Spartan Reactions: Michigan State fans depressed after ugly loss

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NCAA. Throughout the year, we ask questions to the people most connected to electricity Michigan State Spartans Fans and fans all over the country. Register here to participate.

Things went ugly early in Saturday’s game in Washington for Michigan State. Fast behind by double digits, the game was actually nowhere near as close to the Spartans despite outdoing the Husky in the second half. The heavy loss stuck with MSU fans and caused them to re-evaluate expectations.

The obvious consequence of the misleadingly close 39-28 loss was how poorly the Spartans minor team performed against a talented passing attack. Michael Benicks Jr. threw for nearly 400 yards and four touchdowns before the attack became conservative late in the game. While there was plenty of blame to go around, fans clearly found their target.

Despite what Mel Tucker said at his weekly press conference, nearly three-quarters of fans believed the biggest problem was planning and training, with players misplaced in the face of Washington’s offensive. Only 18% of fans mainly blame the players themselves.

If the coaching staff and planner are to blame, fans won’t be sure if any improvements should be expected. Even if Year Five Safety Xavier Henderson manages to return at full speed, it’s not clear that high school will improve much.

A slight majority of fans think this year’s defensive high is irreparable.

On the other side of the ball, the stats don’t seem to tell the whole story. For the third week in a row, there are big questions about the offense even after some hit points are found.

Statistically, quarterback Payton Thorne has had his best game of the season. Thorne threw three runs and completed more passes than he had even attempted in either of the previous two games, tying 71 percent of his attempts. But most of that came late when Washington had a comfortable lead.

The running game was almost non-existent, due to the lack of early success and the need to score quickly as the match went on, but also due to the struggles of the offensive line. As a team, Michigan State ran for just 42 yards, with Thorne finishing as the second leading rider. Jalen Berger led the team with just 27 yards.

All this led to the majority of fans saying they were not satisfied with the offensive performance.

It all came about in Michigan State’s first real test of the season, although some of us chimed in thinking the road trip to Seattle was a tougher game than most fans expected. The season is getting more difficult now in terms of goals remaining for MSU as the Big Ten schedule kicks off.

At the start of the season, fans said they expected Michigan State to take second place in the Big Ten East and have 10 wins per season. Without going into details, Spartans fans said they lowered their expectations after Washington’s loss.

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