Why, hello Spartan fans. Pleasant weekend we are having, huh?
Yesterday a top ten-ranked team hosted a game coming off of a bye week. That was not the team that won. The team that won, of course, was the Michigan State Spartans because that’s what they do in this matchup lately.
Folks, we’ve got plenty of good, a little bit of bad and a handful of random to sort through after MSU’s fourth win of the year.
As always, if anything was missed here, let’s banter about it in the comments.
The Defense: Forcing five turnovers on the road? Wait, which team was the defense of a top ten squad again?
The Defense, again: The run defense held their attack to less than three yards per carry and their passing attack was also limited. Also, Josiah Scott isn’t just a boss on the field, but also on the Twitter:
First half offense: Against a solid defense, the Spartans generated their only points of the game in two different ways. The first was on a score off the legs of Brian “White Lightning” Lewerke to make it a 7-3 game. Later on a beautiful screen call to Madre London made it 14-3 with the eventual game-winning points.
Madre London: Need to give Madre an individual shoutout here. With LJ out Madre’s responsibility increased and he delivered to the tune of 59 yards on 10 carries. That was a big time showing.
The defense, one more time: The play of the front seven has been the most pleasant surprise this season. Bachie continues to be everywhere (10 tackles, one sack), Andrew Dowell had a great game (nine tackles) and former walk-on Kenny Willekes continues to be an absolute beast (nine tackles, two sacks).
Jake Hartbarger: Hope he’s icing his foot after 11 punts for 430 yards. Once again, he was crucial in flipping the field on Saturday.
John O’Corn: Alleged quarterback John O’Corn had a big game for Michigan State, throwing three interceptions that were pieces of performance art. The first was a brilliant catch by David Dowell before he notched his second interception on a pass completely airmailed for turnover No. 5. O’Corn’s second interception was also a dandy, hitting targeted receiver Joe Bachie in stride:
I would feel bad clowning this quarterback that all but cost his team the game, but not with the way he plays. When you cry after being hit in a football game and then flop like this, you’ve lost all respect with anyone. I’m just thankful he really put that bye week to good use to help prepare for the Spartans.
Jim Harbaugh: Bum. Glad he’s their coach.
HA YEAH RIGHT IM HERE ALL NIGHT BABY, GO GREEEEEEN pic.twitter.com/Up46OCswib— Matt Sheehan (@Sheehan_Sports) October 8, 2017
Mark Dantonio: Thank the heavens this man is our coach. He’s made himself the de facto governor of the state with eight wins in the last decade against the program that, for some reason, thinks they are actually elite.
14 of MSU’s 22 starters were either freshmen or sophomores. Dantonio and the boys went in with a game plan and executed against a top ten team. He owns this rivalry, he owns the Big House and right now he owns this state.
The ratings: Plenty of people got to see this one.
Per ESPN, MSU's win over Michigan on ABC earned a 3.9 Nielsen overnight, the highest-rated college football game of week over all networks.— Chris Solari (@chrissolari) October 8, 2017
Desmond Howard’s takes: Desmond Howard — who still barely clings to the relevance of a trophy he won before I was even born — had a great take on College Gameday.
Desmond Howard this morning on Gameday: "Michigan doesn’t look at MSU the same as OSU or Notre Dame because MSU isn’t a national brand.”— Rico Beard (@RicoBeard) October 7, 2017
Please keep giving us those brilliant takes, Howard. If your program is what being a national brand is like, I don’t want to be one.
RIP 3-9 jokes: Really going to miss those jokes. Not sure what they have now.
(That sentence was also between 10-14 words long in case anyone didn’t count)
Second half offense: I just about had a stroke five separate times in the second half. I get it — it’s raining and passing really isn’t a viable option. But getting nothing out of three turnovers really made this game closer than it should have been. All well, can’t mope too much — those conditions were miserable. And we won.
The late holding call: Just thank goodness that holding call on what should have been the game’s final drive didn’t help blow the game. But still, that’s the worst penalty you’ll see all year. Glad we got it out of the way.
We didn’t win by more: We could’ve beaten them by 100 and it still wouldn’t have been enough.
All hail Justin Layne: Not only did he have have a solid game containing their air game, but he delivered the gif of the year:
This isn’t even talking smack: This is just stating facts...
Dantonio on whether this win changes the rivalry: "I don't know, we've done it 8 times."— Graham Couch (@Graham_Couch) October 8, 2017
Speaking of Graham Couch: He delivered absolute gold with his column today. Every word of it is perfect. Please give it a read.
Have to love the #Disrespekt train: (Just going to act like I also didn’t pick the other team to win too)
WHOA they have trouble with the picks... pic.twitter.com/mvozqKsYX6— Colin Dilworth (@Colin_Dilworth) October 8, 2017
BTN dropped some Twitter heat: Or is it just Twitter knowledge at this point?
"Can't be the little brother if you win 8 out of the last 10 in the series." pic.twitter.com/YV5vNyxHzo— Michigan St. on BTN (@MichiganStOnBTN) October 8, 2017
And don’t forget to celebrate this week: Until the Minnesota game, that is.