Outback Bowl vs. Georgia: Serious Let-Down for Michigan State

michigan-state-logo

On paper, the Outback Bowl: Michigan State vs. Georgia is a great game. Two schools that are much more worthy of being in the BCS than Virginia Tech, and probably more deserving than Michigan. So clearly, it’s a better game than the Sugar Bowl.

And the Orange Bowl too. Clemson is nothing special, and no Big East team, let alone West Virginia should be allowed anywhere near the BCS. And even though MSU and UGA were possibly worthy of at large bids, Boise State, Arkansas and South Carolina were much worthier than the Spartans and Bulldogs; and they got shut out. Proving once again the BcS in the BCS.

But it’s not the Rose Bowl, and for MSU it was all about P4RB “Prepare for Rose Bowl” and aything else is a huge disappointment.

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Michigan St. B1G Title Game Loss: Emotionally Devastating

Mark Dantonio

The Michigan State Spartans pulled out all the stops last night, but it jsut wasn’t enough. They out-gained the Wisconsin Badgers in yardage by a wide margin, and took advantage of some trick plays, but it still didn’t yield a W.

Like I said in my B1G Title game preview on Wednesday:

This game has that Mark Dantonio “trickeration” feel. Like they could win the game on a trick play with a cool name like “little giants” (Notre Dame) or “mouse trap” (Northwestern)

Perhaps it’s time to give the nickname “riverboat gambler” to Dantonio after his gutsy 2nd quarter to remember. (After all, he did say at NU in ’10 “I’ve always been a risk-taker.”)

A cajones call on a critical 4th-1 set up one touchdown. Another touchdown on a lateral from Keith Nichol to B.J. Cunningham. Followed by a direct snap to Sontag for a 2-pt conversion that no one saw coming.

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B1G Championship Preview: Wisconsin Badgers to Rely on Potent Offense

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday’s match-up between the #13 Michigan State Spartans and #15 Wisconsin Badgers is not only the rematch for one of college football’s most dramatic endings this season, it’s also the deciding factor in which team takes home the Big Ten Title and represents the conference in the Rose Bowl.

If the Badgers are to win, they will need to rely heavily on their high-octane offense led by Heisman contenders Russell Wilson and Montee Ball as well as the commonly overlooked offensive line.

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Can Michigan State Reach the Rose Bowl? B1G Championship Game Preview

kirk-cousins

Here we go- the inaugural Big Ten Championship game- a play-in game for the Rose Bowl. Something MSU has has been playing for and focusing on for awhile.

This year in East Lansing, it’s all about “P4RB” meaning “Prepare for Rose Bowl” for the Michigan State Spartans. It’s a slogan you’ll find displayed on t-shirts within the program. It originated during a presentation during a winter meeting. The presentation was made by Running Backs Coach Mike Salem’s brother Wade.

“At the end of his talk, he brought up a slide that said P4RB, and his point was as we go through our winter workouts, spring practices, summer workouts and training camp, we’re not just going out to practice, or run around. We’re doing it to prepare for a Rose Bowl. And that perspective has really helped to galvanize and strengthen our workouts,” said MSU QB Kirk Cousins at Media Day.

“And the focus is not on the Rose Bowl, the focus is on the preparation and the process. And making sure we’re doing what we can towards the things we can control,” he continued.

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Michigan State’s Defense is Nation’s 3rd Best; Only LSU and Alabama Higher

jerel worthy tattoo

Michigan State has a defensive unit ranked No. 3 nationally in total defense, allowing 257.3 yards per game. Only two teams have topped 400 yards of total offense against defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi’s unit. Just the LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide are better than State at stopping their opponents. Of course, those two SEC units will play for the national title in college football, and they’re loaded with NFL talent. MSU doesn’t have near as many next level guys, which is a testament to Narduzzi’s ability.

You understand why he’s such a hot coaching prospect; especially this year with so many jobs open.

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Michigan State (10-2) Beats Northwestern in Game they Didn’t Need

kirk cousins

By beating Northwestern today 31-17, Michigan State achieved…well they actually achieved all the big important stuff before arriving in Evanston, IL. Last week, they secured a berth to the inaugural Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis. And since beating the Wisconsin/Penn State winner (probably Wisconsin) is their one and only path to the BCS, this game meant very little in the grand scheme of things.

But don’t say that to Coach Mark D’Antonio and/or his players. Despite taking Thursday practice off, MSU came in fired up to win this game. They gave it “the ol’ college try.”

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#10 Michigan State Spartans-Northwestern Wildcats: Brutally Honest Preview

msu-cheerleaders

Uncharted territory for the Big Ten this week. What happens when a team has already clinched a league championship game berth, but has nothing to play for beyond that? It’s the situation the Michigan State Spartans are currently in, as they’re bound for Indianapolis, but their only ticket to the BCS is if they beat the Penn State-Wisconsin winner next weekend.

So will they play their A-game at Northwestern? The Wildcats have a lot to play for- a seventh win guarantees them a bowl slot. They’re bowl eligible already, but the 2007 Wildcats were 6-6 and shut of a bowl. The Big Ten has nine bowl eligible teams, and will likely had a tenth (Purdue) on Saturday; to fill only eight slots. Of course, there’s at-large slots too. Nothing like beating a top ten team to help your bowl resume. And to do it in the season finale, the recency effect will help sell the team.

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Michigan State’s Defensive Line is Just Ridiculously Good

jerel_worthy

It was truly sad that the Michigan St. community lost Bubba Smith this past year, because the current Michigan State defensive line is destroying opponents in the “Kill, Bubba Kill” spirit. Sure the unit was pretty solid last year, but this year they are even more dominant.

(BTW, you can bid on Bubba Smith‘s trophies and awards here)

In 2011 the State DL is stopping the run and rushing the passer in a fashion that would make Biggie Munn (“Biggie, Biggie, Biggie, can’t you see?”) and Duffy Daugherty proud.

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Wisconsin and Michigan State Meet for Big Ten Supremacy (Game Preview)

 

 

 

 

 

 

ESPN College GameDay is heading to East Lansing to watch the Big Ten’s two best teams face off in prime-time. After being snubbed in the recent BCS rankings, the #6 Wisconsin Badgers (6-0) feel they have a lot to prove while the #16 Michigan State Spartans (5-1) hope to emerge from the shadows as a BCS contender.

All eyes are on Heisman Hopeful Russell Wilson and how he reacts to a stifling Spartans defense. The Badgers have not fared well in East Lansing while dropping their last three at Spartan Stadium, including their only regular season loss in 2010.

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Michigan State DL Vernon Gholston Suspended; Punched Michigan OL

The Big Ten Conference imposed a one-game suspension on Michigan State defensive lineman William Gholston for violating the Big Ten Sportslike Conduct Agreement during the Spartans’ game against Michigan on Oct. 15, 2011.

Unfortunately, the suspension comes for this week’s huge game versus the #4 Wisconsin Badgers. For a preview of that game go here.

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