Mark Dantonio’s Michigan State Spartans logged their first victory of the season Saturday (9-6-08) behind 5-foot-9, 202-pound senior Javon Ringer, who rushed for 135 yards on 34 carriers (almost 4 yards a carry) and scored 5 times as the Spartans crushed Eastern Michigan 42-10.
Ringer scored twice in MSU’s opening 38-31 loss at California, so he now has 7 rushing touchdowns on the year. It is a tall order, but if Ringer can score twice a game for the next 10 games, the Spartans may be able to improve on their 7-5 record from last year.
Ringer was either missed or bypassed by the Ohio State coaching staff when he graduated from Chaminade-Julienne Catholic High School in Dayton (OH). One would think that Ringer might want to stick the ball in some interesting places when the Spartans hook up with the Buckeyes on the third Saturday in October.
It appears that MSU’s passing attack behind 5th year senior Brian Hoyer is going nowhere fast. Let’s just say that teams are not planning their whole defensive strategy around the play-making ability of Hoyer.
There is a reason that Hoyer was 8-for-12 for 148 yards (translation = don’t screw up) against Eastern Michigan, which was 4-8 last year, losing while Bowling Green and Central Michigan were winning in the Mid-American Conference.
Unlike the Spartans, teams who play the Washington Huskies do plan their whole defensive strategy around containing the play of redshirt sophomore quarterback Jake Locker. National analysts and commentators are quick to recognize that Locker could be outstanding as a quarterback, running back, receiver or strong safety. Locker has the talent and play-making ability that Hoyer does not.
A stout, lockdown defense and a strong running game will take Michigan State farther than Hoyer’s arm and field leadership. A running game eats up the clock and keeps your opponent’s offense off the field
I suggested that the Spartans should ride the Eastern Michigan Eagles like Seabiscuit at Pimlico, and they did. Michigan State scored touchdowns in each quarter and scored two TDs in both the 2nd and 4th quarters. Ringer scored on runs of 4, 6, 2, 1 and 2 yards. He could have had a 6th TD had he not fumbled 3 yards from pay dirt on Michigan State’s opening drive.
Last year I watched the Spartans crush the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) 55-18 in their opener, and MSU looked unstoppable and unbeatable, running over, around and through UAB for 298 yards. UFABET
Then they played better competition and started looking more beatable every week. MSU gave up a ton of points last year while losing to more developed programs at Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin. Michigan State’s biggest win last year came at home against an 8-4 Penn State team, 35-31.
The Spartans host Florida Atlantic (1-1) next, not exactly a powerhouse but a 7-5 team last year (just like MSU’s record last year), co-champions of the Sun Belt title with Troy at 6-1, and winners of the New Orleans Bowl over Memphis, 44-27.
The Spartans could and should win this home game by 3 touchdowns, otherwise, tougher opponents on their schedule might get the idea that Michigan State is not that big of a deal.