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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Spartans Enter Game #1 in Defense - Back it up with 9 sacks vs Bucks

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Flying Spartan - another sack!

Well, the Spartans never seem to take the easy way out. With 5 minutes left, Ohio State had amassed all of 85 yards of offense and never threatened to score. With 3:30 left in the game I was wondering if we could really pitch shut out while losing the turnover battle 3-1 away from home. Of course we had to give up a TD with 10 seconds left, just a couple minutes after a Cousins interception. Man, am I starting to sound like a chUMp? You know, complaining about the way we WIN?
 Forget about it. Fans should be much more enthused about this win than it we have demonstarted. The Spartans set a new MSU record with 9 sacks and the defense is still ranked #1 nationally (only one senior on the Spartans starting D!). It was an excellent win and sets the table for to hand our chUMps down the road a dose of reality. After five consecutive home games, they are 5 and OH. Now they go to Northwestern (lost today) while we get healed and prep for them through a bye week. I'll take our coaching staff at home with 2-weeks to prepare for a rivalry game - that is an undeniable edge for the Spartans. By the way, if a chUMp complains about the bye week to you, you can point them to 2013 when they
basically get 3-weeks to prepare. They play Indiana at home before a bye week prior to playing MSU at Spartan Stadium. How do they get away with playing all but 4 games at home this year? You can ask that when they complain about the bye week.

GO Spartans!
This story is a good recap of the game.
Drew Sharp

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State could have been forgiven if it imagined Michigan State’s relentless pass rush smashing through its offensive huddle.
It already had crashed through everything else.
The Spartans pursued. They swarmed. They punished. And they kept coming — in waves.
When the Spartans victoriously marched off the Ohio Stadium grounds with a 10-7 win, they made a statement as well.
This dominant defensive effort was
the first definitive evidence of Mark Dantonio’s recruiting strategy in five years at Michigan State — offense is schematics, but defense is athleticism. The physical upgrade of the Spartans’ defensive personnel was on display. They constantly harassed freshman Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller from the game. The Buckeyes never developed any sustained offensive flow.
The catcalls filled Ohio Stadium, the wet mist blending with scarlet and grey tears.
The Spartans’ defense certainly deserves the accolades. But it cannot be ignored that this day, again, spoke to the biggest criticism regarding Kirk Cousins — his inability to make enough positive plays in challenging road environments.
This game shouldn’t have been as close as it was through the early minutes of the fourth quarter. But two Cousins turnovers deep in Ohio State territory cost the Spartans valuable points.
Holding a 7-0 road lead is always precarious. You’re just one lethal mistake away from a tie game and a dramatic momentum shift.
The Spartans drove for a late first-half score when the ball slipped loose from Cousins as he attempted a pass. He fell on the ball, but it squirted free and Ohio State recovered. And then on a poorly thrown fade route to tight end Dion Sims in the corner of the end zone, corner Travis Howard grabbed the tipped pass before going out of bounds.
He missed a wide-open B.J. Cunningham on a stop-and-go in the middle of the fourth quarter on third-and-10. Cunningham got behind the secondary and a better pass would’ve provided a clinching touchdown.
Cousins was responsible for all three Michigan State turnovers. Had the Spartans still lost despite a tremendous defensive effort, it would have been a travesty.
And there would have been only one culprit to blame.
When a defense dominates as thoroughly as Michigan State’s did, all you ask of the quarterback is to play within his limitations and don’t make the mistakes that could prove deadly. And quite frankly, Cousins’ disappointing effort couldn’t even attain that minimal standard.
This lack of clutch quarterbacking will cost the Spartans dearly later in the season against teams with better, more experienced quarterbacks.
This was old-school football — defense and field position.
It shouldn’t surprise that the Spartans’ freshman punter might have made the play of the day.
Mike Sadler kept his head while practically everyone else wearing green had lost theirs as the snap slipped through his grasp. The ball skipped inside the Michigan State 20, and it certainly looked as though the Buckeyes commandeered the game’s first break.
But Sadler scooped up the ball, created just enough kicking room to his left and side-winded a beauty of a punt amid the poor conditions and the immediate panic. What could have been excellent field position for the Buckeyes, if not a special-teams touchdown had Sadler fumbled after he picked it up, instead became a 37-yard kick that gave Ohio State the ball around its 35.
The Buckeyes knew then they might be in trouble.
Is it too early for them to get Urban Meyer on the phone?
Contact Drew Sharp: 313-223-4055 or

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