MSU football: Shoulda, coulda … didn’t

While many of MSU’s coaches and players could see a play here, a call there that would have changed the outcome of Saturday’s loss to Ohio State, William Gholston provided this week’s “Next question” sound bytes.

More on that in a moment. First, let’s get the perfunctory links out of the way:

* Here’s Rexrode’s game story from the Buckeyes’ 17-13 victory and the thing many will be talking about Sunday, the allegations of their tape doctoring. (As will the video of eye-gouging at the bottom of one dogpile – which, no one seems to be mentioning that the Ohio State player had his hand poking at Jack Allen’s facemask at the same time).

* I examine the progress made in the passing game, as well as some of the offensive mistakes that still exist. And here are my grades of the Spartans from this game (biggest difference between mine and Rexrode’s grades is in special teams – the blocked punt as well as the missed field goal weigh more heavily in mine).

* Calloway leads off his notebook with Ohio State QB Braxton Miller’s day and how the Spartans struggled to contain him. Also in there, Brian looks at center Travis Jackson’s broken right leg and injured right MCL, which likely will end his sophomore season.

* Graham Couch looks at the big picture of what this loss means to the Spartans moving forward and how their Rose Bowl hopes still remain intact.

* And Paul Henderson has press conference video from Mark Dantonio and Andrew Maxwell, as well as some stuff from ESPN’s College GameDay from the fans, the analysts and the scene and spectacle.

Back to the postgame assessments and a surly Gholston.

Dantonio said, “When you lose a game 17-16, you have a tendency to say ‘What if?’ a lot and look at single plays and how they would have made a difference.”

Defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi: “I could probably pick 15 plays when we didn’t make a play early in the game,” and then went on to list what they “should’ve” done.

Le’Veon Bell echoed that from the offensive side: “There were a lot of times that we could have made plays. It was a couple of little inches here and a couple of little inches there that could have made a difference in the game.”

Said offensive coordinator Dan Roushar, on opting to run on second down late in that final drive: “Obviously, that’s one you’ll look back on and wish we would have thrown it.”

Quarterback Andrew Maxwell summed up the Spartans’ final drive thusly: “Plays were there to be made. For whatever reason, we didn’t make them.” And on the fast-fading dream of the Rose Bowl, the junior quarterback said, “If we play like we did today…, we’re going to win our fair share and have a chance at it.”

Gholston wasn’t taking part in any kind of that second-guessing with a pack of reporters surrounding him. He gave a lot of brusque answers to questions, his lip scraped up and showing just how physical the game was. Here’s a sampling.

* On nearly sacking Braxton Miller a few times: “Dynamic player. He made plays when we should have made plays.”

* On what he expected to see on the game film: “A lot of holding.”

* On where the blame fell: “If the defense holds them to 0 points, then we win.”

* On what happened as Ohio State got its final first down: “They got the first down.”

(In a certain reporter’s confusion while looking at his notes – my guilty admission – initially it was mentioned that Miller was the ball-carrier. Gholston responds, “HE got the first down?” Said reporter corrects himself and says it was actually Carlos Hyde who went off right side, Gholston reaffirms, “He went off the right side? He got past the first down, so he got the first down.”)

* On trying to prevent Miller’s big plays: “He’s not the only player on the team. He didn’t score – he threw a touchdown, and somebody else ran for a touchdown. He didn’t score.”

* On putting into words his overall view of the defensive performance: “What can you say? They won. What else is there to put into words?”

* On the most frustrating thing coming out of the game: “It’s not necessarily frustration. You don’t know the frustration until you look over the tape.” Did he think he will be frustrated? “Me, personally, I know I will be. There’s a couple plays I should have made that I didn’t make. There’s one sack that me and Denicos (Allen) could have had at the same time, and I know for sure I’m going to be frustrated over that.”

* And on how the team should use this loss moving forward, the usually personable Gholston finally opened up a bit: “This game here, me personally, what I want to do is to challenge myself personally, and I know my teammates are going to do the same thing. We’ll go into the defensive meeting room, we’ll all talk as a unit – we’re going to try and dominate. That’s what we’re going to do with this game. We’re going to look at this game, see what we need to do, and we’re going to try and dominate the rest of the year.”

