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Sweet Victory for MSU

Damn,  I wish I could have figured out how to get to the game.  Watching that game is definitely the highlight of my life as a die-hard MSU Spartan fan.  We all heard the stories of how powerful yesterday's sweet victory "touched" longtime Spartan fans.  One friend shared, "Lady at the gate says, Welcome to the Rose Bowl"  Friend burst into tears. 

Other friends-   John R and Mike A- called to say, "We're on Venice Beach.  Wish you were here."  Yeah, I wish I was there too.  Seven inches of blowing snow in Royal Oak can't put a damper on the afterglow of one of the greatest Spartan wins in history. 

Thanks for the updates, Sparty MSU.  It was almost (not quite) like being there.  Good photos too

On to the game. . .

I am incredibly impressed with the passing game.  Connor Cook was good.  Connor Cook was also lucky.  Spartans really needed both to be successful.  Did you see the Stanford interception that wasn't?  Thanks to Little 5-0,  First down Spartans!  Did you see the catch and run (Run, Bennie, Run) by Bennie Fowler?  Bennie was plenty fast, but not fast enough.  Bennie is a senior, so I can't say, "Work on the wheels in the off-season, Bennie."  Did you see Bennie's "turn-around catch?  Of course you did! 
Then there is the incredible Mr. Lippett.  the Stanford defense blitzed and the Spartans picked it up in time for Cook to find Tony over the middle for the catch, run, and stretch for the go-ahead score.  Euphoria was felt all across Spartan Nation.

The running game wasn't bad either.  The first half, Langford was stuffed.  But this game reminded me SO much of the OSU game when we began to have more success in the 2nd half.  The only problem is that Jeremy was stripped of the ball when the Spartans were driving for a sure-touchdown that would have iced the game.  "Ice" is a good term to use when is 12 degrees in Royal Oak and 75 in Pasadena.  Nonetheless, that was a good strip by the Stanford defense.  Unfazed, Jeremy apologized to the offensive line,  and to Connor Cook.  Nice gesture Jeremy, but not necessary.  We're a team!  We succeed together and we fix things together!

Again,  the Spartan Defense didn't disappoint.  There was reason to worry.  Max Bullough was suspended.  In past years, that would have been enough to put the Spartans down.  But Kyler Ellsworth, Shilique Calhoun, Denicos Allen and company rose to the occasion.  Denicos stuffed Stanford on 4th down and 3 yards to go.  Ellsworth and Calhoun stuffed Stanford on 4th down and 1 yard to go which sealed the game.

The secondary had a decent game, but there were uncharacteristic big plays given up.  Darqueze was called for pass interference.  He is human after all!  Isaiah Lewis got burned for a long gainer.  But, Wayans had an awesome interception. 

Today, it was announced that Coach D got a new contract.  Alas, I doubt that Pat Narduzzi will be back.  With 7 seniors on defense, the strength of next year's team may, in fact, be the offense.  Questions are:  How do we get Damian Terry on the field?  Can Jeremy Langford compete for the Heisman Trophy?  Will Connor Cook repeat with a solid season?  Who will emerge as the next great Spartan Receiver- Kings or Mumphrey?  

Everything will work itself out.  For the time-being, enjoy the victory Spartan fans.


SpartyMSU headed to Rose Bowl

SpartyMSU has Hotel, Airfare and Tickets, looking forward to being there with the team.  

It has been a long drought for the Spartans and the fan base. We have lived through some tough times, but now are enjoying 6 years of prosperity… And with Dantonio’s leadership, and the coaching staff being consistent, I don’t see it changing any time soon.

SpartyMSU will Blog, Tweet, sending live updates though the game, and while at the parade, with the team, and any tidbit we pick up while out there during game preparation.

Can’t wait !

Sparty On !!


Spartans are Rose Bowl Bound

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!   

Get Ready OSU- 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! 


My Spartan brother doesn't agree that we should sit Cooke and Langford. If football wasn't such a brutal game, I would say, "play 'em."  Spartans have a huge opportunity.  They'll need everyone to beat OSU.  The Minnesota game is only meaningful if MSI loses and then loses to OSU.  

Coach D says he will lobby for an at-large bid to the BCS if MSU loses to OSU.  Frankly, I don't see the Big 10 (outside of U-M or OSU) doing well in the BCS political world.  We need to beat OSU.  Minnie Ha-Ha doesn't matter.


Minnesota vs. MSU

Happy Thanksgiving to Spartan Nation!

Prediction: MSU 30, Minnesota 10.

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!"


Minnesota: This is SPARTA !

Spartans continue to roll....

Sparty On !!!

Spartans are Legends Division Champs

The beginning of the 3rd quarter sees the Spartans leading the Wildcats -  14 to 6.  After some bad clock management, the Spartans promptly came out after half-time with fourth down and one yard to go. . . took a delay-of-game penalty to make it fourth and six yards to go for a first down. 

Northwestern turned over the ball to Darqueze Denard (someone says he is as good as Deion Sanders. . . really? I don't know about that. . .)  No harm, no foul. 

Langford finishes with 150 yards.  MSU wins the game 30-6.  Excellent work by the defense.  But, the player of the game is a toss-up between Langford who was offered a scholarship by Middle Tennessee State and Bowling Green, and Connor Cooke.  Cooke had the poise of Kirk Cousins and leadership of Jeff Smoker.  He made all of the throws and the Receivers caught practically everything that came their way. 

Now onto the Big Ten Championship Game.  But first, let's see how Coach D and Coach N play next week's game against Minnesota.  Is it best to let the starters play half the game or do you "play it real" and keep working on syncing the offense?

Go Green!

Spartans are in control; Coach D is surly

The Spartans are in Evanston today.  First half highlights include:  

1) Isiash Lewis gets ejected after a heckuva hit on NW QB Colter.  This observer doesn't see how Lewis can not be ejected.
2) Running Back Jeremy Langford gets 80 yards in the first half.
3) Then. .  the immaculate touchdown reception. . .  Bennie Fowler hauls in a 87 yard TD pass thrown into the wind that should have been an incompletion.

Important:  The Spartans mismanaged the clock with 1 and 1/2 minutes to go in the First Half.  Coach D was questioned about this by the ESPN sideline reporter.  "Ask me another question."  Coach, you messed up.  Say, "we'll correct that miscue."

Stay tuned for highlights from the 2nd Half.

U-M blows chance to help the State's best football team

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