As the Michigan State Spartans were making their final preparations for Saturday's matchup against No. 7 Penn State, the “so-called” experts were busy making their last-minute picks and not many had MSU winning the game.
But as we now know, Mark Dantonio and his players had something else in mind as Matt Coghlin kicked a last-second 34-yard field goal to defeat the Nittany Lions 27-24.
That all came after the game was delayed in the 2nd quarter due to severe weather. The delay lasted three hours and 23 minutes and many of the Spartans fans who were in attendance decided to hit the road in favor of a warm, dry environment.
But not all of them.
When play finally resumed, there was still a group of Spartans faithful who stayed to cheer on their team and it all paid off.
Coach Dantonio certainly noticed those who stayed and he has a message for those die-hard fans.
“I just want to thank Spartan nation, thank our fans for coming back out there,” Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said. “That was amazing. It was very loud, exciting atmosphere.”
Spartans sophomore linebacker Joe Bachie said it was “awesome” that some fans stuck it out to cheer them on, despite the weather being awful.
“It was awesome to see some of the fans still there,” Bachie said. “We knew we had to wake that stadium back up and get some momentum. That three-and-out by us was huge, our offense clicking a little bit when we came out there, that brought life to the stadium. Our mindset was ‘we've got to finish this game. We're here for four hours waiting around, we've got to finish.'”
Though the crowd was much smaller than it was when the game began, those who stayed were loud and Spartans senior linebacker Chris Frey took notice. He noted that in key situations the fans were really fired up.
“There wasn't a ton of people there, but the people that were there were making a lot of noise,” Michigan State senior linebacker Chris Frey said. “To be honest, third downs and critical situations, it was loud. For us, defensively, we a few times struggled to get the call across the board because it was so loud in there, for the amount of people that were there. We were just really excited to have the fans out there that really wanted to be there.”
If the now No. 13 Spartans want to continue their run towards a Big Ten Championship, they will have to pick up a win this coming Saturday in Columbus against the No. 11 Ohio State Buckeyes.
H/T to MLive for the quotes used in this piece.