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BOX SCORE | Post Game Quotes



No. 18 Michigan State Shuts Down Tulsa in 28-7 Win Michigan State Athletics
Kenny Willekes recovered two fumbles, including one in the end zone for a touchdown, and No. 18 Michigan State manhandled Tulsa 28-7 on Friday night. Willekes, back on the field after breaking his leg in last season’s Redbox Bowl, was part of a swarming Michigan State defense that held the Golden Hurricane to minus-73 yards rushing.

Michigan State football dominates Tulsa, breaks 69-year-old record Detroit Free Press
No. 20 MSU set a school record by holding the Golden Hurricane to minus-73 yards rushing, breaking a 69-year-old record. The Spartans used four field goals and two PAT kicks from Matt Coghlin, a defensive TD from Kenny Willekes and a safety to account for 22 points in a 28-7 victory over the Golden Hurricane on Friday night at Spartan Stadium.

Couch: 3 quick takes on Michigan State’s 28-7 win over Tulsa – the good, bad and ugly Lansing State Journal
Lansing State Journal columnist Graham Couch gives his initial thoughts on Michigan State’s 28-7 win over Tulsa on Friday night at Spartan Stadium.

Dominant defense leads Michigan State past Tulsa in season opener MLive.com
New season, similar look for Michigan State. A year after the Spartans boasted one of the nation’s top defenses but finished 7-6 due to an anemic offense, the product on the field looked awfully familiar. No. 18 Michigan State clamped down defensively on Tulsa for a 28-7 win in the season opener on Friday night at Spartan Stadium in front of an announced crowd of 72,005.

MSU’s offense lags, but defense dominates Tulsa in opener Detroit News
No. 18 Michigan State took care of the primary goal in the season opener at Spartan Stadium, beating Tulsa, 28-7, in front of 72,005. However, the Spartans hardly instilled much confidence in its fan base as the offense went through struggles similar to what it did in 2018 when it averaged just 18.7 points a game.

MSU rides defense to season-opening win over Tulsa Spartans Wire
There are two things crystal clear after Michigan State’s season-opening win over Tulsa: The offense is a work in progress. The defense is all-world great.

Michigan State defense dominates in opening night win State News
Tulsa quarterback Zach Smith dropped back to pass on first down. Sack by Shakur Brown. He tried again on second down, but was sacked by Jacub Panasiuk. Smith tried again on third down, only to be dragged to the grass for a two-yard gain. Punt. For most of Friday night, Michigan State’s best offense was its defense.

Michigan State touted a new offense. And it wasn’t good against Tulsa Detroit Free Press
You waited eight months for this? For jet sweeps to keep going nowhere and an offensive line that can’t push and an offensive coordinator to find a play that doesn’t work and then keep … calling … the … same … thing? Thinking it will finally work? You saw this back in December in California when Michigan State managed two field goals in its loss to Oregon. You saw it again Friday night at Spartan Stadium, where MSU was supposed to unveil its — ahem — new offense.

Offense underwhelms as MSU beats Tulsa in opener Spartan Tailgate
It took nearly nine months for Michigan State to unveil its restructured offense. It took less than two quarters of football for some to start wondering whether anything would be different in 2019. The Spartans handled Tulsa, 28-7, in Friday night’s season-opener, but some of the same deficiencies that plagued them in 2018 were on display.

The Spartans dominate Tulsa on their way to breaking a 69-year-old record The Only Colors
Over 72,000 Spartan fans showed up hoping to see the arrival of a new and improved Michigan State offense. Unfortunately, they didn’t see much of a difference if at all when it came to that particular side of the ball. Instead, the Spartan defense gifted them with another dominant performance. “Obviously our defense played outstanding,” said Dantonio. “Minus seventy-three yards rushing combined with sacks so that’s an all-time record.”

Spartans’ new offense looks a lot like the old one Detroit News
Sometimes the best offense is a good defense. Even better, occasionally it’s a great defense. And for the moment, that’ll be more than enough for Michigan State, which manhandled Tulsa, 28-7, in its season opener before a crowd of 72,005 at Spartan Stadium. But if you came here looking for proof the Spartans’ offense was either new or improved — the fans have been hearing for weeks, if not months, that it’ll be both — you left empty-handed. That explains why the home team got an earful from the boobirds Friday night.