MSU’s biggest internal program challenges will be to avoid dwelling and, as Gholston pointed out, learning from those mistakes and happenstances. And there will be plenty of self-critique today when the Spartans watch the game again and break down the film.

But as Dantonio added, “You can’t change it, I can’t go back in the past. We’re a 3-2 football team, we still have opportunities in front of us. We’re going to Indiana, and we better not lose sight of that. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves when things happen to us, we have to move forward. And that’s who we have to be as a football team.”

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99 Responses to MSU football: Shoulda, coulda … didn’t

  1. avatar Vanilla Ice says:

    We hired a coach who thinks the game is simple; run, block, and tackle. He believed he could line up against ND and OSU and win playing in his vanilla schemes, but the reality is, he got hammered by both team on his home field. The thrill is gone. Many think that his two good seasons when the B1G was down, validated Dantonio as a top head coach, but it took a lot of lucky bounces and little giants to avoid a record that was a mediocre as his teams performances. Dantonio can pout and whine about Urban Meyer, but Urban is a smart coach and takes no prisoners, and that is how you get to be a BCS contender, which is clearly something Dantonio has not been able to achieve in his tenure at MSU.

  2. avatar '89 Chemistry says:

    Wow! The official transcript only had the final Gholston response. Thanks for the extra celluloid!

    The blocked punt did no harm as such, but if we suppose Rush forces a fumble around the OSU 20, MSU might’ve scored a TD before halftime.

    MSU’s offense compares unfavorably with Miami(OH)’s passing and unfavorably with the ground games of Cal, UCF & UAB. And none of those had a +3 turnover advantage. I’d grade the O a 3/10 at best, and the D a 7/10.

  3. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

    Did Tape Gate affect the outcome, maybe, maybe not. What it does say is paragraphs about the character of the Head Football Coach in CMB. The Urban Criminal Recruiter is a liar and cheat as well as a very small little boy.

  4. avatar TJ says:

    NO sour grapes but once again we see Urban Decay on display-if tapes are required to be sent, why wouldn’t the league look into who altered them and when and what the AD knew and when and what Meyer knew and when. If OSU acts in accordance with its previous statements about being a model program with compliance to try to over come the previous problems, why did they do this? The media should not let this go for OSU will only be happy to let it die. What other schools have they done this to? Or better yet who can be monitoring them to be sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else they play ?

    • avatar jerseyjohn says:

      narduzzi complained a few years ago about notre dame stealing signs..i’m st arting to think he is a sore losing crybaby..i take whatever he says with a grain of salt.

      • avatar MSUFanInSLC says:

        I second this, that is what it seems to me. But, from Joe’s blog, it looks like it came after the “official” press conference.

        This is a good Spartan defense, probably one of the best in the conference maybe in the nation. But, to me it feels like they are under performing. I think they really miss Worthy.

    • avatar G&W75 says:

      Rexrode’s article said that Meyer said he didn’t know anything about it an d then he asked an underling if he knew anything about it and he also denied it. What I want to know is why this is only just happening now when it hadn’t happened in the past. One thing that’s different from the past is a new Head Coach. Can this be the reason why the tapes were edited?

  5. avatar "Internal Challenges" says:

    Some internal Challenge thought’s:

    Leadership: Defense has several leaders
    Offense: Has qualified players to fill all positions But no one that will “take over” the game. This may not be due to the young men. It may be because of stupid coaching decisions when it’s winning time. As in: “Obviously, that’s one you’ll look back on and wish we would have thrown it.” Our running game had provided us with 37 yards up to that point in the game, according to the too big to be called scoreboard video boards. We had moved the ball and then, it’s as if, and it happens EVERY Game, the “Red Buttons” moment. Hey Hey, Ho Ho, STRANGE Things are Happening?!#? Or coming out of half-time flat as a pancake. Or not giving Bell blocking and it has the appearance that no offensive adjustments to the defense alignments are made. Or coaching to help pick up a blitz. Granted, mistakes are going to be made by players, but from my seat it sure looks like, to paraphrase 1.6. The kids are playing their tails off and some offensive coaches are screwing it up……

  6. avatar Breadtruck86 says:

    Everything seems to be happening the hard way for this team this year. There is certainly a lack of mojo, good bounces, etc. that we’ve had the last couple of years. We need to make the game-changing plays that come our way, like the five interceptions (my unofficial count) that we’ve had in our hands that we dropped, or a big catch, CONSISTENTLY MAKING FIELD GOALS, etc. Frustrating to watch, but the team did show improvement versus prior weeks relative to a tough opponent. Here’s to hoping it all comes together soon.

