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Sep 22, 2012

Spartans receiving corps to blame for poor performances

Via Lansing State Journal
By Sean Gagnier

EAST LANSING- Some blame for the Spartans loss to Notre Dame definitely should be heaped on QB Andrew Maxwell, he locked onto receivers and made some poor throws, but as the Spartans game with Eastern Michigan showed, it's the receivers who are running this team into the ground.

During the game with Notre Dame coach Mark Dantonio said he grew impatient of waiting for the run game to get going and instead went to the passing game, which due to the incredibly poor play of the receiving corps cost Michigan State the game.

Maxwell didn't look great against Notre Dame, but he certainly wasn't as bad as the numbers implied, his receivers dropped 10, yes 10, passes. Last checked, receivers were supposed to actually catch the ball. But apparently, Bennie Fowler, Tony Lippett and DeAnthony Arnett didn't get that memo.

In the game against Eastern Michigan, Spartan receivers dropped another five passes. Let's say that again. Against an 0-3 team from the M.A.C. Spartan receivers found it difficult to catch anything more than a cold. Maxwell had improved from Notre Dame, he didn't lock onto receivers and attempted to spread the ball around in the passing game. But when it became obvious that his receivers didn't feel the need to catch anything thrown near them, Maxwell went to his safety blanket in Dion Sims.

Sims racked up more than 100 yards receiving against Eastern, and due to the poor play, again, of the receivers Michigan State was forced to give the ball to LeVeon Bell 32 times, which to his credit he turned into more than 250 yards of offense.

Right now, this Spartans offense consists of Bell getting the ball and the occasional play-action pass to Sims. That's not good enough to beat any Big Ten team. Hell, it was barely enough to beat Eastern Michigan. When your offense goes into halftime against a team from the MAC, they damn well better have more than three points.

Something needs to be done about the receivers at Michigan State, whether it be submersing their gloves in super glue prior to the game or setting them in front of a pitching machine and having them catch passes for hours at a time. If the Spartans go into B1G play  with nothing more than Bell and Sims, there is no way they can win much of anything, regardless of how well their defense plays.

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