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Lackluster Michigan State offense still in flux

[ 0 ] October 1, 2013 |

By Joe Rexrode
Detroit Free Press

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The questions will continue until something changes for Michigan State’s offense, and the main one is this: Does the offense itself or execution of it deserve more blame for its lack of explosiveness?

“Is it scheme, is it players? It’s probably a combination of everything,” MSU coach Mark Dantonio said today of the only team in the nation with no offensive plays of 40 yards or longer, according to NCAA.com.

Connor Cook, right, is expected to start at quarterback for Michigan State on Saturday at Iowa. (Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports photo)

Connor Cook, right, is expected to start at quarterback for Michigan State on Saturday at Iowa. (Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports photo)

As the Spartans (3-1) approach Saturday’s Big Ten opener at Iowa (4-1, 1-0 Big Ten), Dantonio continues searching for personnel answers. Tony Lippett is now listed as a co-starter with Aaron Burbridge at one receiver spot, and Bennie Fowler is a co-starter at another spot with Keith Mumphery. Sophomore Macgarrett Kings Jr. continues to start at the “F” receiver position.

Dantonio said Fowler and, especially, Lippett have been impressive in practice this week.

“I consider about six receivers the starters,” he said. “I don’t care who plays. Because a guy runs out on play No. 1 doesn’t mean he’ll play the most. …

“I have confidence they can make plays. I’ve seen it over and over in practice.”

Connor Cook is the No. 1 quarterback, as expected, with Andrew Maxwell and Tyler O’Connor still competing to be No. 2. Jeremy Langford and Nick Hill are listed as co-starters at running back.

And MSU is looking for more explosiveness in the return game as well. Kings is the No. 1 punt returner, and he’s battling freshman R.J. Shelton to be the No. 1 kick returner.

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Category: Big Ten

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