Sparty continued winning in a big way against the Richmond Spiders
East Lansing – The Spartan’s are officially on a win streak after they handled the Richmond Spiders in week 2 by a score of 45-14. Behind another passing clinic from Spartan QB1 Noah Kim, and an other-worldy performance from starting running back Nathan Carter, both of whom scored 3 touchdowns, Spartans moved to 2-0 and have a bit of momentum as the prepare to finish non-conference play this week against the #8 ranked Washington Huskies and their leader, Heisman-hopeful Michael Penix Jr.
The week 2 victory saw MSU hang 45 points on Richmond, a scoring effort only achieved 3 times in the last 3 seasons by Sparty. It came behind a stifling defense that allowed only 193 total yards of offense to the Spiders and an average of 3.6 yards per play. That won't get you much success against a Big Ten opponent in the Spartans, who themselves had 465 yards of offense and a average of 7.6 yards per play. Both those numbers are improvements to their Week 1 production against CMU’s Chippewas.
Spartan Quarterback Noah Kim, a redshirt-junior who finally has his chance to lead the Green and White, has been the engine pushing the team to a hot 2-0 start. His back-to-back games of 250+ yards, 2 TD’s, and no interceptions, is the first such streak for a spartan QB since Peyton Thorne did it against Youngstown St. (OH) and Miami (FL) in weeks 2-3 in 2021.
The offensive woes started early for the Richmond Spiders, who began the game with the ball. They didn’t possess it long, though, as MSU’s defensive line showed the immediate differences in the trenches between a Big Ten school, and those of the FCS (where Richmond plays in the CAA conference). A bulldozing sack by junior defensive lineman Simeon Barrow forced a 3-and-out for the Spiders on their opening drive.
The Spiders defense did its job early on. MSU tried a flea flicker on their first play of the game, but it was sniffed out and batted down in double coverage. Lackluster play-calling and stout early defense on both sides contributed to 3-and-outs by both teams on their first two possessions.
A muffed punt by Richmond’s Savon Smith late in the 1st quarter put MSU in scoring position in the redzone, and Sparty began the scoring festivities shortly thereafter. Back to back runs from Nathan Carter gained a first down, then Noah Kim hit 5th-year senior Tre Moseley through the middle to put MSU up a score.
The defensive prowess of MSU, and the ability to get whatever they wanted on the offensive end, was the story of the game.
Spartan starting running back Nathan Carter, who went for 111 yards and 3 touchdowns, his first such touchdown performance in college. It’s his second game in a row rushing for over 100 yards and a score – more than double his total from last season. A career year is in order.
An afternoon that saw Spartans Mens Basketball Alumni honored, also came with peril. Shortly after MSU’s first score, Jalen Berger, one of MSU’s top playmakers, was helped to the locker room with an apparent leg injury. In addition to Berger, star Linebacker Jacoby Windmon was also injured. Neither player returned to the game.
Those could prove to be huge losses for Sparty. Berger was coming off his best year in college with over 800 scrimmage yards and 6 TD’s, and was looking to provide more production alongside Nathan Carter. Jacoby Windmon was one of the most productive players on the team last year. A ballhawk who forced 6 fumbles last year – tied for the lead in the nation.
Up next for MSU is the #8 ranked Washington Huskies, led by all-world QB Michael Penix Jr. and a lethal offense. Penix Jr. is one of the most prolific quarterbacks in college, and will certainly test the abilities of a spartan defense that has seen nothing close to the star players talent this season. The game is the last of a Home-and-Home series between the two schools, Washington won last years 38-29 at home.
The game is scheduled for Saturday at 5:30pm in East Lansing.
Check out our favorite shots from our partner publication, Head Coach Magazine, below:
Week 2, Michigan State Spartans vs. Richmond Spiders
All images courtesy of Blake Wilson, Head Coach Magazine