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The Good, The Bad, The Random in MSU football’s win over Rutgers

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As always, we’ve got some things to go over

NCAA Football: Rutgers at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

This is as bittersweet as it gets.

On one hand, it’s a bummer the regular season is already over. On the other hand...thank goodness the regular season is finally over.

We have a little bit to go over, so let’s just dive into it.

NCAA Football: Rutgers at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

The defense was, once again, outstanding. I know it’s Rutgers, but a 10-point performance still plays. Only thing that you could maybe mark them down for was the lack of pass rush late in the game, but they’ve been busting their you-know-whats for 13 straights weeks. They get a pass for that.

The “in case of emergency break glass” was shattered with Josiah Scott playing, putting his redshirt in danger (more on that later). And it’s a good thing he did play, because he was arguably the MVP with his two picks.

The Brandon Sowards punt return was huge. Yes, we all are well-aware of the struggles on the punt team. But Sowards return of 14 yards to set up the struggling offense on the 35 yard line for the final drive was pretty crucial. The offense needed every yard they could get on Saturday, and Sowards delivered.

And shoutout to Cody White too.

Yes, he hasn’t played in a little bit, but let’s get a shoutout for Felton Davis – a huge reason we are going bowling. Without his insane grab during the game-winning touchdown drive against Utah State and the audible he called on the game-winning play at Penn State, this team doesn’t get to seven wins. A shame it had to end the way it did, but his contributions can’t go unnoticed.

The Bad

I’m going to go through this without sounding like I’m beating a horse that’s been dead since Felton Davis blew his Achilles.

We all know how bad the offense is. Here’s a new, fun stat that sums it up pretty well.

And I think what’s driving me the craziest is the injury excuses. Sure, MSU has had bad injury luck like we’ve never seen before. That shouldn’t mean you’re scoring two touchdowns over the span of three games. Not when those defenses are Ohio State, Nebraska and Rutgers. Not exactly the Steel Curtain, Purple People Eaters and the 2013 MSU defense.

Here’s how much injuries shouldn’t matter – Maryland hung up a 50 spot on Ohio State with their backup QB playing last week. If the Terps are 50-piecing the Buckeye defense, your team should be able to muster up at least two touchdowns – and I’m being generous.

And no, we’re not getting the recently-fired Kliff Kingsbury at offensive coordinator for three reasons. 1) I doubt anyone is getting fired off this staff. 2) If they weren’t willing to pay Harlon Barnett enough money to stick around East Lansing, they’re sure as hell not going to pay the $1 million+ price tag for Kingsbury’s services. 3) MSU is a pro-style offense and Mark Dantonio will only have it that way. That’s just the way it is, folks.

Lombardi wasn’t great on Saturday, and hopefully that doesn’t stay the status quo. I really don’t think it will either – I mean, that Purdue game did happen. The Lombardi we saw against Rutgers was not the same one we saw in that Purdue game.

Purdue Rocky was making reads and throwing with accuracy. Rutgers Rocky was dialed into one receiver on many plays and overthrowing anything beyond 10 yards.

It’s been a strange year for the redshirt quarterback. Plays against Purdue and looks pretty damn good, gets benched for an admittedly hurt quarterback two weeks in a row, plays in awful conditions at Nebraska where there must have been 10+ drops and now this. What a wild ride for the young QB.

NCAA Football: Rutgers at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The Random

Alright, let’s go bowl game projecting. A lot will shake out next week whether OSU gets a playoff spot or a Rose Bowl spot after they surely beat Northwestern. Right now though, here’s where we stand...

Sports Illustrated, College Football News and CBS Sports have us slated for the Outback Bowl. SBNation has us in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl. Athlon has us in Nashville for some Music City Bowl action. Bleacher Report has us back in Cali for the Redbox Bowl.

I really hope Josiah Scott keeps his redshirt and doesn’t play in the bowl game. None of those bowls mentioned above are worth burning up a redshirt over.

Now, before you hit me with the “he won’t even be here for his fifth year if he does redshirt, idiot” just know that I agree. I do think Scott will be going pro the second he could...but that insurance of having a fifth year of eligibility remaining is nice.

I would hate for him to not have the draft stock he thinks he has or, heaven forbid, hurt his draft stock whether it be by performance or injury (just look at LJ Scott) and not have a chance to come back and try to help it. All for the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl? Yeah, no thanks.

We are now a futbol school, in case you were wondering.

This was a pretty cool moment. Always nice to see these student-athletes pay it forward to their young fans.

I can’t lie, it was pretty hilarious to see Michigan get 60-pieced and miss out on Indy yet again. Of course we have our own issues over here. And is that petty of me or whatever? Sure, and I could not care less. To see the “who’s got it better than us” and “those who stay will become champions” bit turn into “the seven Big Ten teams that have played in Indy have it better than us” and “those who stay will almost have a chance to play to become champions” is comedic gold.

I know there’s fans of the other side that will say “hardy har this is MSU’s best win of the season” but, just like their mantras, that’s not true either. We actually beat top 15 teams on the road every once in a while. That win is a little bigger than a game we weren’t involved in, like the ones they’ve celebrated over the years...but it was still hilarious.

And, as always, make sure to celebrate the win. Go Green.