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Ranking Mark Dantonio’s 100 wins: 2010 MSU tops Wisconsin without Dantonio for win No. 16

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This one was arguably the victory that launched MSU to greatness

MSUSpartans.com

Welcome back from another weekend that means we are closer to MSU football.

To hold us over for the next five weeks until MSU kicks off again, we are diving right back into the 100 wins countdown.

If you missed any of the previous wins, we’ve got the entire list right here.

Win No. 16

Oct. 2, 2010: No. 24 MSU 34, No. 11 Wisconsin 24

This is one where Mark Dantonio wasn’t even present for the game, watching from the hospital after suffering a heart attack two weeks prior.

Regardless, this one counts to his total and the win displayed the resilience and calculated risks seen by Dantonio-coached teams.

MSUSpartans.com

How They Won

It was a high-scoring affair, leading to plenty of highlights on the day. Let’s break down the best five plays of the game in chronological order:

5. Keshawn Martin returned a punt for a 76-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter, giving the Spartans a 13-10 lead they would never give back.

4. A 4th-and-1 conversion with the ball at midfield, just 57 seconds away from halftime. Le’Veon Bell took it inside the 25 yard line...

3...and that drive turned into a Kirk Cousins-to-Mark Dell touchdown to make it a 20-10 lead at halftime.

2. Two third down conversions in the same drive by Larry Caper with MSU holding onto a 27-24 lead in the fourth quarter. The first on a 3rd-and-11 on the MSU 28 yard line that flipped the field on a 35 yard screen pass. The second came on 3rd-and-5 at the Wisconsin 26 yard line to put MSU in the red zone.

1. Later on during that drive, MSU pumped the lead back to 10 with a 4th-and-goal conversion by Cousins-to-BJ Cunningham.

What This Win Meant

Looking back, it really meant MSU was now the real deal.

Heck, even then it felt like MSU jumped the hurdle into greatness with this win.

Coming off an electric win over Notre Dame two weeks prior (you’ll see that one later in the countdown), MSU was vaulted into the Big Ten season with the national spotlight on them.

This was also arguably MSU’s toughest game in the conference, and getting that out of the way early with a win — without Dantonio there — was crucial in capturing the first Big Ten title in 20 years.