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Michigan State

Roushar Redux

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EAST LANSING, MI - SEPTEMBER 29: A Michigan State helmet sits on the sideline during a game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Spartan Stadium on September 29, 2012 in East Lansing, Michigan. Ohio State won the game 17-16. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

EAST LANSING, MI – SEPTEMBER 29: A Michigan State helmet sits on the sideline during a game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Spartan Stadium on September 29, 2012 in East Lansing, Michigan. Ohio State won the game 17-16. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

mike-valenti g) Mike Valenti
Valenti moved to Michigan at 17 and never looked back. A graduate of...
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By: Mike Valenti

I’m keeping this short. Most of you know my disdain for MSU Offensive Coordinator Dan Roushar. This blog will simply go into more detail as to why.

Last night I dialed in some USC vs. Utah on ESPN. Early on I found myself really liking what Utah was doing on offense. Not just for the 14-0 start….it was a gift by USC turnovers, but by the manner in which Utah was calling and sequencing its plays.

Of course ESPN flashed to who was up in the booth…Brian Johnson, all 25 years of age in his 5th game as an OC.

I almost cried.

Johnson was using a backup QB and inferior talent at nearly every position yet he crafted a running game and an offense that squeezed every ounce out of what he had.

What do these things have in common? Tunnel screen, reverse motion, WR in backfield, jet sweep, motioning guys into and out of backfield, trick plays, counters, delays, varied draws, and TE screens?

These are all things Dan Roushar has either NEVER run this year or has shown once.
The raw creativity displayed by Utah shows just what a skilled offensive coordinator can and should bring to the table. You can afford to be boring and predictable if you’re Alabama. You can’t if you’re almost anyone else.

Last night shines a bright light on exactly what MSU is missing. Things like creativity, imagination, and a proper use of counter tendencies so an opponent is left guessing.

On one drive I saw three different types of running plays that MSU has simply NEVER shown. Why? Always ask why? What would preclude MSU from having some basic stuff in their arsenal to put to use when they cannot simply line up and smash?
Points right up top.

As you sit down and enjoy another awesome weekend of college football I challenge you to look a bit closer at whatever games you’re watching. Look at not only what teams are running but how and when they run it. The design of it. The sequence of it. Therein lies the key to sustained offensive success when you don’t have superior talent game in game out.

Then watch MSU.

Tell me what you see.

Cousins, BJ, Martin and co. isn’t here any longer to save Roushar from himself. That predictability could be overcome because of several big time players. Without that it comes back to who is calling the plays and how they call them. How they put their playmakers in positions to succeed time and again. How to punch and counter punch once the opposition figures you out. How to manufacture offense when the basics no longer apply. This is where Roushar falls woefully short time and again. If the base offense works he’s golden. But once a team either outclasses MSU or simply forces their hand to go to an alternative strategy? Get the Pampers out.

Ask yourself as a Spartan fan if you truly feel game after game like you have gotten everything out of this offense that is possible. Do you feel like our OC is an asset or liability? While wideouts catching more passes would help it still wouldn’t fix the ultimate issue. It would only partially hide it.

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