The coaching staff hears your concerns, Spartan fans.
New Michigan State offensive coordinator Brad Salem opened up the playbook and in Saturday night's contest with Western Michigan, as the Spartans gained 582 total yards of offense en route to a 51-17 win at Spartan Stadium.
Without Jalen Nailor in the lineup, Darrell Stewart caught 10 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown, redshirt freshman Elijah Collins rushed for 192 yards on 17 carries in his first career start, and Brian Lewerke went 23-for-32 passing with 314 yards and three touchdowns for Michigan State (2-0). Jon Wassink was 23-for-37 with 252 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions for Western (1-1).
MSU - Brian Lewerke: 23/32, 314 yds., 3 TDs, INT
WMU - Jon Wassink: 22/37, 252 yds., TD, 2 INTs
MSU - Elijah Collins: 17 atts., 192 yds.
WMU - LeVante Bellamy: 15 atts., 44 yds.
MSU - Darrell Stewart Jr.: 10 recs., 185 yds., TD
WMU - Giovanni Ricci: 6 recs., 53 yds., TD
Western Michigan's last gasp ends in Spartan territory
Skyy Moore returns Evan Morris' kickoff to the 28.
Sean Tyler rushes for 5 yards on first down and breaks free for a gain of 26 on second down, reaching the Spartan 41.
Moore gains a yard on first down. Tyler loses 5 yards on second down. Griffin Alstott catches a 12-yard pass on third down.
Timeout #1 Michigan State (1:12 4th)
Western Michigan scores a touchdown some few plays later.
FINAL: Michigan State 51, Western Michigan 17
Michigan State takes 51-10 lead on Western
Michigan State will start at the 25.
Rocky Lombardi is in at quarterback for the Spartans. Anthony Williams loses 5 yards on first down but gains 5 yards on each of his next two carries.
Keith Mixon drops the punt, and it's recovered by Michigan State at the Western 24.
Williams rushes for 6 yards on first down and breaks free for a 17-yard gain on second down. Alante Thomas finishes the job with a 1-yard touchdown run.
Michigan State 51, Western Michigan 10 (4:02 4th)
Western Michigan makes it 44-10 with field goal
Evan Morris' kickoff goes for a touchback.
LeVante Bellamy catches a pass in the flat and steps out of bounds at the 28 for a gain of 3. Jon Wassink's second-down throw to Tyron Arnett goes for 6 yards and Western picks up the first down with a 3-yard run by Bellamy on third down.
Wassink hits Skyy Moore for a 6-yard gain on first down and is sacked for a loss of 8 on second down. An 8-yard completion to Giovanni Ricci on third down makes it fourth-and-4 at the Western 43. Keith Mixon catches a pass to Wassink's right, reverses field, makes a few defenders miss, cuts upfield for a 43-yard gain to the Michigan State 14. Pretty great play.
Mixon is the intended receiver for Wassink's first-down pass. Davon Tucker gains nothing on second down. Wassink's throw to Ricci in the end zone slips right through the receiver's hands.
A 31-yard field goal by Thiago Kapps is good.
Michigan State 44, Western Michigan 10 (8:41 4th)
Michigan State adds to lead early in fourth quarter
Brian Lewerke rushes for a yard on first down and throws a 16-yard pass to Darrell Stewart on second down.
Collins breaks free up the right sideline and steams ahead for a gain of 16 before getting bumped out of bounds at the Western 24.
Collins gets it again on the next play, picking up 2.
END 4TH: Michigan State 37, Western Michigan 7
Collins opens the quarter with 9- and 12-yard runs before La'Darius Jefferson punches it in from a yard out.
Michigan State 44, Western Michigan 7 (13:37 4th)
Thompson interception disrupts Western drive
Davon Tucker in at running back for Western Michigan now, and he's not all that successful in hitting any holes either. He's wrapped up for no gain on first down from the 25. The Spartans' defense is closing in now, sacking Jon Wassink for a loss of 6 on first down. Wassink hits DaShon Bussell over the middle for a gain of 27.
Wassink throws incomplete to Keith Mixon on first-and-10 from the Western 46. Giovanni Ricci reels in a 7-yard toss from Wassink to make it third-and-3. Tyriq Thompson intercepts a Wassink pass at the Michigan State 43.
