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Position Grades: Michigan State

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By contractual obligation, we are required to do this.

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

In case you're wondering why this post is only going up now: I virtually quit watching about halfway through the third quarter and not too long afterwards, ended up meeting a friend to see a movie, forgetting about the fact that I had forgotten to write this damned thing. So, in the words of the late, great, Bill Hicks - bear with me while I plaster on a fake smile and plow through this shit one more time...

Quarterback: C

Christian Hackenberg threw a pair of touchdown strikes to Chris Godwin and when he wasn't being rushed or sacked, looked pretty poised in the pocket. However, his interception thrown on a deep ball to the end zone on the game's opening drive when PSU was driving down the field, looking to draw first blood was a momentum-killer, not to mention the tipped screen pass returned for a pick-six blew the floodgates open in the second half in a game that was already getting out of hand. Trace McSorley also saw some duty in garbage time, going 5-for-8 passing for 39 yards and rushing once for -3 yards.

Running Back: B

After getting mostly bottled up by the Michigan defense the previous week, Saquon Barkley put on a solid 17 rushes for 103 yards, including a scamper on 3rd and 20+ that nearly got PSU a first down (PSU would convert on the ensuing fourth down). Brandon Polk also ran a nice 25-yard jet sweep.

Wide Receiver/Tight End: C

Chris Godwin was the star of this group, catching 11 balls for 109 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and DaeSean Hamilton also was rather involved catching 8 balls for 78 yards. Saeed Blacknall had only one grab, but it was a 77-yarder that helped set up one of Godwin's TD grabs. The tight ends were non-existent once again, and Kyle Carter's lone catch ended up going from a nice first down grab in Michigan State territory to becoming a momentum-killing fumble that was scooped up and taken back for a TD by the bad guys.

Offensive Line: C

Yes, they allowed Hackenberg to get sacked a handful of times, but this certainly wasn't their worst performance of the year. Once again, a different starting lineup was used which moved Angelo Mangiro back to center and bumped Wendy Laurent back to backup center. This is obviously not a unit that will be an overnight fix.

Defensive Line: D

The losses of Carl Nassib and Garrett Sickels could certainly be felt as this unit struggled to get a consistent pass rush on Connor Cook, which allowed Cook plenty of time to hit his receivers in stride. Run support was only marginally better.

Linebacker: D

Missed tackles, being out of position on a regular basis, and poor pass coverage marred this unit. Backup center Jack Allen's 9-yard touchdown scamper in the game's final minutes just added insult to injury for this unit.

Secondary: F

Save for a few plays here and there by Grant Haley, this unit was virtually non-existent, as Cook and the Sparty receivers, most notably Aaron Burbridge and R.J. Shelton had a field day against them.

Special Teams: D

Tyler Davis nailed a field goal and Daniel Pasquerillo was quite serviceable in the punting game, but the return game was non-existent and kickoffs once again failed to come anywhere close to hitting the back of the end zone for a touchback, opening up the possibility of a big kick return.