What is the takeaway from last night's mainly lackluster, mistake-filled opening day 37-24 win over Western Michigan?
On the positive side, the Spartans escaped with a win and do not appear to have suffered any major injuries. It also looks like Madre London, L.J. Scott, and Gerald Holmes could and should be a formidable trio of running backs. The front seven looked very strong on the defensive end, as well.
But the negatives last night somewhat outnumbered the positives, and I hope, and I assume, that we can chalk this up to a combination of first game cobwebs and a case of looking ahead to Oregon. It was also quite clear that the play calling was purposely vanilla.
Credit must be given to Western Michigan, who in the biggest game that Waldo Stadium has ever seen, played their hearts out. Their skill players were just as good as advertised. Terrell is an outstanding quarterback who rarely let the pass rush get to him, has a quick release, and uncanny accuracy. The Broncos' receivers are athletic and fast. This team should make some noise in the MAC and challenge for the title.
I've been guilty of overreacting positively and (mostly) negatively to opening weekend football games. Exhibit A being the 2013 season, when I was darned near ready to throw in the towel on the season. This year, I'm determined not to make that mistake and trust that the coaching staff will make the necessary tweaks and adjustments for next week's much steeper challenge against Oregon.
If adjustments are not made and the team plays with the level of malaise I witnessed last night--particularly in the second half--the Oregon game could get ugly. I don't think that will happen, though. I fully expect the Spartans to come out next Saturday with a fire, passion, and focus that wasn't quite there against Western Michigan.
Until proven otherwise, I'm maintaining an attitude of positivity. Mark Dantonio has earned, and deserves, my trust and faith.