The Michigan State Spartans had a year to be remembered in 2010 for two reasons. One reason for setting a record for wins in a single season with 11 and one for being humiliated by Alabama in the Capital One bowl to resign one the better football teams in the programs history.
On paper, the 2011 team could be as good or even better than last years squad. Quarterback Kirk Cousins will be under center entering his fifth year in the program. Emerging star Edwin Baker will be the front-runner of a loaded backfield and Jerel Worthy will lead a ferocious defensive line. Those are just some of the bigger names to what could be Mark Dantonio’s best team in five years at MSU.
With the good comes the bad and for Michigan State the bad is going to be the absence of some of the proven stars from last year, particulally at the linebacker spot. Greg Jones and Eric Gordon are gone as well as conerback Cris L. Rucker. On the offensive line the Spartans lost D.J. Young and Mark Dell and widereciever. Here comes some more “good” for Sparty, they do have talent at the linebacker spot to replace Jones and Gordon. Max Bullough, a sophomore has had an excellent offseason and showed a lot of optimism as a freshman. Now the replacement for Gordon, TyQuan Hammock who like Bullogh, made great strides last season and into the sumer. Hammock and Bullough are listed at the same position but with both being talented, and with MSU losing two great linebackers, it would only make sense to have both Hammock and Bullough on the field at the same time.
MSU may have a new look on offense with their former offensive coordinator, Don Treadwell heading to coach at Miami (Ohio). Replacing Treadwell will be Dan Roushar, a former offensive line coach. Obviously Roushar will play more of the power game that Treadwell did so expect the talented running backs for MSU to get loads of carries.
The key to success for the Spartans will be from Michigan States tremendous offensive playmakers and the great depth on the defensive line. Speaking of depth on defense, watch out for DE Will Gholston. Gholston came into East Lancing as the number 1 midwest prospect last season and developed as a great third down pass rusher.
Michigan State has fallen short of being recognized as an elite team the last couple of years, this year is as good of a year as any to get over the hump.