Last night's performance by Connor Cook, Jeremy Langford, Tony Lippett, MacGarret Kings, Ed Davis, Max Bullough, Darqueze Denard, Denicos Allen, Shilique Calhoun, Tyler Hoover, Keith Mumphrey, Mark Dantonio, Pat Narduzzi. was incredible.
You get the picture. As Darqueze said after the game, "We had to trust each other to do our jobs." This was a total team effort with the outcome that not only sends MSU's team to the Rose Bowl, but also earns the program the much deserved respect from the national media. For those of you who read the Free Press, I wonder what Drew Sharp has to say now. Pat Caputo picked OSU to win, but he started to come around this week when he acknowledged that the Spartans could win this game IF everyone played well. They did just that.
Connor Cook passed for 300 yards on 29 of 40 passing. Jeremey Lanford started slowly- really bogged down in the first half- but gained 108 yards. Key plays were made by Mumphrey (70 yard TD catch and run), Tony Lippett (one of the most beautiful TD passes and receptions I can remember as a Spartan fan), Josiah Price (all alone in the end zone), Aaron Burbridge (tip-toe catch along the sideline to keep a drive alive).
I have to admit I was nervous. The first 17 points were scored by the Spartans. 1 kick and 2 TD passes to Mumphrey and Lippett. The next 24 points were scored by OSU. Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde were incredible. MSU's vaunted defense was having the same difficulties as many other programs. Make no mistake, Hyde and Miller are gamers.
As Coach D said after the game, "the margin between good and great is ever so slim." Spartans made plays when they needed to. Ed Davis stuffed OSU on a series that saw OSU recover the football on their own 40-yardline after MSU tried more of its trickery with an on-side kick. OSU kicked and MSU drove 90 yards for a score. Amazing! When was the last time you saw that?
Late in the fourth quarter with MSU leading by only 3 points, OSU was driving deep in Spartan territory. Braxton Miller went right for what should have been a first down only to have Denicos Allen stop him for a loss. MSU ball. Jeremy Langford broke a big run for what seemed like 50 yards. He kept going and going. Touchdown MSU.
This was a victory that each member of the team contributed to. Everyone from the scout team that had to bear the brunt of the MSU defense during full-pad practices this week to the scouts and coaches who reviewed film footage of the OSU-UM's game last week, to the coaches who developed a solid game plan to each and every player who stepped on the field last night. MSU 34, OSU 24. Stanford Cardinal. . . Here come the Spartans!
While MSU took care of business against Minnesota (14-3), Little Sister was trying to break OSU's heart in Ann Arbor . I listened to the end of that game as I was driving home from East Lansing. Devin Gardner had a whale of a game. But, like the Detroit Lions of years' past, U-M was one or two plays short of winning. The margin of winning and losing is ever so slight.
Braxton Miller accounted for 5 of the Buckeye touchdowns (3 running; 2 passing). Carlos Hyde rushed for 226 yards. Job 1 for Max Bullough will be to counter Miller. As talented as Braxton Miller is (who remembers Terrell Pryor?), Max will be up to the task. Shalique Calhoun and Tyler Hoover will be ready for Hyde. Prediction: Spartans 38; Buckeyes 14. MSU and SpartyMSU go to the Rose Bowl.
Back to yesterday's MSU- Minnesota game: The Spartan defense forced three turnovers and kept Minnesota out of the end zone. The nation's #1 ranked defense didn't disappoint. The pundits have doubted MSU because of its schedule. What do you do? You play who you get to play. And MSU's defense has been stellar. After December 7, MSU will have more believers.
Connor Cook threw for 143 yards on 10 for 20 passing. Not as flashy against Nebraska and Northwestern, but solid! Jeremy Langford rushed for one touchdown on 21 carries and 134 yards. Solid! The offense is well balanced. OSU is rumored to be soft against the pass. Cook and the receivers are peaking at the right time.
The BCS confuses the crap out of me. If MSU loses, Coach D is going to lobby for a BCS game. As stated previously, the BCS politics aren't favorable for MSU. Let's not even worry about the BCS. Go to the Rose Bowl! Just win baby!
The more I think about this game, the more convinced I am that MSU should look past Minnesota by holding Cooke and Langford out of Saturday's contest. The offense is clicking well. The last thing MSU can afford is an injury to any of its most productive players. If Mumphrey and Burbridge are ailing, give 'em a rest. Spartans need to have everyone healthy for the OSU game. What do you think? Rest the players. Who's with me?
In the infamous words of John Belushi..."Let's do it!"
It's November 10 and this Spartan fan can only lament at how the dreadful U-M football team let an opportunity slip away. Yes, we hate those guys, but we need U-M to put forth a decent effort against contenders of the Big 10 title. While we can rejoice at beating little sister five out of six years, our domination over the girls from Ann Arbor is sweeter if they play exciting football and better yet, compete.
