Spartan Defense Dominates as Offense Continues to Struggle

Defense did not allow a touchdown against South Florida on Saturday, and highlighted their dominance by returning two turnovers for touchdowns. However, the offensive struggles are a cause for concern in a 21-6 win.

Shilique Calhoun had a monster game for the Spartans (2-0), as the sophomore defensive end accounted for two of the team’s three touchdowns. Calhoun’s first touchdown came on a four-yard fumble recovery for the Spartans’ first score. And in the third quarter, he took an interception back 56 yards for his third touchdown in two games.

But the offense has yet to produce any chemistry. Last week, The South Florida Bulls (0-2) defense surrendered 426 total yards and five touchdowns against McNeese State. The Spartan offense only managed 265 yards and one touchdown.

In search of offensive productivity, the Spartans rotated Connor CookTyler O’Connor and Andrew Maxwell at quarterback, but none were able to sustain a drive worthy of coach Mark Dantonio keeping them in the game.

While the quarterbacks for the Spartans have lacked ability to move the football, the entire offensive unit can barely produce against lower-level Division I schools. This does not bode well for the Spartans, as Big Ten competition awaits.

The defense will only be able to carry this team for so long, and if the offensive questions are not answered next week, it is going to be a very long season for the Spartans.

Impact Stats

  • -Punter Mike Sadler has 10 punts inside the 20-yard line. 9 of his 17 punts this season have been inside the 20-yard line.
  • -MSU’s first red-zone appearance came at 11:20 in the second quarter. The field goal was no good.
  • -Michigan State Defensive End Shilique Calhoun has more touchdowns (3) than the Michigan State offense (2) this season.
  • -FCS’s McNeese State scored 33 points in the first half against South Florida. MSU had 7 points at halftime.


Derek Grantham is a football reporter for Impact Sports

Photo: David Defever