All throughout the week, Michigan State football‘s remaining coaching staff, led by interim head coach Harlon Barnett, stressed the importance of playing with discipline.
The lessons failed to stick and thy were met with severe punishments. Each setback bringing forth a quarterback debate.
Maryland built a three-touchdown lead early on en route to a 31-9 victory Saturday at Spartan Stadium by taking advantage of two Spartan errors in the first 20 minutes of play. The Terrapins’ quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa.
In its Big Ten debut, MSU (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten) recorded five turnovers, three interceptions, two fumbles, six penalties accepted for 70 yards, and eight passes dropped.
“You can’t play in this league, any team in this league, and have that many penalties and turnovers,” Barnett said. “The turnovers got us also. From my understanding, we led in yards and time of possession and all that kind of stuff, but those are the stats that obviously don’t mean as much as the turnovers and then the penalties.
“So we will continue. I said discipline is gonna be the word for the rest of the year, I said that earlier this week. And we’re gonna continue to talk about it and preach it and push it until, eventually, we’re gonna we’re gonna get it and you’re gonna see the results. Very, very soon.”
After giving up two short-field touchdowns and a lengthy scoring drive in the opening 20 minutes, the Spartans’ defense kept them in the game. After the break, it stopped Tagovailoa from scoring and limited Maryland (4-0, 1-0) to one field goal in the second half before a late score sealed MSU’s doom.
“I think we just need to go out there and do our job,” linebacker Cal Haladay said. “I think that’s the biggest thing. We can’t let them drive down the field. We gotta be able to just get off the field.”
MSU travels for the first time this year on Saturday when it visits No. 22 Iowa (7:30 p.m., NBC).