    Nebraska looks like the team to beat.

    • avatar GoSt8Go says:

      All very good points.

    • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

      And all remaining B1G teams are at least as beatable as OSU was.

      • avatar Breadtruck86 says:

        ….and we look as beatable as we have in four years, chem. it’s as if roles have reversed from three years ago, when the offense had so much pressure to execute due to poor defense (remember “fire Narduzzi”?) that they had no margin for error. The bar for a good defense is so high right now that we need every pick six for a winning margin in the game. The defense would never complain that they DID stuff the Bucs and gave the ball back to offense with five minutes to play. Cousins and company put the game away at that point more often than not. They also had Treadwell calling plays, and we’ve quite a fall off in offensive production since then.

  7. avatar Stewart Smalley says:

    We tried really hard & I feel good about that . . . Ghost of Mediocrity – I mean, Biggie. I think we should be OK w/ our team just hoping to beat the Walmarts every year like the old days of Perles (MD’s program trajectory) b/c it makes me feel more comfortable to make excuses about my team like the fan base in A2 than discuss the hard truths about our program. Listen to MD – Booing our team when they are terrible is mean & demeaning to the players who can’t make a play. It’s always better to pretend everything’s OK than deal w/ reality when U are a season ticket holder & have shelled out hard cash for a contender that is now pretender. But that’s OK if U are comfortable w/ losing.

    • avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

      No excuses Stewart. I see what happens on the field. It is what it is. I want to see championships as much as anyone. What I do disagree with is the your “hard truth” which is only the opinion of a superficial observer? So much more goes into success at this level that you do not have any knowledge of. To you everything is as simple as change the coach, bench the player. That is the very same outlook that has led to the program disarray that existed from the early 70′s until the arrival of the current coaching staff. This team can be better than it currently is. It is not currently performing as we’ll as hoped for. The real mark of intestinal fortitude is what you do with that. It is not time to give up, settle, or throw everyone under the bus and start over. Instead it is time to learn, understand and get better. There is no magic here.

      • avatar Stewart Smalley says:

        Please see “internal challenges” & jersey John’s posts – they said it better than I could.

        • avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

          I read their comments and my response is still the same. I’m not a football expert nor claim to be and none that I know of on this blog are. As a former coach and administrator I do know what is needed to be successful, constant review, analysis, improvement, maximum effort, focus, patience and perseverance. Even then success is not guaranteed. There are no entitlements. Neither you, I, or anyone else on this blog is privy to information about this team that gives much insight into where they are in relation to the elements for success. All I have seen is the venting of fans whose expectations (perhaps realistic, perhaps not) have not been met. Unhappy camper myself. I am sure there are 100 coaches and players with far more invested than any of us that are even more unhappy. There is some value in that but the corrective solutions offered on this blog, not so much. The keys to success lie in the hands of the 100 coaches and players. Remember, success is not always measured by victories. Did the original Spartans defeat the Persians? Nothing is ever as simple as it appears.

          • avatar Spartan 81 says:

            I am not an expert, nor do I play one on TV. But I do stay in the Holiday Inn Express on Game nights. I am privileged to talk with a former player who is. I also privileged to pick the brain of a friend of the equipment manager who lives out in Idaho, so with one degree of separation I talk with the people who talk to Dantonio. This is kind of like talking to the Popes personal secretary, is it a Papal audience no, do you have a rough idea what is going on yes. So I have a rough idea what is going on. I know the big picture and that involves success the majority of the time, I am going to start this clock in 2008 for you as most coaches get a pass in year one.
            2009 no success
            2010 success
            2011 success
            That is a program; I have confidence in Dantonio to maximize this year’s results with what he has to work with, and for next year to be much better as 2010 was.

          • avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

            Stayed a few Holiday Inns myself. Know where you’re coming from. No disparagement meant toward blog members. There are occasionally a few things submitted that are worth considering. In general however Chicken Little suggestions like GC in his column today don’t add much value.

          • avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

            Once coached future All-Pro linebacker and All-Pro safety. That didn’t make me an expert. I sucked as a football coach. The only thing they may have learned from me is to persevere in the face of adversity, my coaching.

  8. avatar jerseyjohn says:

    let’s face it..we should have made the rose bowl the last 2 seasons and didn’t..our window has closed..you don’t lose cousins, cunningham, and worthy and get better..at what point do dantonio’s loyalties end and he starts benching people..i’ve seen enough of burkland, lippett, conroy, etc..and roushar needs to go..saban changes coordinators as often as i change my socks..as for maxwell, he is a stiff who doesn’t even consider taking off and running when appropriate..we are looking at losses at u-scum, wisconsin, northwestern and nebraska..our home field advantage no longer exists..we have lost 3 night games to notre dame and have a losing record when game-day is in town..when is the u-conn game in germany..this season is over.

    • avatar behind the green curtain says:

      The events of yesterday are just now sinking in after reviewing and breaking down the film
      It is appalling how many glaring and fundamental coaching mistakes were made. I have always been a big supporter of Coach Dantonio, but I am now starting to question whether MSU made the right decision in 2006. Could we have hired the wrong man?
      Mark Dantonios fall from grace has become a Shakesperian tragedy, the true tragic hero.

      • avatar Tru Ghost of Bo says:

        You’re right on the money, as usual Had MSU stayed the course they would have been ranked in the preseason and would be expected to challenge for the national championship. And at this point in the season, would be wearing a huge “SMILE” (they wouldn’t talk about the record) As the spokes ghost for m. It is truly enlightening to have a glaring mistake, such as you, make comments about glaring mistakes, you having been there, done that, live it, and are a living example of it, to all. I’m sure you’re smiling or would that be sliming???, either way, you’re eminently over qualified.

      • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

        Texas A&M 52 Arkansas 14 is all anyone needs to know about what goes on behind your curtain.

    • avatar bspartanfan says:

      I agree with you 110%!!! I don’t want to see Bennie (hands of stone) Fowler on the field unless it’s mop up time!!! The guy couldn’t catcha cold!!!

      • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

        The only reason Paris Hilton didn’t lose this weekend is they didn’t play this weekend – go on back to the 3rd stall and finish what you started, it’s messing up the wifi.

      • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

        He’s the only WR that blocks. And in my opinion, the coaches need to use him a little more like Keshawn Martin rather than BJ Cunningham (see Northwestern, 2010).

    • avatar GoSt8Go says:

      This team is down, not out, jj. Will you really jump from the train because of 3-2? I understand your frustration. This is a time when a team really needs the support, not the footsteps out the door.

    • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

      The last time you were saying that you stayed away from the TV and missed MSU beat PSU in Happy Valley. Buck up!

  9. avatar ATLSpartan says:

    This is a good team that could easily have won that game. The drops are still a problem but the receivers are improving as is Maxwell. It is looking like this team may end up with another Florida Bowl and be better positioned for a Rose Bowl the following year with our skill guys most likely being much improved in the fall of 2013.

    The receivers are letting the ball get into their bodies and it is bouncing off their chest and head; as opposed to catching it with their hands, (see B J Cunningham).

    The O line still needs recruiting. We never cam close to opening a hole. I think it would have helped to have a two back set where we could hand to Bell or fake to Bell and pitch wide to Nick Hill. They can just key on one back. We have no real chance of running against a good “D”.

    A little disappointed that our “D” couldn’t get the ball back for us at the end.

    • avatar MSUFanInSLC says:

      Nice analysis as always, I still think they have a solid chance at a Rose Bowl this year. Only because there are no standout teams in the B10. We hold serve in the Legends and I think we still end up in Indianapolis against who? Purdue? Wisconsin? A very winnable game.

      The key is to keep improving in the skill positions, they looked a ton better this week.