Spartans’ defense lives up to billing, blows away Hurricane’s run game Detroit News
There’s no doubt the frustration with Michigan State’s offense was lingering late Friday night. But after the 18th-ranked Spartans took care of business in the season opener by beating Tulsa, 28-7, the feeling about Michigan State’s defense are drastically different. That’s because the Spartans picked up right where they left off last season, stuffing the Golden Hurricane at the line of scrimmage and dominating in virtually every aspect of the game.

Michigan State football grades: Strong defense, deficient offense vs. Tulsa Detroit Free Press
Free Press sports writer Chris Solari rates the No. 20 Michigan State Spartans on a scale of 1 to 10 after their 28-7 win over Tulsa on Friday at Spartan Stadium.

‘Mental mistakes’ mar Michigan State’s opening triumph Detroit News
The season opener in college football is rarely a work of art. Unlike in the NFL where there are four preseason games, there are no practice runs for college teams. So, that means all of the kinks are getting worked out when the games count. For No. 18 Michigan State, the kinks were many on Friday in a 28-7 victory over Tulsa.

Antjuan Simmons sets tone with crushing hit in 1st career start Detroit Free Press
Before the interception, before the safety, before the strip-sack fumble touchdown, there was an innocuous second-and-3. It was Tulsa’s first drive of the game against the No. 20 Michigan State Spartans when quarterback Zach Smith tossed a short pass behind the line of scrimmage to tailback Shamari Brooks. Then, as if shot out of a cannon, came Antjuan Simmons barreling through Brooks and sending the Spartan Stadium crowd into a frenzy.

Michigan State football can’t waste this amazing defense. It would be criminal Detroit Free Press
Here is my fear about Michigan State: The Spartans have a ridiculously talented defense that could wind up being unforgettable. But they are going to waste it because of a bad offense. “Obviously, our defense played outstanding,” MSU football coach Mark Dantonio said after a 28-7 victory over Tulsa on Friday night.

Michigan State’s new offense sputters in season-opening win vs. Tulsa MLive.com
It only took until the second quarter. That’s when fans at Spartan Stadium began booing to show their disappointment in Michigan State’s offense. And it continued into the second half while getting louder. “The way that we played, I would have been booing it myself,” junior wide receiver Cody White said with a smile.

Michigan State football post-game grades: Tulsa Spartan Tailgate
Another Friday night season-opener, another uncomfortable win for Michigan State. The Spartans got off to a 1-0 start in 2019 by hammering Tulsa with their brutal defense and kicking four field goals. The debut of MSU’s retooled offense under first-year coordinator Brad Salem was a letdown, as the unit gained 303 total yards and only reached the end zone once despite starting three drives deep in Tulsa territory.

Grading Michigan State’s win against Tulsa MLive.com
Michigan State opened the season with a 28-7 win against Tulsa on Friday night in East Lansing. It was an uneven performance for the No. 18 Spartans as the defense was dominant while the offense struggled. That’s a trend that continued from last season when Michigan State had one of the nation’s top defenses but finished 7-6 because of a miserable offensive performance. Here are snap-judgment grades for the Spartans in their season-opening victory

Michigan State defense answers challenge, dominates Tulsa in run game Detroit Free Press
Mike Panasiuk swears Michigan State’s defense did not know it was nearing a school record. Neither did Mark Dantonio. But with a 28-7 win almost in hand, the Spartans dialed up a late fourth-quarter cornerback blitz on third down deep in Tulsa territory. Shakur Brown dropped quarterback Zach Smith for their sixth sack of the game Friday.

Michigan State football’s offense hears boos, admits they were deserved vs. Tulsa Detroit Free Press
Those eardrum-ringing cheers of appreciation faded, replaced by boos borne of frustration and recognition of witnessing what was promised to be in the past. Michigan State football took the opening kickoff of the 2019 season and produced it’s first touchdown in just nine plays. Fans cheered as if everything had changed as promised by Mark Dantonio and his reconfigured offensive coaching staff.

Conor Heyward: I’d give the running backs a ‘C’ against Tulsa Detroit Free Press
Conor Heyward took the handoff and pushed behind the left side of the offensive line, falling forward through Tulsa defenders for a solid gain of 6 yards to the midfield. He got up and motioned with his hands like he was eating out of a bowl. The “Feed Me” sign, which since being popularized years back by Ezekiel Elliott, has become running back code for “give me the ball, we’re wearing the defense down.”