EAST LANSING — If you watched Michigan State in their 26-13 victory on Friday over Western Michigan you probably found yourself saying, “Here we go again,” at the sight of the first dropped pass by a receiver.
And rightfully so.
Depending on who you ask, the Spartan receivers dropped somewhere between four and seven balls, something that has become more characteristic than surprising over the past year. However, if you ask Michigan State third-year wide receivers coach Terrence Samuel, he would tell you that those drops you saw last Friday were out of the ordinary for his group.
“What’s shocking is that you didn’t see that during camp,” Samuel said after practice on Tuesday. “With the drops… They were uncharacteristic drops.
“Like I said, some drops are going to be hard to make, and I can live with you making a great effort and you make a drop. But the unforced drop, just the pure drop, that’s hard to take.”
With nearly eight months to improve and clean up the mistakes from a year ago, it’s clearly frustrating as a coach and player to see the same blunders over and over. And if months of preparation isn’t going to solve the reoccurring issue then you have to look elsewhere for production.
With that being said, Michigan State coaches decided to bench senior wide receiver Bennie Fowler for Saturday’s matchup against South Florida and start sophomore Macgarrett Kings Jr.
Fowler’s inconsistency on Friday came as a surprise based on how much his coaches and teammates raved about his improvements both physically and mentally this offseason. After having multiple drops in the season opener and being benched by his coaches, Samuel is hoping that Fowler shows how far he has come mentally.
“Bennie is an older guy, and he knows he needs to play better,” Samuel said. “As a coach you have to do whatever you have to do to try to put the team in a better situation. It’s on him to respond, and I’m expecting him to respond.”