      My concerns are:
      1.) The defense isn’t as dominate as expected, it’s a good defense that will keep you in games, but it doesn’t look like they can win them.
      2.) The O-Line has been a complete disappointment. We’ve had some key injuries the last 2 years, but still it seems like they should be better.
      3.) It took 5 games for QB and receivers to look average. Isn’t this something we could of worked out in Spring of Fall camps?

      I am not jumping off the Dantonio band wagon. I still think he has been great for MSU and will win a lot of big games here. Maybe we are spoiled but it just seems like we are under-performing across the board, and I think that points at some coaching issues this year.

      I do think, he will get it turned around, and believe in him as a coach. It’s just disappointing is all. One thing we can point to, is Roushar was pretty lousy with play calling for the first half of last year. I think he’s been pretty good this year. The coaches do a good job improving themselves, so we’ll be fine.

      • avatar G&W75 says:

        Chris, was the QB & the receivers working together this summer? and if so, how much? a little, moderate, a lot?

        • avatar Chris Solari says:

          Hard to say how much, since summer workouts are on the players’ own time, but Maxwell and the WRs said there was plenty of 7-on-7 drills over the summer. Not to mention that the experienced players and Maxwell all worked together on the second-team unit and in practices last year. It’s a whole lot different, though, working against minimal/no pressure in practice settings and doing it live in front of 80K fans. I think you saw some of that work paying off Saturday (estimated four drops), but you also saw a very hard-hitting OSU secondary break up some well-thrown passes.

    • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

      These receivers apparently aren’t ready to catch Maxwell’s low-cross-section missiles. Few college players can without 30+ yards for the ball to decelerate. Then the hands come in–or not, so far, in 2012.

      O-line injuries have been costly, and attacking teams at their strengths is always dicey. Plural-back sets would definitely help, imo, but one back needs to be able to block well against strong defensive fronts. (Thomas’s height makes that tough for him near the line of scrimmage.)

  10. avatar mike says:

    There may be no standouts, but get real 1 touchdown in 2 home games against average at best teams!

    • avatar STEVEL says:

      When you consistently recruit 25-35 in the nation , you can’t expect anything better then what we are seeing on the field. Once again the hype over plays the reality. Seems like it is a yearly ritual.

      • avatar Behind the green curtain says:

        Exactly right Steve L Dantonio, should have recruited jucotalent. He better start wearing a sock inside out for good luck

        • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

          You couldn’t win with top ten talent at Arkansas, why in the world would somebody follow your lead? And of other interest to nobody in particular, how’s that bank account doing? I hear Silverman is NOT hiring in January, better luck as a Walmart Greeter in Helena.

      • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

        That’s just goose poop, same level of recruits went 22-4 the last 2 years. You obviously know NOTHING about college athletics or athletes.

        • avatar Tru Ghost of Bo says:

          As the tru spokesghost for the winningest college football team in the entire civilized history of the planet. Those that proffer JUCO talent as the answer, never win on the field, are bankrupt off, but do SMILE as great deal…

      • avatar Tru Ghost of Bo says:

        As the tru spokesghost for the winningest college football program in the entire history of the civilized world. We at M have consistently recruited starleted players over the years and look at how great we are and have been………????
        Now just a minute, hold that thought…………….

    • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

      Those two opponents are both undefeated and both ranked in the top 12 in the FBS. Using “get real” and “average at best” in this context strongly suggests that when you’re right, it’s likely accidental.

      • avatar Tru Ghost of Bo says:

        As the spokesghost for the winningest college football team in the entire history of the civilized world: We at m never let the facts get in the way of our truth….

  11. avatar Indianwellsjim says:

    I wonder why a kid whose Father is a roommate of Izzo decides to attend OSU instead of MSU. We have to recruit better. Our wide receivers are terrible and the offensive line can’t block against good teams. We need a mobile QB.
    Can’t blame the kicker, he did a fine job. Forget about the Rose bowl. We will lose at least 3 more games. I still love Dantonio. Not too crazy about the offensive coaches.

  12. avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

    It appears there are also a lot of Walmart Spartans as well as Wolverines

  13. avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

    The we suck brigade is out in force.

