SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Michigan State is trailing Notre Dame 10-7 by its own doing.
Two pass interference calls, a defensive holding, three dropped passes (by each of MSU’s starting wideouts), a missed chip-shot field goal (which ended Kevin Muma’s stint as MSU’s kicker), a botched kickoff return and a poorly timed 29-yard punt.
MSU can move the ball against the Irish, its defense has been terrific on key third downs, but the details of this game will get you beat if you don’t do them well.
The Spartans have 46 rushing yards on 16 attempts, but it’s looked better than that. Jeremy Langford and Nick Hill have been strong and picked up extra yards.
The passing game is a long way from good. But it’s better than two weeks ago. Progress is there. Connor Cook is only 5 of 15 passing, but you don’t make a change here.
The concern defensively for MSU should be that it can’t get pressure on Notre Dame QB Tommy Rees without blitzing. The difference between very good and elite, in part, is a crew that doesn’t need to send extra bodies to hurry the quarterback.
No turnovers, though, for MSU. And as long as that remains the case, the Spartans will be in this game — and every game on their schedule — in the fourth quarter.
The frustration for MSU and its fans, is this team’s lack of discipline so far is keeping it from being more.
Tons of football left.