Michigan State 37, Western Michigan 7 (3:02 3rd)
Another Coghlin field goal gives Michigan State 37-7 lead
Has Brad Salem spent the entire week studying the Kansas City Chiefs playbook? Brian Lewerke opens the drive with back-to-back 17-yard completions to Darrell Stewart and Cody White, putting Michigan State at the Western 29.
Elijah Collins rushes for 4 yards on first down and powers forward for 3 more on second down. The Spartans pick up a first down with a 14-yard completion to White.
La'Darius Jefferson goes down at the 7-yard-line for a first-down gain of 1. Lewerke's second-down throw is broken up in the end zone. He rolls right after being chased from the pocket on third down, throws complete to Jefferson for a gain of 5. The Spartans will send out the field goal unit.
Matt Coghlin's 20-yard try is good.
Michigan State 37, Western Michigan 7 (5:36 3rd)
Michigan State defense still keeping Western in check
Keith Mixon returns the kickoff to the 24.
Jon Wassink's first-down pass falls incomplete. LeVante Bellamy rushes for 7 yards on second down and comes short of the line to gain with a 2-yard run on third down.
On the punt, Cody White calls for a fair catch at the 37.
Michigan State 34, Western Michigan 7 (9:42 3rd)
Spartan drive stalls deep in Western territory
Elijah Collins breaks off a 58-yard run on the Spartans' first play of the half, reaching the Western 10 before getting pushed out of bounds.
La'Darius Jefferson rushes for 4 yards on first-and-goal. He's stopped for a gain of 1 on second down. Brian Lewerke's third-down pass to Matt Dotson misses the mark.
Matt Coghlin's field goal try is good.
Michigan State 34, Western Michigan 7 (11:30 3rd)
Michigan State defense forces three-and-out to start second half
Western's Keith Mixon returns the second-half kickoff to the 21.
Jon Wassink dishes to his right on first down; LeVante Bellamy drops the pass. He's wrapped up for no gain on second down. Bellamy goes for 7 yards on a third-down reception.
Nick Mihalic's punt is returned 10 yards by Cody White to the 32.
Michigan State 28, Western Michigan 7 (13:25 3rd)
MSU - Brian Lewerke: 18/25, 245 yds., 3 TDs, INT
WMU - Jon Wassink: 15/23, 145 yds., TD, INT
MSU - Elijah Collins: 9 atts., 88 yds.
WMU - LeVante Bellamy: 11 atts., 32 yds.
MSU - Darrell Stewart Jr.: 8 recs., 152 yds., TD
WMU - Giovanni Ricci: 4 recs., 38 yds., TD
Spartans add to lead after turnovers by both teams
D'Wayne Eskridge makes a great play to bat down a pass by Brian Lewerke on first-and-10 from the 16. Western Michigan recovers a Connor Heyward fumble at the 17.
Michigan State 28, Western Michigan 7 (2:22 2nd)
LeVante Bellamy rushes for 5 yards on first down. Keith Mixon catches a pass on an out-route that's good for 9 yards and a first down at the 3.
Bellamy loses 2 yards on the next play.
Timeout #1 Western Michigan (0:55 2nd)
Jon Wassink throws an interception in the end zone on second down.
Michigan State 28, Western Michigan 7 (0:49 2nd)
Michigan State gets it at the 20. Elijah Scott rushes up the left sideline for a gain of 24 on first down.
Lewerke throws an incomplete pass on first down but completes a 7-yard throw to Collins on second down. Michigan State gains a total of 29 yards on three consecutive completions to Stewart.
Matt Coghlin's 38-yard field goal is good.
END 2ND: Michigan State 31, Western Michigan 7
Michigan State quickly stifles Western Michigan drive
Western Michigan opens at the 25.
LeVante Bellamy rushes for 8 yards on first down and 6 yards on second down.
Bellamy jukes some defenders in the backfield and manages 4 yards out of a first-down run that looked to be doomed from jump. Jon Wassink's second-down throw is batted down at the line. His pass to Ricci on third down is broken up by David Dowell.