    • avatar Stewart Smalley says:

      Please figure out the definition of a Walmart before spouting – a Walmart Spartan is one that never went to MSU – let alone college, but lives Spartan Football & finds an excuse to root for the team. This type of fan is luckily much more prevalent in A2 which is why they are called Walmarts. Most of us who are ripping our team graduated from MSU (myself 1989) & have every right to do so.

      • avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

        I have graduated from MSU multiple times myself by choice over UM and the University of Pa. (the Ivy League not PSU). The term is not about that. It is a state of mind. To get a clue on that go read the UM blogs during and after games they lose. You have very right to rip away whether or not you went to, graduated from, or root for the Spartans. I’m just pointing out that like a politician’s promise it doesn’t avail much. When you begin to believe your own hype you are behaving like a Walmart.

        • avatar MayoSpartan says:

          Great description of the Walmart fan, or any fair weather fan.

          How anyone bought into the pre-season rankings is beyond me. If you have an ounce of sense, you could not expect a rookie QB & receiving corp to light-up any opposition in the first four or five games. Now, compound the passing games top 50 perfomance by having a running game produce against 8-9 in the box. Add to the scenario a crippled offensive line, and watch the rats jump ship.

          The only rankings that matter are published in January, and Dantonio’s encouraging and accepting comments are appropriate five games in. Eight games in and barely above .500 is a different story.

          GO GREEN!

          • avatar Spartan 81 says:

            I agree lets see if we are 7-3 on Nov 4 after the Nebraska game

          • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

            I thought the prognostications were about right. What isn’t right is the B1G in general. Worse still, anyone with an ounce of sense wouldn’t have expected three starting O-linemen to suffer multi-week injuries in the first 4.3 games–and for a fourth to regress like the guy in “Flowers for Algernon”. But that’s part of the reality.

            Rexrode (and I) did see 7-5 as a real possibility if receivers could not catch. But the B1G looks poor enough (with the NU verdict still out) that MSU could, in fact, make it to the Rose Bowl. Which means they could, in fact, be a top 20 team after being crushed in Pasadena by whomever shows up…

          • avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

            Thanks for the support Mayo. Welcome back to the blog.

  14. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

    Really stupid article by the Cracker today. MAC schools and DI schools who have losing programs experiment, Programs who go 37-6 the last 3 years don’t and don’t need to do those kinds of things.


    • avatar Spartan 81 says:

      That just makes things worse, most people know that.

    • avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

      Thought the same thing. Innovation is one thing, experimenting is another. Smacks of Edison’s thousands of attempts to make a light bulb. I lean more toward Michael Jordan’s response when asked how he could make the game winning shot. “By missing a lot of them”

    • avatar LeeBee says:

      You play on Saturday like you practice during the week. Coach D and staff know who the best players are; and, you dont throw a lesser one in on a whim. The situation is not yet desperate. We are improving We will get better. Hopefully the O staff is working on plays and sets that go to our stringth and against the opponents expectatons.

  15. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    Marine, Rittenberg puts us at 7 in the power poll, behind Penn State?

    Thats just insulting.

  16. avatar Spartydoobydoo says:

    Frustration = A defense that keeps you in games with 4 turnovers – An offense that can’t capitalize!!

    Overall, pretty happy with the way the defense played…first drive was difficult to watch and the deep pass for a TD that burned Adams was a head banger, but they kept getting the ball back in the hands of the offense, like they’re suppose to!!

    As far as the Offense, the receivers made improvements, but it was more like 2 steps forward, one step back….too many dropped balls that killed drives!! They’ve gotta figure out a way to get into the end zone….field goals are not gonna win games….especially if they’re not making all of them!!

    I sure hope Indiana is the answer they need to right this ship….could end up being one of those years where all the games are close, but end up on the wrong side on the scoreboard!!

    Go Green!!

    • avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

      Just like one of those years where all the scores are close and end up on the right side of the scoreboard, depending on your point of view.

  17. avatar 79 Spartan says:

    What a bunch of Negative Nancys posting here! This was a hard fought game and we showed improvement where it was needed, worked with an O-Line that has been patched together (again, like the last few years) and an Acorn Defense with 7 in the box all game long – wth LBs A-gaping every run formation.