Here are the ugly facts:
Devin Gardner sacked 7 times.
U-M's rushing attack: -21 yards on 36 attempts.
the U-M offense was unable to score after a muffed U-N punt.
U-M's defense had to stop U-N on fourth and two late in the fourth quarter. Instead, Nebraska scored on a 26 yard option pass to Abdullah for a touchdown that ended U-M's 20 game home winning streak.
After the game, Brady Hoke said, "we have to coach better." Devin Gardner said, "these guys are fighting for me. . ."
On and on it goes. . .
While up in East Lansing, Coach D and the seniors are warning the boys that they can't count on playing Ohio State in the Big 10 Championship game. Yes, Nebraska is a decent team. Without Taylor Martinez, they are beatable. Northwestern had high expectations this season, but they haven't performed. Even with a great coach like Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern is definitely beatable.
Then there's Minnesota. The "phers" are this year's surprise team. But, they play MSU in East Lansing. The Spartans usually handle the "phers" with ease. Beatable!
Denicos Allen says, "We talk about Nebraska and just Nebraska." Tony Lippett says, "We know we can't look too far into the future."
MSU has the # 1 defense in the nation. But, MSU has never beaten Nebraska. Spartans are 0-7 against the Cornhuskers. This year is different.
Prediction: MSU 17, Nebraska 7
The pre-game tailgate had an air of confidence.. we knew we were going to see something special.. David -SpartyMSU came in from Annapolis via Chicago.. Had almost more out of state alumni and friends as we did for the Homecoming tailgate..
Domination and Destruction.. What I saw from Row 53… and a Spartan Victory
We stood for the entire game.. in the cold rain.. in a down pour.. watching the wonderful relentless destruction of the U of M football team.. Paul Bunyan returns to East Lansing !
Soaking wet.. the crowd grew loader as the game progressed.. there was a Michigan fan in the stands behind us, I am not one to deny anyone their right to cheer, but this guy was a arrogant ass hole. Before the game he was yelling.. “Michigan is Backkkk…”, my retort was that “Dinosaurs roamed the earth once too”, meaning… once great mighty beasts are now dead, gone and we dig up their bones.. U of Michigan is now a Dinosaur, one that kids like to see, but no part of the world’s reality today… Being the good home team fan host and not allowing myself to punch him in the face.. I ignored him... By the end of the 3rd quarter he up and left..
The Spartan Defense is everything we thought they were.... Awesome.. Spartans have now won 5 of the last 6 meetings with the team from Ann Arbor. I’d call that recent domination… 2014 game is also in Spartan Stadium..
Sparty On ...
That's for sure Coach D. Here is the story. . .
Connor Cook 18 of 33 for 252 yards. Even though Drew Sharpe doesn't think the MSU offense is very good, the Spartans are steadily making progress. I will give in to Drew's point when he says if the Spartans had connected on a few more passes early in the game, the game would have been decided by half-time. Yes, the Spartan receivers were open for many plays and the passes narrowly missed hitting their hands. And yes, there were a couple of dropped passes. All in all, the Spartan offense is improving. Jeremy Langford, ran for more than 100 yards for the 3rd week in a row. Connor Cook scored on a quarterback sneak and threw a nice pass to Bennie Fowler for another score.
Mike Geiger converted 3 of 3 field goal attempts and has his first carry of his career for 0 yards which was still better than the -48 yards by the entire U-M team.
But, the turning point of the game came when Devin Gardner threw an interception to Denard on MSU's 3 yard line, The Spartans capped a 6 play, 97 yard scoring drive. On third down and three yards to go, MSU's Shelton, took the ball on the end-around play and scampered for a much needed 1st down. Two plays later, Jeremy Langford scored on a 40 yard play. Game over. MSU 29, U-M 6
Not to forget the defense: Shilique Calhoun and the MSU line sacked Devin Gardner 7 times. Denicos Allen had 9 tackles. Calhoun had 6 and Max Bullough continued to make the right defensive calls to thwart any idea U-M had of moving down the field against the nation's top-rated defense.
Next up Nebraska:
The Cornhuskers narrowly escaped with a lucky win over Northwestern this past Saturday. Did you see it? Last drive of the game. . . a heave by third string quarterback, Ron Kellogg, was tipped by NW and caught by Jordan Westerkamp with no time left to give Nebraska a win --- UN 27, NW 24.
Can the Spartans win in Nebraska? Yes, they can. Will they? Yes, they will. Taylor Martinez who gave MSU fits with his running and passing last year is out with an injury. And he isn't expected back of the MSU game. Nebraska hasn't seen the likes of MSU's defense. Jeremy Langford will rush for 140 yards. Cook will pass for 250 yards. MSU 35, Nebraska 17.