Spartan Sack Total Against Northwestern....1

Spartan Sack Total Against Northwestern....1

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Spartan Sack Total Against Northwestern....1

For all of the talk about the inability to run the ball, the poor play selections, and the weak pass defense, Michigan State registered one sack all afternoon in Saturday’s 29-19 home loss to Northwestern.

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The mood is downright crummy.

Michigan State’s 29-19 loss to Northwestern at Spartan Stadium on Homecoming this past Saturday has Spartan fans suffering from twitches and rashes that have broken out.

Confidence feels and sounds and looks like it’s about as low as it’s been since, well, all the way back in 2016 when the Spartans spiraled downward and into the free fall that ended with a 3-9 record, the worst for the program since 1982.

For many of The Experts, Dave Warner is Public Enemy #1.

For other segments of The Expert population (is a large population), the entire offensive line is a collective Public Enemy #1.

For yet more segments of The Expert population, the running backs as a whole represent a unified cabal of Public Enemy #1 status.

And, of course, the Fly For Free And Fly All Over And Through The Friendly Skies Zone pass defense is another option for Public Enemy #1 status.

Nobody has made that much of a stink about what is usually a popular punching bag – the all-important upper deck portion of the student section that goes empty from time to time.  Under normal circumstances, a lot of The Experts assign at least 14 points of blame to the students for daring to sleep off their hangovers rather than being in Spartan Stadium.

There is a good argument to be made for any of these different groups or individuals if we’re trying to find someone or someplace to lay blame for Michigan State’s 3-2 overall record and 1-1 record in the Big Ten.

At this point, Michigan State was supposed to be talking with College Football Playoff officials about what font style the CFP people should use when painting MICHIGAN STATE into the endzone of the CFP National Championship Game field.

But it seems as if nobody has pointed out a pretty glaring element that played more than just a cursory role in Saturday’s 29-19 loss at home to Northwestern.

Michigan State registered one sack all afternoon.

Clayton Thorson was able to pile up 373 yards through the air and he connected with his guys for 3 touchdowns.

There was some pressure here and there – but, for the most part, Thorson had the time he needed to accumulate all of those yards.

Yeah, it sure would be nice if the Spartans could gain a yard on the ground from time to time – but maybe the single yard might not have even been needed if the defensive front and defensive edge had managed to get to a guy that UMAA had sacked six times the week before.

We alluded to the need for there to be constant pressure on Thorson in order to disrupt his ability to find his receivers on underneath crossing routes –

https://spartanswire.com/2018/10/05/northwestern-at-michigan-state-3-things-to-watch-for/

We didn’t expect for there to be busted coverage that would allow a 77-yard score that looked like a play we might see in an intramural flag football game either.

One sack.

It’s fine and fair and to be expected for The Experts to go wild about how Dave Warner makes “bad play calls” and how it’s hard to understand why the offensive line has sustained so many injuries and why the coaches haven’t decided to have 35 four- and five-star offensive linemen on the roster.

But I haven’t found much discussion – and maybe it’s because I’m not looking hard enough – about the fact that Michigan State had one sack on Saturday.

If Michigan State wants to have any shot at all against Penn State, the defensive front and the edge are going to have to get to Trace McSorley.

It isn’t all about Dave Warner or LJ Scott.

One sack against what was a 1-3 Northwestern team with a quarterback who is limited in his mobility due to a pretty highly-publicized knee injury is every bit as problematic as the inability to gain a yard on the ground.

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