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MSU football: The Good, The Bad, The Random vs. Rutgers

For the ninth time this season, we look back on a win

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Rutgers Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

There are three things in life I absolutely love.

Bad wedding speeches. Green Lantern pizza. Blowout MSU wins.

Folks, we were blessed with one of those on Saturday. Our Spartans are coming from Rutgers High School with a ninth win on the season, all but completing an incredible turnaround on the season.

Gang, for the last time of the regular season, let’s get into it...

The Good

Time of possession: I was at a family and friends get together for this game, watching closely in between small talk about how my job was going and way-too-early Christmas plans. I thought I was going insane because every time I looked at the TV, our Spartans had the ball. Well, after seeing the numbers I know I wasn’t going crazy...

Rutgers had the ball for TWELVE MINUTES AND TEN SECONDS all night. You can’t even make Thanksgiving mashed potatoes in that short of time.

The run game: First off, I get it — it’s Rutgers. Your family Thanksgiving football team could’ve put up as good of a fight as Rutgers did. Maybe even better, depending on how your uncle’s knee is feeling that day. But still, some major positives out of this game.

No one stole the show, but our Spartans kept it balanced. Gerald Holmes had 59 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Brian Lewerke (WHITE. LIGHTNING.) had 68 yards and a touchdown with his legs. LJ Scott also had 55 yards and Madre London also scored a touchdown.

That run defense though: For the ninth time this season Michigan State held a team under 100 rushing yards. That’s insane. Rutgers only ran for 14 yards on Saturday on 12 carries, giving them (feverishly pounds calculator) about 1.2 yards per carry. Yikes.

Oh, and this defense also returns nine starters next season. Let’s never forget that.

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Rutgers Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

McMuffin: Matt Coghlin was money in the game, knocking through four field goals with the longest coming from 46 yards. Getting those field goals early was nice to take any remote feeling of stress away too to make it a two-possession game quickly.

Mark Dantonio: One win away from No. 100 at MSU and flipped the season from 3-9 to 9-3. The man is truly a legend.

Brian Lewerke: Last but not least, Lewerke looked like he is back on track after two shaky performances. Crazy what happens when you do play against a menacing OSU defensive line or play in sideways sleet.

He was sharp with his arm — not perfect, as we saw with his overthrow to Matt Dotson for what would’ve been a first quarter touchdown — and showed the last two weeks weren’t the real him. He was smart with his legs, using them for big plays in the first half.

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Rutgers Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The Bad

Penalties: Maybe this is too much armchair quarterbacking, but it looked like when they got up 10-0 quickly they cooled the jets and lost focus (who could blame them, really?). In the first half the Spartans had seven penalties for 60 yards, and one negated a great trick play with Cody White tossing a bomb. Questionable call on that one, but still, would’ve liked to see a cleaner game.

Red zone offense: I mean, this is a moot point, but settling for field goals wasn’t ideal. Again, very trivial now after a blowout win, but I need something else to throw in “The Bad” section.

Only one more game: I’m kind of sad thinking about it.

The Random

I mean, this is too easy: The jokes write themselves...

Wait, one more: I mean, clean it up guys.

I wonder where the money is going: Big day for MSU got bigger with old tweets that aged like wine.



Let’s get a quick grade: Alright gang, give us your grade for the season. Two wins against then-No. 7 teams, a 9-3 year and doing it all with youth. However, there was also a loss to Northwestern, a lopsided loss to Notre Dame and I think Ohio State just scored on us again.


What grade would you give MSU for this season?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    (112 votes)
  • 40%
    (289 votes)
  • 36%
    (262 votes)
  • 6%
    (46 votes)
  • 0%
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    C- or lower (you’re lying if you answer this)
    (1 vote)
718 votes total Vote Now

Let’s go bowling: You’ll notice a theme here with the recent bowl projections.

Jason Kirk of SBNation has MSU in the Outback Bowl vs. LSU. Jerry Palm of CBS Sports has MSU in the Outback Bowl vs. LSU. ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura and David Hale have us in the Outback Bowl, but against Mississippi State and South Carolina, respectively.

Eric Single of Sports Illustrated has MSU in the Outb--wait...the Citrus Bowl against Mississippi State.

Don’t forget about futbol: Shoutout to the men’s soccer team for punching their ticket to the Elite Eight.

And for the ninth time this season: DO NOT FORGET TO CELEBRATE. GO GREEEEEEN.