The 2011 Spartans literally had their day in the sun while defeating the Georgia Bulldogs in the Outback Bowl 33-30 in triple overtime. The Spartans were the better team who essentially relegated the Bulldogs to a Hail Mary offense hoping for the best. The Spartans went in at halftime down 16-0 but displayed the true grit and desire to compete; a desire that has always symbolized Mark Dantonio coached teams. The second half proved to be domination in all three phases for the Spartans. It is only ironic that another special teams play sealed the victory. Anthony Rashad Whites blocked field goal in triple overtime just placed him in the history books for one of the biggest plays leading to a Spartan Bowl victory.
Future is BrightMichigan State is fielding the best defense in the Big Ten Conference for likely the next 3 to 4 years. Retaining defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi who was and will field some offers would be a bonus for MSU. The MSU assistant coachs contracts have been addressed with a hefty raise. Deservedly so after accomplishing the most wins of any Big Ten coaching staff over the past 4 seasons. I would think with this development, Narduzzi will remain in his current position unless another opportunity is too difficult to pass up. All Dantonio assistants are hot commodities with what they have accomplished. They are quality coaches and people that you need for success.
The talent level of the Spartans is becoming second to none.
If you didnt get the memo, the Spartans just defeated the Big, Bad, and Dreaded SEC! Go back a year to the Capital One Bowl shellacking by Alabama. The Spartans were beaten up and pushed around. Whatever Spartan wasnt carted off the field limped off through the sheer physical dominance of Alabama. That wasnt the case this past Monday. The Spartans did the pushing around and hard hitting! It was Georgia players lying all over the turf in Tampa seeking refuge. The Spartans will be young on offense with skill position players in 2012, but their defense will be there to protect them while they develop experience.
RepresentCoach Dantonio has preached to players about representing; representing not only the name on the back of their Jersey, team, university, but the Big Ten as well. The 2011 senior class is the winningest class in the history of MSU football! They just accomplished more wins as a class than any other Big Ten team in the same span. They have represented themselves, Michigan State, and the Big Ten better than anyone. It means the standard has been set for any future class at MSU which we already know through recruiting rankings, come more talented. Its a scary subject for other Big Ten teams to think about or even deal with as Georgia just found out!
Some things are just meant to be. Michigan State was meant to be in this Title game. After all, they’ve earned it! Michigan State’s October schedule was brutal, but they survived. Wins against Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, and a slip against Nebraska are clues, but honestly, they could've easily been undefeated during that stretch of the schedule.
Wisconsin has earned it as well, but their motivation banter is lacking in substance to what the Spartans are promoting this Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium for the inaugural Big Ten Title trophy.
Spartan Fans aren’t you just worn out…tired? Yea, I’m with you, it was in my last blog. ENOUGH!
How much is enough? Wisconsin wants to view this game as if they want pay back for a Hail Mary pass completion for a Michigan State victory earlier in the season 37-31. I say… GREAT!
Michigan State is about to annihilate the Wisconsin Badgers and here is why:
1. The first matchup seemed close, but it wasn’t. Michigan State basically gave Wisconsin 14 points (official's bad calls included). It will not happen again!
2. Lucas Oil Stadium plays to the Spartans strengths. If Wisconsin thought the Spartan defense was fast before, just wait until game day! The Spartans will dominate the speed differential on all fronts when it comes to artificial turf play.
3. The Spartan offense has answered the bell. Michigan State is peaking offensively (i.e. 41 pts per game average the last 4 weeks) and there's no doubt its better offensively compared to the first time these teams met in East Lansing.
CUT IN HALF
I guess it is hard for some to fathom, but Wisconsin’s offensive production will basically be cut in half due to Michigan State’s defensive efforts. Michigan State’s defense has done it all year, against every team, including Wisconsin! The Big Ten's leading rusher, Montee Ball, will be unproductive again.
What? How can this be?
I guess I was just imagining things, like when Montee Ball was knocked out of the first matchup.
MORE PUNISHIMENT is about to FOLLOW for Mr. Ball and it will be with MORE AUTHORITY! Sorry Ball fans, I just call em like I see em.