Michigan State will take over at the 16 after the punt.
Michigan State 28, Western Michigan 7 (2:39 2nd)
Lewerke tosses third touchdown pass of half
Michigan State takes over at the 20.
Elijah Collins rushes for 5 yards on first down. Cody White catches a pass in coverage on second down and fights ahead for a gain of 10.
Darrell Stewart puts Michigan State at the Western 44 with a leaping catch that's good for 21 yards.
Now Brian Lewerke goes to Matt Dotson on the next play for a gain of 14.
Lewerke goes back to Dotson, but this time the throw falls incomplete. Collins rushes for 8 yards on second down to make the third down manageable. Collins picks up the first down and moves Michigan State into the red zone with a 3-yard run.
Lewerke then catches a pass from Darrell Stewart, little Philly Philly action, for a gain of 17.
Lewerke hits Cody White for a 2-yard touchdown reception.
Michigan State 28, Western Michigan 7 (4:32 2nd)
Missed chip-shot field goal keeps Spartan lead at 14
Jon Wassink ends a streak of eight straight completions with a first-down misfire to DaShon Bussell. Keith Mixon hauls in a pass good for 7 yards on second down. A third-down throw to Skyy Moore near the sideline is originally ruled incomplete, but after review, it's ruled a 21-yard catch, and an incredible one at that. That'll put the Broncos at Michigan State's 27.
Wassink comes up firing on first down, and the throw draws a pass interference call on Josh Butler. The Broncos will now get it at the 12 with a new set of downs.
LeVante Bellamy rushes for 2 yards on first down. Butler has the chance to redeem himself on second down but drops a potential interception. It's third-and-8.
Timeout #2 Michigan State (8:21 2nd)
Wassink's throw to Ricci is wildly inaccurate.
Thiago Kapps misses a 27-yard field goal.
Michigan State 21, Western Michigan 7 (8:21 2nd)
Lewerke throws interception
Darrell Stewart returns it to the 28.
Connor Heyward puts his head down and barrels his way to a 14-yard run up the middle on first down.
Heyward loses 2 yards on the next play. A terrible second-down decision by Lewerke leads to a tipped pass and Western Michigan interception. It'll be Broncos' ball at the 45 of Western Michigan.
Michigan State 21, Western Michigan 7 (10:14 2nd)
Western gets on board with Ricci touchdown
Keith Mixon returns the kickoff to the 34.
LeVante Bellamy rushes for 3 yards on first down. Jon Wassink is sacked by Kenny Willekes on the next play. Mixon hauls in a 12-yard reception on the next play.
Bellamy catches a 3-yard pass to end the quarter.
END 1ST: Michigan State 21, Western Michigan 0
DaShon Bussell catches a 3-yard pass to start the quarter. Michigan State is offsides on the next play. Second-and-2 coming up. Wassink finds Corey Crooms for a gain of 18.
Brett Borske is Wassink's target on the next play, and he pulls in the throw for 9 yards. Bellamy loses 2 yards on the next play, making it third-and-3 from the 15. Wassink keeps it and is stopped 2 yards short.
Timeout #1 Western Michigan (11:39 2nd)
Wassink hits Giovanni Ricci on third down for a 14-yard touchdown pass.
Michigan State 21, Western Michigan 7 (11:34 2nd)
Michigan State offense putting on a clinic
Elijah Collins rushes for a gain of 2 on first down and 4 on second down. C.J. Hayes hauls in a pass near the line to gain and scoots upfield for a gain of 22 yards, reaching the Spartan 48.
Brian Lewerke dishes to Hayes again on first down for a gain of 10. Lewerke throws a 42-yard touchdown pass to Darrell Stewart on the next play.
Michigan State 21, Western Michigan 0 (1:59 1st)
Michigan State defense keeping Western scoreless
Western starts at the 25.
LeVante Bellamy rushes for a gain of 3 yards on first down and 3 more on second down. Giovanni Ricci holds onto the football despite getting decked after pulling down the pass on a crossing route. The 5-yard gain moves the chains.
Bellamy rushes for 2 yards on first down. Jon Wassink escapes a closing pocket and gains a yard before giving himself up. Wassink goes to DaShon Bussell on third down, completing the pass, but Bussell is a yard short of the line to gain.