    If the ref let’s the Miller fumble go as it should have, we score there. If we make all the FGs, if we make one more catch or throw, one big sack… you can see a lot had to go the way it did for O$U to win. Granted, they made some great plays, but they also got the “breaks” this time. B. Miller gets the “Unneccesary Roughness” call early in the first drive (it could easily have not been called, but it was so live with it). However, Maxwell gets hit in a clear “Roughing the Passer” late in game and we don’t get the call. That’s the “breaks”.

    While not dominating on Offense (and I never thought they would be with so many new guys in skill positions), this team is competitive and will continue to progress for the rest of the year.

    Stay focused Spartans. Disregard all the naysayers.

    • avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

      Amen 79.

      • avatar Spartan in Los Angeles says:

        Not an expert either , and you are probably a better football coach than I am, but I talked to Mark last night and am very comfortable that he did the best he could with the resources at his disposal.

        go green.

    • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

      MSU got six of its points off of drives that would’ve stopped were it not for stupid OSU penalties. Most of the breaks went OSU’s way. But MSU had its chances–and OSU made more of their breaks and opportunities than the Spartans did. Hence the outcome.

      • avatar behind the green curtain says:

        The Michigan State Spartans came into the 2012 season having to replace their top four wide receivers from a year ago, and thus far the young men attempting to fill that void have struggled to consistently catch the football.
        Junior quarterback Andrew Maxwell has been far from perfect, but Michigan State’s unproven wide receivers have not been able to separate from defenders or hang on to many balls that hit them right in the hands.
        The Spartans are still going to be one of the best teams in the Legends Division because of their talented defense.
        However, the Michigan State offense needs to get things going, especially with the Michigan Wolverines and Nebraska Cornhuskers waiting in the wings
        Now cheer up Spartan fans, here is a bit of inside information free of charge. I predict that Dan Roushar will find a way to put up at least 21 points against both Indiana and Iowa. How does an 8-4 Gator Bowl vs a circle the wagons 7-5 Razorback squad strike you fellas. (quite the party in Jacksonville and let me tell you that’s a first class stadium down there , state of the art. Now also guys, tell we where in the world can you get insight like this absolutely free of charge. Sure would be nice if you could get thin on the Big Ten Network next football season.

        • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:


          JLS you just keep all your aw shucks cowboy ideas for all the sheep you chase in the off season. Anybody who owes 25M should be seeking a 2nd job, not blogging on a fan site from a college that fired him.

          NOBODY is listening

          • avatar behind the green curtain says:

            Looks like somebody got hot p… in his cereal this morning, now Son wouldn’t you pay to see Dantonio strap it on with the Razorbacks in a New Years Day Bowl. You would probably enjoy that a heap more than the bowl game with Saban,

          • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

            Razorbacks won’t be going bowling this year, Smittie. They’ll be cleaning out the coaches offiices in January after a 1 win season.

            We weren’t ready for the REAL National Champion that year, this is true. But at least The Spartans haven’t lost to a geographic team, Rutgers, and the Aggies. What is your team giving up 50 points a game?

  18. avatar LeeBee says:

    Auburn found their defense. Arkanabama goes down again.

    • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

      That’s a no brainer, JLSmith’s team has all quite on him, they are just like the rest of that school living through the predicament that their tootsie chasing ex-coach put them in. That handwriting was on the wall when they hired this idiot. It’s just too bad that the AD couldn’t fine somebody who could actually coach so that the kids din’t have to suffer, but then when daddy strays, it’s usually the kids that get hurt the most.

  19. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

    Chris, I have hear elsewhere that the other guy gouged first, any play there?

  20. avatar '89 Chemistry says:

    Performance of Selected Football Teams Against Oddsmakers’ Lines through Teams through FBS Week Five

    Example: Purdue was predicted by casinos to beat E. Kentucky by 20 [points]; EMU by 24; Marshall by 17; and to lose to Notre Dame by 14. Purdue won by 42; 38; 10; and lost by 3, respectively. In these games, Purdue was a total {42 – 20} + {38 – 24} + {10 – 17} + {[-3] – [-14]} = +40 points better than the Las Vegas betting-line consensus indicated. Therefore, Purdue was +10/game vs. the spread.

