keeper, but three of the top four targets are gone, losing R.J. Shelton, Josiah Price, and Monty Madaris.

Michigan State Spartans Biggest Positive

The ground game should be solid again, but the Spartans have to commit more to the run. The team that ran for over 3,000 yards and 44 touchdowns in 2014, struggled a wee bit two years later running for just 14 scores and just over 2,000 yards. LJ Scott is a good one, and Gerald Holmes can carry the mail, but they need help from the O line.

Really, Why Are The Michigan State Spartans Ranked Here?

Just assume that Mark Dantonio’s going to fix the glitch – to a point. The coaching staff has to figure out how to get the D to generate more of a pass rush, the offense has to turn promising drives into points, and winning the turnover battle is a must. This might not be the program now that automatically gets preseason top 15 respect, but it might not take that much to turn everything around and become a player in the Big Ten East again.