All season there has been talk about offensive coordinator Dan Roushar among fans.
Many view him as a reason for Michigan State’s lack of offensive success this season.The Spartans rank 11th in the Big Ten in scoring offense at 19.6 points, just ahead of last-place Illinois’ 18.1 points per game. MSU is ninth in the league in total offense with an average of 370.8 yards per game.
MSU does lead the Big Ten in time of possession, has the league’s second-leading rusher (Le’Veon Bell at 123.0 yards per game) and third-leading passer (Andrew Maxwell at 224.9 yards per game).
Mark Dantonio doesn’t view Roushar as the problem.
“As I said earlier I just got through watching the championship game last year and we scored 39 points,” he said. “How many did we score out here (against Wisconsin last year)? How many did we score against Michigan last year? How many did we score in the bowl game even though it was a tough bowl game? We’ve had plenty of big plays. It’s explosive plays that move the ball. Explosive plays. We’ve had explosive players making those plays – Keshawn Martin, B.J. Cunningham. Again guys that were extremely experienced.
“When you go back and take the time to watch that championship game last year you talk to me about Kirk Cousins. He was phenomenal. Phenomenal as was Keshawn Martin and B.J. As was Edwin Baker. As was Le’Veon Bell. It’s about players making plays. The offense really has not changed. Play calling, you know, you’re trying to help guys make plays. My impression of the whole thing right now is he’s tucked right here under my wing. If they want to criticize, they can criticize me a little because I’m the guy in charge.”
Dantonio said the two meet every week in offensive meetings and review plans on the day before games. He also made reference to MSU’s success last year.
He also said he doesn’t interfere with the play calling during a series but will communicate with both Roushar and defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi between possessions.
“I empower those coaches to do the job. What I will do is say between the series ‘When we come come back, come back with this. Hey Roush don’t do this. On a timeout, no I want to see this.’ You know, those type of things.
“… I always know what play is being called and always have. I’m not gonna be interrupting. I’m not gonna do that to somebody because I think that’s extremely frustrating for that to happen. Or why did you call that. We’ve got enough people that do that. We don’t need more.”
Defensively, junior middle linebacker Max Bullough’s strong season isn’t going unnoticed nationally. He was named a semifinalist for the Butkus Award on Monday and today was named a quarterfinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy. And in today’s edition, Solari takes a look at what we learned from MSU’s loss to Michigan. One of the main things as that the goals for this team have disappeared.