Michigan State (5-0, 2-0) may be undefeated, but head coach Mel Tucker made it clear that he’s wanting to see more from his football team. He reiterated many times in his weekly press conference ahead of Saturday’s game against Rutgers, that he needs to see complimentary football. Tucker wants his the Spartans to play solid in all three phases of defense, offense, and special teams for for all four quarters of the game.
Mel Tucker preaching complimentary football w/ Rutgers ahead- to play solid in all 3 phases for 4 quarters. “We haven’t played our best football yet. We believe our best football is ahead of us, but there is a sense of urgency to be able to do that.”https://t.co/NsOa4fnQWl pic.twitter.com/u04iFR1rwB— Jeanna Trotman (@JeannaTrotmanTV) October 6, 2021
“We haven’t played our best football yet,” Tucker said. “We believe our best football is ahead of us, but there is a sense of urgency to be able to do that.”
Mel Tucker takes the podium ahead of @MSU_Football vs. Rutgers. Despite undefeated start, Tucker says that he is still wanting his team to focus on playing complimentary football- solid on all sides for the entire game from start to finish. @wxyzdetroit pic.twitter.com/JN4wtzBwDj— Jeanna Trotman (@JeannaTrotmanTV) October 5, 2021
In the 2020 season, Michigan State loss to Rutgers 38-27 and Tucker said what he remembers most was his team’s turnovers. The Spartans had seven turnovers, which turned over to 21 points for Rutgers.
“We shouldn’t be turning the ball over at all,” Tucker said. “It has been a point of emphasis for us since day one.”
When comparing the 2021 team to last year’s team, Tucker said that ball security is the biggest area of growth, as well as the biggest area of focus.
“It’s all about the ball, the ball, the ball,” Tucker said. “Everyone is out there because of the ball. The offense is trying to keep it, trying to advance it, and score. The defense is trying to do everything they can to get it back and give it to the offense. If you don’t take care of the football, you’re not going to be very successful.”
Tucker was impressed with the amount of turnovers this year’s team has. Through five games, the Spartans only have three turnovers. However, Tucker added that he still believes that is three turnovers too many.
The Spartans travel to New Jersey to take on Rutgers Saturday. Kick off is at noon and will be televised on the Big Ten Network.