Nick Mihalic's punt goes for a touchback.
Michigan State 14, Western Michigan 0 (4:16 1st)
Michigan State picks up where it left off, scoring on second drive
Michigan State comes out firing again. Brian Lewerke hits Darrell Stewart for a 22-yard gain on first down, moving the Spartans into Bronco territory.
Elijah Collins rushes for 2 yards on first down. Stewart catches a pass from Lewerke and is tripped up after a gain of 5 on the next play. Michigan State picks up the first down via a 7-yard completion to Connor Heyward.
C.J. Hayes catches a pass on first down and loses a yard. Lewerke's second-down pass falls incomplete, but he finds Cody White to his left on third down for a gain of 20 yards.
On first down from the 14, Western corner D'Wayne Eskridge makes a nice play to break up a throw to White. Western Michigan is flagged for pass interference on the next play. First-and-goal from the 2 coming up.
La'Darius Jefferson dashes to his left and scampers into the end zone. Spartans are up two scores.
Michigan State 14, Western Michigan 0 (8:14 1st)
Western Michigan drive stalls in Spartan territory
Davon Tucker's 23-yard return gives the Broncos starting position at the 34.
Jaylen Hall catches a pass for 5 yards on first down. Jon Wassink hits Skyy Moore for a. 13-yard gain on the next play, making it first-and-10 at the Michigan State 48.
Wassink goes to Giovani Ricci for a 14-yard pickup to move the chains again.
DaShon Bussell hauls in a 3-yard reception on first down. A tipped ball on second down falls right into the hands of Josiah Scott, who drops an easy interception. That's going to haunt him. A third-down pass to. Skyy Moore falls incomplete.
A 48-yard field goal by Thiago Kapps is wide left.
Michigan State 7, Western Michigan 0 (10:57 1st)
Michigan State scores easily on opening drive
Michigan State's offense will take the field first. Darrell Stewart's 16-yard kick return sets up the Spartans at the 21.
The Spartans go play-action on the first play and Brian Lewerke throws a deep ball on the mark to Darrell Stewart for a 33-yard completion.
Redshirt freshman Elijah Collins, making his first career start, explodes through a hole and up the sideline, reaching the Western 17-yard-line with a gain of 29.
Collins gets it again on the next play, this time going to his left and picking up 11 yards. It'll be first-and-goal from the 6.
A pass interference penalty on Western makes it first down at the 2. Lewerke tosses an easy touchdown pass to Matt Dotson, and in 1:34, the Spartans have a lead.
Michigan State 7, Western Michigan 0 (13:26 1st)
Leg injury knocks MSU's Jalen Nailor out vs. Western Michigan
It didn’t take long for injuries to jump up and bite Michigan State’s wide receivers again.
Sophomore Jalen Nailor, who missed five games last season because of an injury, is out indefinitely after injuring his left leg this week in practice.
“I do not think he will miss the season,” Dantonio said on the pregame show, “but he will be out for a period of time. I’m pretty confident he will be back yet this season.”
Dantonio said the injury was a lower-leg injury that occurred during Wednesday’s practice. Junior Cody White takes over as the primary punt returner while junior Laress Nelson could also return some punts.
Nailor caught three passes for just 5 yards in the season-opening victory over Tulsa. Playing as a true freshman in 2018, Nailor had eight receptions for 138 yards and two touchdowns while running nine times for 128 yards, highlighted by a 75-yard touchdown run against Indiana.
The Spartans wide receivers were crippled by injuries last season as then senior Felton Davis, Darrell Stewart, Cody White, Nailor, Cam Chambers, Nelson, C.J. Hayes and Brandon Sowards all missed time because of injuries.
Dantonio said this week that Chambers missed the Tulsa game because of an undisclosed injury. Expect Nelson to get more work now with Nailor out, as well as true freshman Julian Barnett, who played last week but didn’t catch a pass.
MICHIGAN STATE VS. WESTERN MICHIGAN
Kickoff: Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Spartan Stadium, East Lansing
TV/radio: BTN/760 AM
Records: Both teams 1-0
Line: Michigan State by 17.5