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!
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!