Is Bret Bielema really going to play the Pay Back card due to an earlier loss this season to MSU on a Hail Mary pass?
You have got to be kidding me!
It’s only another strength favoring Michigan State in this matchup. MSU is about to unleash a frustration against Wisconsin, which goes back to their Rose Bowl appearance a year ago.
WHY, you ask? BECAUSE IT WAS NOT EARNED, and that’s a sore point for Michigan State. It is time for Michigan State to remove all doubt. This may just be my two cents, but this weekend's game will NOT include MSU launching HAIL MARY’s this time around.
Bottom Line: a 10-2 record is better than 9-3. Although the Spartans have locked up an inaugural Big Ten Title game appearance on December 3rd, this weekend’s game against Northwestern has is very important and stacked with meaning. It’s meaningful for the Michigan State program, it’s meaningful for the seniors who want to go out winners, and it’s meaningful for BCS Bowl implications if Michigan State, god forbid, were to lose the Big Ten Title game.
Mark Dantonio has always preached respect since his arrival at MSU. Respect your team, your opponents, and most importantly, respect the game of football. The old saying is “you’re either getting better or you’re getting worse”. It truly applies in football. The Spartans have been consistently striving to get better in all three phases this year. No better example would be the Michigan State Offense that had many Spartan fans worried after the loss to Nebraska. No need to worry, the exact opposite has unfolded.
Here are the numbers:
1. MSU Offense - has recorded more than 400 yards of total offense for three straight games (402 yds vs. Minnesota, 443 yds vs. Iowa, and 470 yds vs. Indiana).
2. The Spartans have also average 41 points a game during this three game stretch
3. Total yard per game average is 438.3 yards during these three games as well.
Not too shabby!
I always like to remind the Spartan faithful of the vision Mark Dantonio has set for the Michigan State program. As per usual and much like football, let’s stay consistent. Please go back and read a past blog I wrote called “Buckle Up Little Camper”. I wrote it after the loss to Alabama in the Capitol One Bowl last year.
I say it on the radio and I will put it in print right now. It is not time for the Spartans to DECELERATE, resting on any laurels as if they have arrived, IT’S TIME TO ACCELERATE! They have not arrived by any stretch of the imagination. There is plenty of more work to be done to gain the respect Michigan State desires. This weekend’s game against Northwestern is a game the Spartans should win and quite frankly, should dominate.
Michigan State respects Northwestern’s program, players, and coaches. It is now the time for the Spartans to make a move to gain the respect they have worked tirelessly to achieve. This does not only pertain to this weekend’s game versus Northwestern, but the two subsequent games following. If Michigan State wants respect, then they have to “TAKE IT” from here on out.
The title of this blog was a statement made by head coach Mark Dantonio at Tuesday’s press conference. Coaches are always emphasizing discipline, mechanics, fundamentals, and execution. But there are other aspects coaches emphasize in order to win on the road, like last week in MSU's 37-21 beating of Iowa. They emphasized bringing a storm, to start fast, force turnovers, avoid […]
Remember comedian Bill Cosby’s famous skit “I’m sick and tired”? Well, I’m just tired at this point of everyone talking about the difficulties of playing on the road. The Hawkeye football team is the only problem on this road trip. I have addressed the travel issue previously but the challenges are almost always the same. It’s […]
Some things you just cannot explain to Spartan fans. I can get pretty in depth football-wise to all the Spartan Sports Network faithful, but I know why Michigan State lost to Nebraska. The effort was there, but adjustments were a problem.
The answer would be running back Larry Caper getting injured on the opening kickoff. Michigan […]
No, I’m not referring to the World War II film starring Lee Marvin and Mark Hamill which delves into the experiences of several US soldiers and the effects war has on them. I am referring to the Nebraska Cornhusker’s “Big Red One”. That would be Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead (130 attempts, 752 yards, and 10 TDs). Rex is very similar […]
About JimEntering his sixth season as analyst for the Spartan Sports Network, Jim Miller was a three-year starter for Coach George Perles at Michigan State.
What’s in your football head? I want to know!