3 Keys To The Season, Offense - #3, Points Need To Be Scored (Lots Of Them)

3 Keys To The Season, Offense - #3, Points Need To Be Scored (Lots Of Them)

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3 Keys To The Season, Offense - #3, Points Need To Be Scored (Lots Of Them)

August is here.  The 2018 Spartan season is within sniffing distance.  Let’s take a look at Michigan State’s offense and examine the three keys to success.  We’ll kick it off by suggesting that the Spartans score more points than they did in 2017.  Scoring points is important.

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Any Spartan that enjoys a Shark Bowl while unwinding from his or her studies knows how significant and truly meaningful last season’s 10-3 final record was.

Any Spartan with the ability to count and read and speak (either verbally or via sign language) and do lots of other things knows how massively important last season’s victory over UMAA was.

Any Spartan that can walk (or travel via wheelchair) and chew gum at the same time knows how important beating Penn State was and how positively monumental destroying Washington State in the Holiday Bowl was.

However…..

It’s important to take a look back at some of the areas of the Spartans’ overall performance and remind ourselves that there were elements that kept the team from winning the Big Ten East, competing for the conference championship, and accomplishing the program’s goal of reaching the College Football Playoff.

As the Spartans prepare for the 2018 season, what are The 3 Keys To The Season on offense and defense?

Let’s start with the offense and focus in on the importance of scoring points in football games…

#3 – SCORING LOTS OF POINTS 

Scoring points in a football game is important.

Last season, Michigan State managed to win ten games while averaging a rather pedestrian 24.5 points per game.

That was good for a rather less-than-pedestrian 10th place in the Big Ten in the category of Scoring Offense.

The offense’s inability to be prolific speaks to the strength of the Spartans’ defense 2017.

It says right here that the 2018 Spartan Offense is going to make dramatic improvements in every phase of the game.

For starters, Brian Lewerke is going from first-year starter to being someone who will be a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate before the season reaches November.

After a full season and a full offseason of working with returning weapons Felton Davis, Cody White, Darrell Stewart, Cam Chambers, and others, it’s reasonable to consider the possibility that the passing game will improve on last season’s final statistics.

And, with a deep, athletic offensive line coming back – albeit without the anchor, Brian Allen – along with an experienced, strong, and motivated LJ Scott carrying the ball, it’s reasonable to consider the possibility that the rushing game improves on last seasons’s numbers.

When we look at the actual numbers from last season, it’s a little hard to believe the Spartans had the success they had in going 10-3.

Take a look at the pretty weak finishes across some statistical categories –

  • Total Offense – 383 yards per game, 8th place in the Big Ten.
  • Rushing Offense – 167 yards per game, 7th place in the Big Ten.
  • Passing Offense – 215 yards per game, 7th place in the Big Ten.
  • Passing Efficiency – 125.5pct, 8th place in the Big Ten.

Those stats should be surpassed this season by a more experienced overall unit.

A year ago, the wide receiver group looked like a probable weakness since the unit’s experience and productivity was comparable to my Emmons Hall 1st Floor 1989 Intramural Flag Football squad’s wide receiver unit.

Now, Michigan State’s wide receiver unit appears to be a probable strength, particularly when considering who the guy is that will be throwing to them.

How about kicker Matt Coghlin’s performance in his freshman season?

Every Spartan capable of drinking one of those red party cups full of Budweiser beer in less than 30 seconds knows that Matt Coghlin drilled the game winner against Penn State in last year’s hilariously awesome 14-hour game at Spartan Stadium.

But, as a freshman, the redheaded kid converted on 15 of the 19 field goals he attempted.

He can do better than that just like he can do better with the way he protects his fair skin from the dangers of the sun’s ultraviolet rays in the summertime since he freckles easily.

Coghlin’s performance led to Michigan State finishing a meager 8th place in Big Ten field goal percentage at 78.9%.

With a full season under his belt, it says here that Coghlin won’t bounce any kicks off the uprights this season and he’ll increase that field goal percentage to somewhere above 85%.

Does it stand to reason that with a more experienced quarterback, a bevy of very dangerous receivers, a very good offensive line, a strong running game, and a kicking game that should be even better than it was last year that the Spartans’ Red Zone offense will improve on last season’s 82.4%, 9th place finish in the Big Ten?

I think that does stand to reason.

So, will Michigan State score lots of points in 2018 and allow us to put a check mark in  Box #3 of The 3 Keys To The Season on offense?

Yes.

Let’s go back to the 2017 statistical categories and go on record with how the Spartans will perform in these categories in 2018 –

  • 2017 Total Offense – 383 yards per game, 8th place in the Big Ten.

2018 Prediction – 425 yards per game, 3rd place in the Big Ten.

  • 2017 Rushing Offense – 167 yards per game, 7th place in the Big Ten.

2018 Prediction – 186 yards per game, 4th place in the Big Ten.

  • 2017 Passing Offense – 215 yards per game, 7th place in the Big Ten.

2018 Prediction – 239 yards per game, 4th place in the Big Ten.

  • 2017 Passing Efficiency – 125.5pct, 8th place in the Big Ten.

2018 Prediction – 145pct, 3rd place in the Big Ten.

  • 2017 Field Goal Percentage – 15 out of 19, 78.9%, 8th place in the Big Ten.

2018 Prediction – 85%, 3rd place in the Big Ten

  • 2017 Red Zone Offense – 82.4%, 8th place in the Big Ten.

2018 Prediction – 87%, 4th place in the Big Ten.

  • 2017 Scoring Offense – 24.5 points per game

2018 Prediction – 32 points per game, 3rd place in the Big Ten.

Scoring points in football games is important.

Michigan State is going to score a lot of points in the football games the team plays in 2018.

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