OH WELL HELLO EVERYONE.
HAVING A GOOD WEEKEND?
I CERTAINLY AM.
LET’S TALK ABOUT THOSE MICHIGAN STATE FOOTBALL SPARTANS DOWNING A TOP TEN TEAM IN MEL TUCKER’S FIRST SEASON, SHALL WE????
HOW ABOUT THAT FOR A SATURDAY?!? Not only is it the first time since 2015 both men’s hoops and football won on the same day, but it’s also a nice little cherry on top when the hockey team takes care of business too.
And it’s also how the football and basketball games went down too.
The football team – as cliché as this is about to be – showed a ton of grit in the face of adversity as they watched their 17-0 lead dwindle down to a late 20-17 deficit. All the Spartans did from that point on was bear down on defense and get a few key plays on offense (NOT easy against that Wildcats defense) to put the ball on Matt Coghlin’s foot enough times to get the win.
And for basketball? Wow…this is going to be a fun team. They’re balanced, tremendously unselfish and, I think, primed to be one of the best defensive teams in the nation.
WHAT A DAY.
Let’s talk about the defense to kick things off. Holding Northwestern’s running game to just 63 yards was incredible, but what won the game was the turnover margin.
Northwestern came into this game as one of the nation’s best at holding onto the football but WHOOPS DIDN’T PLAN FOR A SHAKUR BROWN IN YOUR LIVES, DID YA??
Tack on four sacks, eight tackles for loss and that massive stop on fourth-and-one to start the game and set the tone was *chefs kiss* just delightful.
Antjuan Simmons with 13 tackles, one sack and two tackles for loss. The front line of Naquan Jones, Dashaun Mallory, Drew Beesley and Jacub Panasiuk was as good as you could’ve asked.
True freshman Angelo Grose just balling out, and there are some people very high on him.
I asked Antjuan Simmons about true freshman DB Angelo Grose, who had six tackles and a pass breakup today.— Colton Pouncy (@colton_pouncy) November 29, 2020
His response: pic.twitter.com/wVmbQVvaja
All in all, pretty stellar performance from the defense especially when they needed it the most – to set the tone early on and to give the offense a chance at the end.
Matt Coghlin once again was a hero this season with some BIG TIME kicks.
LOOK AT THAT STINGER THREE IRON FOR ALL MY GOLF FANS OUT THERE. NEVER A DOUBT. (I’ll just act like I didn’t freak out when it left his foot because it looked like it was going to be wide 20 yards and short another 15).
For a guy that’s been up and down, he sure was up when it was needed the most. Kicks of 44 and 48 yards to tie and win the game, respectively? Yeah, that gets you Game Hero honors.
That was as good of an effort you can ask from the run game. It’s been a really, really tough go at it so far this season for MSU in the ground game. The Wildcats came into the game as one of the best against the run, but MSU was able to grind out over 4.1 yards per carry on the afternoon.
That, of course, included a 10-yard run by Rocky Lombardi on third-and-eight to extend the eventual go-ahead field goal drive and another 12-yard run on third-and-10 to chew up a crucial two minutes on the Spartans’ last drive before punting away.
Let’s talk more about Rocky. Look, 11/27 passing might not get your enshrined in Canton immediately, but that was as good of a 11/27 line you’ll see. You didn’t see him trying to force passes when he was in trouble like he has in the past. He struck gold with that early touchdown to Jalen Nailor and hit Jayden Reed on a beautiful pass to start the second quarter.
He wasn’t perfect, but he was a quarterback that learned over the bye week. Yes, he had one interception, but all in all he was solid — especially when you tack on his 65 rushing yards.
Anyone that had an under 43.5 ticket, my deepest condolences go out to you. That last second touchdown was fun for everyone but them.
Just like the Michigan game, I could complain about the conservative play-calling at times but, also just like the Michigan game, IT DIDN’T MATTER! Spartans got the win, baby.
All right I’m going off script here, but what the hell Vanderbilt? You have Sarah Fuller making history out here as the first woman to play in a power five football game and you can’t even give her an extra point attempt, let alone a field goal try?
Also, Michael Penix’s injury. That’s just absolutely devastating for a kid that’s been through enough injuries already and a fan base that’s riding a euphoric season.
Hands up, I’ll out myself here — I thought MSU had a zero percent chance of winning on Saturday. I didn’t think the offense would score touchdowns, plural. I also thought they had a zero percent chance against Michigan and WELP look what happened there! I am absolutely JAZZED to be a moron that’s wrong sometimes.
So with Ohio State (maybe) appearing on the schedule next, there is no way MSU is winning that game. NONE. ZERO. NO CHANCE AT ALL.
Also, what was going on with the time lapse that Big Ten Network was rolling between Spartan Stadium and Breslin Center? I swear I saw the Mackinaw Bridge in the distance at one point. Why are we turning a five-minute walk into a 28-minute car ride?
OK, it’s time for my new favorite weekly tradition — LAUGHING AT MICHIGAN. Letting up 234 rushing yards to Penn State was a hilarious watch on Saturday. Where are all these four AND five STARZZZZZZ recruits we always here about in the offseason? Oh, there they are — on the ground flattened like Wile E. Coyote as Penn State’s true freshman Kayvon Lee road grates another 13-yard run on them.
This is what $8 million a year gets you from “The Savior” in Ann Arbor?
Highest Paid CFB Coaches— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) November 28, 2020
Nick Saban: $9.1M
Ed Orgeron: $8.7M
Dabo Swinney: $8.3M
Jim Harbaugh: $8M
The interesting part?
Saban, Swinney & Orgeron have won the last 3 National Championships, while Harbaugh just lost by double digits to an 0-5 Penn State team.
So let’s just do a comparison and see where Michigan State’s first-year head coach Mel Tucker has his program. Surely he can’t be anywhere near the likes of Alabama and Georgia in any categories, right? RIGHT?!?!
Teams with multiple AP top 15 wins:— Luke (@LukeDionise) November 29, 2020
Ummm...you don’t see a whole lot of guys laying the wood like this against Derrick Henry.
And on the note of NFL Spartans, congrats to Josiah Scott for getting his first NFL start down in Jacksonville!
Gang, this has probably been the most bizarre season we’ll see as Spartan fans. It’s been brutal at times but, my goodness, has it been a complete blast at times, too.
So, with that said, let’s make sure we celebrate these fun moments a little extra. WHAT A YEAR THIS HAS BEEN. GO GREEN!