MSU Closes Non-Conferece Schedule with Big Win

Another explosive offensive performance by the Michigan State Spartans led to a 56-14 win in their homecoming game against Wyoming. The Spartans finished with 533 yards of total offense and zero turnovers in the convincing win.

Unfortunately for Michigan State, with Big Ten play beginning next week, the days of convincing wins might be over from now until the end of the season.

After the game, head coach Mark Dantonio spoke about his team’s mindset heading into the Big Ten Season.


“All of us will enjoy this, including our fans, for 24 hours. And our fans need to get ready because Nebraska is coming to town,” Dantonio said.

Dantonio did say that he believes the game against Oregon may be beneficial for the Spartans in preparation for Nebraska.

While their record is the same (3-1), the 2014 Spartans look almost like polar opposites of the 2013 Spartans coming out of non-conference play. Michigan State has scored 201 points in the first four games this year, while last year they only had scored 115.

The only real weaknesses that have been exposed are on the defensive side of the ball, with multiple big plays for touchdowns against Oregon, and one on homecoming against Wyoming.

MSU had several hiccups defensively against Wyoming. The Spartans allowed ninety-eight rushing yards and 188 passing yards. The majority of those yards came on big plays.

With Michigan State scoring touchdowns on their first six possessions, the defensive mistakes did not have much of an effect on the game today.  Defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi said after the game that the lopsided scores have given him the opportunity to play less experienced players on defense.


“Obviously another good win. With our offense as explosive as they’ve been the last three weeks, four weeks, it’s been good to get our guys in the game. Big Ten play starts next week and I think the guys are revved up for that, and we’ll move on,” Narduzzi said.

Michigan State definitely looked like an offensive team on Saturday, not necessarily the defensive powerhouse they became nationally known for in 2013. Wide receiver Keith Mumphery scored two touchdowns, one was a 33-yard run on a reverse. Running back Jeremy Langford added a long touchdown run of his own. The offense seemed to be very well-rounded and have several playmakers.

Quarterback Connor Cook has embraced the opportunity to be a part of an offense that can score almost at will these past two weeks as he gets ready to prepare for Nebraska next Saturday.


“We came out last week wanting to score points, we came out this week wanting to score points because we can,” Cook said. “I think we know what we are capable of. I feel like opponents know what we are capable of. We just want to go out there and have fun.  When the opportunities present themselves to make a big play, guys rise to the occasion.”

One of Cook’s go-to targets, wide receiver Tony Lippett, had four catches for 76 yards and a touchdown. Lippett has five touchdowns on the year, and with the exception of the Oregon game, has not seen significant minutes in the second half yet this year.

When asked about the offense, Lippett said there is still room to get better.


“We just got to keep striving. Keep executing the game plan,” Lippett said.  “[The offense] is not where we need it at yet, we got to continue to build on it.”

Michigan State will play at 8 p.m. on Oct. 4 against Nebraska to open up Big Ten play.

Bradley Allen is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports
Photo: David Defever/Impact Sports