Wow. Just wow.
Alright, before anyone says it, I will. “It was just Western.”
OK, great. Before this game started, what did you want to see out of this team? I think a reasonable goal was the offense scoring four touchdowns and the defense letting up a max of two scores. On offense they exceeded that, and on defense they just about did it.
You talk about a perfect week two game (especially after how week one went) and you got yourself a pretty solid weekend!
I mean, geez, where do I even begin?
How about with our new starting running back Eli Collins? Holy smokes, the kid just looks like a running back. Finding holes. Getting yards even when there are no holes. Speed. Cuts. Vision. Never having a run end behind the line of scrimmage. Averaging 11.3 yards per carry. Somehow doing this…
Elijah Collins somehow made it through this for a 58-yard run. pic.twitter.com/tEspjNnMrX— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) September 8, 2019
And let’s give some credit to the offensive line too for that performance on the ground and allowing zero sacks. Sure, it’s against Western, but that was such a big step forward from last week. They went from “here we go again” to “HEY, we can have a running game!” all in one week. Now of course that’s a small sample size, but hey, we just needed any signs of optimism.
Brian Lewerke looked solid all night with 314 yards and three touchdowns, looking comfortable most the night too. The play calling set him up with open receivers, and he nailed them. When the coverage was tight, he was finding windows. This is the Brian Lewerke we all remember seeing.
The plan with Jalen Nailor out indefinitely seems to be a solid one with Darrell Stewart back in the slot. He had himself an alright day with 10 catches and 185 yards (just five yards away from a top 10 single game performance in MSU history). CJ Hayes looked solid taking Stewart’s wideout spot, and that’s a strong trio of receivers out there with Cody White rounding out the gang.
As usual, the defense was outstanding with Kenny Willekes leading the front seven with two sacks and two tackles for loss. Arguably the defensive play of the game came from Xavier Henderson, who snatched a red zone interception right before half to take away any momentum Western was building up before also receiving the ball at half.
Tyriq Thomson also grabbed his second career interception as well. The No Fly Zone is growing by the game.
Matt Coghlin is simply automatic, bringing his season total to 7/7. That’s tied for the most field goals made amongst Power Five teams. Who’s the other kicker? Well, you’ll see him soon, as it’s Arizona State’s Christian Zendejas.
And we’ll save the best for last with Mark Dantonio tying Duffy Daugherty for the all-time wins record at Michigan State with 109 victories. For a hot second, let’s just appreciate where this program is now compared to where it was when he took over. From a “Same Old Spartans” program that resembled the Detroit Lions for the better part of 15 years to a program that’s established itself as a top 20 program with the conference titles and bowl wins to back it up.
Man I’m going to have to get really creative here. Alright…here I go.
About three hours before the game started, two helicopters flew overhead. That caused about a 20-second disruption on our antenna feed at the tailgate, and we missed a play in the Clemson-Texas A&M game because of it. UNACCEPTABLE.
I really wish you could exit and reenter the stadium. We were hungry for food and some people wanted another beer, we didn’t feel like getting ripped off for sub-par stadium food and left to a tailgate in the Spartan Stadium lot. I wish we could’ve come back into the stadium but, all well, I feel like that’s getting too greedy. I understand why that’s not allowed.
Hey Brian, my man, maybe we don’t try to launch ourselves over two players when we really, really, really need you healthy the next few months here. Alright? Thanks.
The neon jerseys are still not good. Not even under the lights. Not even while hanging up 50+ points.
Zeke the Wonderdog just had an OK day. Have to get more production out of him.
Alright, that’s all I got. I feel like those were five strong ones.
There is nothing better than the atmosphere of a night game. Tailgate all afternoon. Watch football all day in build-up to your game (we appreciated the effort, Army). Watch your team kickoff under the lights in front of an electric atmosphere.
With that said...there is nothing worse than the drive home from a night game. At one point along I-96, I would’ve paid $500 for someone to take the wheel and bite the remaining 40 minutes of the drive off. It was just an hour and a half drive home, but it might as well have been eight hours. I happily welcome the 4 p.m. kickoff next weekend.
Mark Dantonio is now so bored at identifying diamond-in-the-rough talent on the football field, he’s now doing on the basketball court.
Who knew? A few years ago, Coach O walked MSU coach Mark Dantonio into the @UDJBasketball open gym. Coach D asked me, “Who is that kid? Does he play football?” When I said no, he said, “He should!” Good eye coach! Early results show Elijah Collins is the real deal. @24foshow— Pat Donnelly (@UDJHoopsCoach) September 8, 2019
Place your bets! Our Spartans open up at -10.5 favorites against the Arizona State Fighting Herm Edwards in a revenge game from last year’s contest that took place in an oven. MSU is, of course, coming off a steamrolling of WMU and Arizona State is coming off a dog fight against Sacramento.
Who you got next weekend?
This poll is closed
I laughed out loud at this tweet for roughly three minutes.
PJ Fleck dressed like he works a churro cart at Mickey’s Toontown pic.twitter.com/bRYBoKomaW— Farmer Jones (@thefarmerjones) September 8, 2019
Here are some thoughts you didn’t ask for on other Big Ten games...
- Yep, so Ohio State hasn’t lost their stride at all. Cincinnati was lauded as a legit team all offseason, was held in high regard after beating UCLA High School and then got 40-pieced in Columbus. Are they a little overrated? Yes. Is Ohio State just also that good? Yes.
- Army...I don’t want to say we’re disappointed in you...but why did you have to lose the “who wants to lose this more?” game against Michigan?
- Yeah, OK, so Maryland might be somewhat decent this year. Did NOT see that one coming.
- It ends up building up a world of hype around a team that’s coming off a 4-8 season will not be paying off this year. Sorry, Nebraska.
- 2-0 Illinois?!?!?
AND AS ALWAYS, DON’T FORGET TO CELEBRATE.
Check out the highlights from last night's 51-17 #VictoryForMSU over Western Michigan. With the No. 19 Spartans' win, Coach Dantonio tied the school record for victories, matching Duffy Daughtery's 109 wins! #ActionGreen#GoGreen #ChaseTheMoment pic.twitter.com/x3fMuMHPH9— Michigan State Football (@MSU_Football) September 8, 2019