My Lord, did we learn a whole lot from this game. This was one of the ugliest games I have seen in a while and a lot was said through the course of this game about both of these teams, along with a couple of others.
1. Both teams have solid defenses:
Michigan State only allowed 178 yards to the Buckeye offense. Other than the final Buckeye drive of the day, Michigan state absolutely handled the Buckeyes and were in control for almost the entire game. Say what you will about the Buckeye offense, but holding THE Ohio State University to under 200 yards of offense in their own stadium is quite the accomplishment. Even the Miami Hurricanes, who exposed Ohio State’s offense two weeks ago, let up over 200 yards at home. Sparty’s defensive line continually stuffed the run all day and repeatedly got pressure on Buckeye quarterbacks when they tried to pass. MSU Defensive stat of the day: 35 rushing yards for OSU and a great game plan by Dantonio and crew.
Ohio State’s defense showed they were nothing the sneeze at. While they didn’t have quite the success that Sparty did, they made plays when they needed to. The Ohio State defense kept them in the game by getting key turnovers at crucial times when it looked like the Spartans were going to expand on their lead.
2. Michigan State still has some work to do:
The defense played great for sure. But today’s game reminded me of the old Sparty; the one who stayed in the game all day, only to give it away. They won this game, but they definitely let the Buckeyes hang around way more than they should have. Turning the ball over in enemy territory is a killer and a habit the Spartans have to drop.
3. People like to omit things:
I heard a lot of people, including Mark Dantonio, say something like “Ohio State is the only team in the Big Ten that Dantonio hadn’t beaten.”
Uh…Last I checked, Nebraska is in the conference. Last I checked, neither Michigan State nor Dantonio has ever beaten the Huskers.
Oh you meant the old Big Ten.
Sure ya did.
4. “The tackle box extends from Tight End to Tight End”
Really Matt Millen!? Are you an idiot?
5. Matt Millen is still an idiot.
6. Ohio State misses Terelle Pryor.
Now Ohio State still has both its number one receiver and number one running back suspended, but one has got to think that if Pryor was still around, this offense would be leaps and bounds better. For all the complaining Ohio State fans did about this guy (myself included), it might be time to eat our words and consider how good we had it.
7. Michigan will beat both of these teams.
Sorry Buckeye and Sparty fans. I’m calling it right here and right now. After this game, I am thoroughly unimpressed with both teams. Both defenses looked great yes, but for Michigan State, what happens when they come up against an offense that can actually move the ball?
I’ll tell you: Notre Dame wins 31-13.
Two weeks is not enough time to fix the lovable-loser syndrome that Sparty has seemingly regressed to. All day they tried to give this game away. While Ohio State might not have the talent to do it, Michigan does. And quite frankly, Michigan is for real this season. I’ve been a huge proponent of the wait and see approach with Michigan the past few years. Each year they have started out strong and then fallen off.
So why do I say this now? Because for whatever reason, this season they seem like a team ready to break out. Last season the defense could not have stopped 213 year old Lou Holtz from running the ball right down their throats. They just beat Minnesota 58-0. Make no mistake, Minnesota is an awful football team but I don’t care what offense you are playing, shutting a team out is an accomplishment (just ask the Michigan State defense).
For Ohio State, the defense comes through time and time again, but somebody needs to tell the offense that you don’t get points for punting. Michigan does not need a top-tier defense to stop this team. And at this point, whose to say how good the Wolverines defense really is? I spent a little bit of this article talking up MSU’s defense did I not? Remind me again how many points the Wolverines gave up to Notre Dame? Oh yeah: 31. The same as Sparty. The only difference? The Wolverines won that game.
Mark it down. The Wolverines are back and are going to prove it over the next two months. I can already hear the drone of arrogance ringing in my ears. Most all-time wins. Highest All-Time Winning Percentage. 11 National Championships.