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Things have gone bad in East Lansing. Fans who were hoping for double-digit wins a few weeks ago now have to face a more grim reality.
Following the Spartans’ second ugly loss in a row, this time a 27-point loss to Minnesota, the Spartans’ 2-2 schedule is getting tougher. The 34-7 loss to the Golden Gophers was perhaps the worst in recent MSU history, not including Ohio State or Alabama. Looking at the schedule and trying to predict wins, it’s hard to find wins that fans feel confident about. Which begs the question – will Michigan State reach a bowl game this season?
Assuming Michigan State doesn’t upset Ohio State, Michigan or Penn State — which, to be fair, is still a big guess considering how low MSU teams have gotten in these games in the past — that leaves five games for the Spartans to get four more wins and secure a bowl berth. To obtain eligibility. Rutgers still feels like a winner for MSU, and State may have a good chance for wins over Illinois and Indiana, even though both teams are big unknowns right now.
That leaves a week seven game against Wisconsin (homecoming) and next week on the road against a Maryland team with the ball in the air for a win against Michigan. Taulia Tagovailoa had an up-and-down game and clearly finished the game hurt against the Wolverines. Likewise, the highly touted receivers haven’t been able to find much consistency, especially after the injury to Rakim Jarrett. If those two are still dealing with injuries next week, Michigan State’s biggest defensive weakness could be reliability. But playing on the road leaves that game in question, and it’s hard to trust MSU’s secondary no matter who plays quarterback.
Unfortunately for Michigan State, lack of exposure in the secondary is far from the only issue the team will face next week and the rest of the season. In the accepted Minnesota group, no place group appears to be eligible. If the Spartans are going to find a way to win at least six, they’ll need both offense and defense to figure things out, especially on both sides of the ball. But right now, it’s hard to say which fans should be trusted.
Cast your vote now in this week’s SB Nation Reacts poll. The survey will close on Wednesday, and the results will be published after that.