    By grouping teams in increments of two points per line, I hope to illustrate differences without comment:

    Purdue +10/g; ND +9.25/g

    NU +5.2/g
    MN +3.6/g
    IU +2.5/g; UNL +1.2/g
    OSU -1.6/g; Iowa -3.4/g

    MSU -5.6/g; UM -6.25/g
    BSU -8.75/g; UW -9.4/g

    UI-U -12.6/g

    Arkansas -26.4/g

  21. avatar '89 Chemistry says:

    Performance of Selected Football Teams Against Oddsmakers’ Lines through Teams through FBS Week Five

    Example: Purdue was predicted by casinos to beat E. Kentucky by 20 [points]; EMU by 24; Marshall by 17; and to lose to Notre Dame by 14. Purdue won by 42; 38; 10; and lost by 3, respectively. In these games, Purdue was a total {42 – 20} + {38 – 24} + {10 – 17} + {[-3] – [-14]} = +40 points better than the Las Vegas betting-line consensus indicated. Therefore, Purdue was +10/game vs. the spread.

    By grouping teams in increments of two points per line, I hope to illustrate differences without comment:

    Purdue +10/g; ND +9.25/g

    NU +5.2/g
    MN +3.6/g
    IU +2.5/g; UNL +1.2/g
    OSU -1.6/g; Iowa -3.4/g

    MSU -5.6/g; UM -6.25/g
    BSU -8.75/g; UW -9.4/g

    UI-U -12.6/g



    Arkansas -26.4/g

    • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

      There. Accurate.

      • avatar Behind the green curtain says:

        You got a mean streak in you son?

        • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

          It bothers me that I have to explain this to anyone capable of typing, but facts aren’t mean. In this case I’m showing that MSU isn’t living up to expectations. Many programs are less disappointing than the Spartans in 2012–but some programs are more disappointing.

          (It’s a good thing John L. Smith has thicker skin than you and I do.)

      • avatar MayoSpartan says:

        Accurate… so, is an educated guess that MSU’s O-lineman high attrition rate is not a fluke.

        Last year, Burkland & Treadwell went down early, and 2010 saw Conway and Barrett shelved in addition to our run game production drop from the right side of the line as the season continued for the last five years.

        Considering last year was the first year in a donkey’s life that MSU had a mid season bye week, I’d say common sense would make me doubt rankings and our small (a inch or so and 10+ lbs smaller than the Badgers, OSU and Nebraska’s) O-line durability through the first 10 weeks of the schedule. The depth and durability has not been there, and I do take that into consideration each and every year cause the championships are won in the trenches… and I don’t like the trends.

        • avatar Spartan 81 says:

          Agree , depth of the Oline is taking longer than the D, but Dantonio has only had 6 years, is it possible a deep O line takes 8 to ten years to develop?

  22. avatar usmcmsgt925 says:

    Buckeye fan here. Congrats to MSU for a hard fought game. My Bucks got the breaks needed to win a tight game; one or two things fell our way but that is football. I think the real suprise from my perspective was shutting down Bell, as before the game I was sure he would be the difference in the game. I did not see that type of performance coming from our D-Line. Keep fighting Sparty, I believe you are still the class of the conference (well, of those still eligible for post-season play). Oh, and please beat the snot out of Big Blue!

    • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:


      (“beat the snot out of………was directly developed in playground lingo from he’s a snotty little brat, which we can both agree is how Paris Hiltons act.)

  23. avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

    Behind the Green Curtain is ………… The Wizard of Arkansas and the Wiz is just a little man with no magical powers. Unless you consider turning a good team to crap a magical power.

  24. avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

    Tigers get it done in KC. Miguel the Magnificent, the Prince of Detroit and the Laird of the Tigers make it happen. Benoit made peace with the gopher and Papa Grande found the little box of the strike zone to bring it home. Obvious violations of their contracts which require them to throw at least one wounded duck per appearance.

  25. avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

    Leyland all emotional in the postgame interview. Acts like a guy that may not be coming back next year.

    • avatar GoSt8Go says:

      Congrats to the Tigers for getting it done. GoB, not sure about the emotion meaning anything other than immediate release. These guys were going into the post-season only by virtue of a division title. That held doubts several days ago. That said, can’t miss that you may be right.

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