Did Ohio State Win The Football Game 11 16 19 College Football – The Curse is Now Over – Michigan State Avoids Its Customary Late Season Collapse

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College Football – The Curse is Now Over – Michigan State Avoids Its Customary Late Season Collapse

When 16 seniors walked out of Spartan Stadium in East Lansing Saturday after their ninth win of the year against Purdue, their biggest legacy will be that they were the class that broke the curse—the dreaded Michigan State curse of starting fast and finishing poorly.

Before Mark Dantonio took over as coach last season, former coach John L. Smith started the previous 4 seasons at 18-4 and finished 4-22. In 2003, she started 7-1 and went 1-3. In 2004, she started 4-3 and went 1-5. In 2005, she started 4-0 and finished 1-6. In 2006, she started 3-0 and went 1-8. That is called curse.

Mark Dantonio started 2-4 last season and finished 5-2. The Spartans went 7-6 and wound up in the bowl game. After defeating Purdue 21-7 at home on Saturday (11-8-08), the Spartans are 9-2. Michigan State lost the opener at California, reeling off 6 straight wins, lost 45-7 to Ohio State, but bounced back with 3 more straight wins.

The curse is officially over. