They have every right to sing. They are 7-0 for the first time since 1966 (0ne year before I was born), they lead the Big Ten and they are ranked in the Top 10 schools in the country. Way to go Spartans!
I watched the game via streaming video on my computer as it wasn’t televised. I’m really glad I watched it because it was amazing. Amazingly different than the traditional Spartan game that is.
In the first half, MSU couldn’t seem to put anything together on offense. The run was shut down and the pass game wasn’t doing a whole lot better. Thank God the defense was playing well or we could have been in real trouble. Nearing the end of the first half, it was 3-3 before Illinois put up a late FG taking the 6-3 lead. That score paints the picture of a pretty boring game, but it was not. It was hard-hitting and touch-fought by both teams. And Illinois had the momentum. And then they went in the locker room for halftime.
When they came back out for the second half, MSU was fired-up. Illinois was still tough, but the Spartans got a notch tougher.
The MSU defense deserves some serious respect as they cranked up the heat. Three interceptions AND a fumble recovery is impressive, but how about holding The Fighting Illini to ZERO second half points? Nuthin’! Awesome!
The MSU offense lit a fire scoring 23 unanswered points. Not the best stats of the year (93 yards on the ground and 201 in the air), but respectable. Most importantly, effective. When Illinois showed a crack on defense, Sparty took advantage of it. B.J. Cunningham and Mark Dell were both awesome. And how about Conroy being perfect after seven games! Amazing.
Take a look at the score summary and you can just tell it was a fun second half to watch:
We should note that MSU had WAY too many penalties. Not to mention that Martin dropped a punt for a turn-over. Need to improve on that stuff, it is avoidable.
So, Sparty is 7-0, and 3-0 in the Big Ten. Ohio State lost to Wisconsin, so MSU now sits alone atop the conference. We need to keep our heads straight and our eyes forward, but in the back of my head is a spark of an idea about a certain bowl game that I haven’t been too since New Years Day 1988. I know, don’t even think about that stuff. One game at a time. Focus on Northwestern coming up because they are damn good.
NW is 5-1 and 1-1 in-conference. They pretty much sucked every year when I was at State, but now they are a solid program. The tough part of their schedule starts next week, but they have Indiana, Penn State, Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin, they have some serious work to do from here on out. The game is at Noon at Spartan Stadium, and it will be televised on ESPN. It should be a good one.
You know I like to check in on Michigan and Notre Dame…
Michigan rallied (21 point Q4) but couldn’t pull it off against Iowa. Iowa is tough, no question. Michigan lost 38-28 and drop to 5-2. Once upon a time Heisman contender Denard Robinson went out with an injury and former starter Tate Forcier came in for the second time this year and played very well with the exception of two picks. Word is Denard is okay and will be back against Penn State after a bye week next week. Perfect timing. I hope RichRod gets his squad squared-away and avoids a repeat of 2009 when they opened 4-1 and ended 5-7. Seems like that old seat might be getting a bit warmer then it was two weeks ago. Yikes.
Notre Dame took on Western Michigan (called Wastern if you grew up in the state of Michigan, pretty much a party school in my day), and won 44-20. Western looked pretty good, but not that good. Notre Dame looked good, but not really great. I predict ND will beat Navy (finally), beat Tulsa, lose to Utah, beat Army and lose to USC to wrap the season 7-5. Not awesome, but good enough for a bowl game. Couch Kelly will get it figured out and get the Irish moving in the right direction.
The rankings are out. MSU is #8! That is pretty freakin’ great. Congrats to the Spartans. Wisconsin moves up from #18 to #10 after beating Ohio State. The Buckeyes drop from #1 to #11. Iowa moves up from #15 to #13. Both Northwestern and Michigan received votes, but didn’t crack the Top 25.
As always, a great game Spartans. Let’s enjoy it today, and then let’s get focused on Northwestern. Eyes forward and focused. Stay hungry. GO GREEN!