Notre Dame Opponent Preview: Michigan State Spartan Offense

EAST LANSING, MI - SEPTEMBER 09: Quarterback Brian Lewerke
EAST LANSING, MI - SEPTEMBER 09: Quarterback Brian Lewerke /

The Notre Dame football team faces a familiar foe this week when they travel to East Lansing, Michigan to face the Spartans. Here is a preview of the Michigan State Spartans offense:


Sophomore Quarterback Brian Lewerke commands the helm for the Michigan State Spartans. The 6’3″ 212 lbs. signal caller from Phoenix, Arizona played efficient in the first two games of the season. In the opener against Bowling Green, Lewerke completed 22 of 33 passes for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns. The following week, he threw for 161 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception against Western Michigan.

Lewerke is an atypical Michigan State Quarterback. He represents a true dual-threat. Against the Falcons, he ran for 69 yards on 8 carries. In the game against the Broncos, he toted the ball 9 times for 81 yards and 2 touchdowns.

These numbers are extremely efficient. However, Bowling Green and Western Michigan rank among the worst scoring defenses.

Running Back

Junior Running Back LJ Scott returns as Michigan State’s main threat at Running Back. Last season, Scott carried the ball 184 occasions for 994 yards and 6 touchdowns. He ran for 98 yards and 1 touchdown last September in Notre Dame Stadium.

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Scott struggled to get off the ground in the first two games of the season. Against Bowling Green, he rushed for 39 yards on 15 carries. The Junior Running Back performed better against Western Michigan; rushing for 86 yards on 18 attempts with 1 touchdown.

Junior Running Back Madre London and Senior Running Back Gerald Holmes also factor into the rushing attack. The Spartans are currently running the ball for 255.50 yards per game.

Western Michigan and Bowing Green rank 117th and 119th respectively. Western Michigan is allowing 232.67 yards. The Falcons are yielding 244 yards per contest.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Emerging star Wide Receiver Donnie Corley was dismissed from the team prior to the 2017 season. Corley figured to be Michigan State’s best returning receiver.

The Spartans are currently starting Felton Davis III (Jr.), Darrell Stewart Jr. (So.) and Triston Jackson (So.). Throughout the first two games of the season, Stewart is leading all Michigan State receivers  with 118 yards on 9 receptions. Davis is second on the team with 8 receptions for 104 yards.

Junior Tight End Matt Sokol leads the Spartans as their top target. The 6’6″ 250 lbs. Tight End from Rochester, Michigan possesses prototypical size for his position. Thus far, Sokol has caught 4 passes for 48 yards with 1 touchdown.

Offensive Line

The Michigan State Offensive Line features a fairly inexperienced unit. Luke Campbell, David Beedle, Brian Allen, Tyler Higby and Cole Chewins start for the Spartans (Right to Left). Senior Center Brian Allen has started the most career games with 27 starts. The remainder of the Offensive Line only started 23 combined games in their respective careers. The unit only yielded 2 sacks in their games against Bowling Green and Western Michigan.

Bottom Line

The Michigan State offense is currently averaging 31.5 points per game. The Spartans appear to be efficient on the offensive side of the ball. However, the two defenses they faced ranked near the bottom of the FBS. Did Michigan State cause their numbers to be poor or are these defenses that poor?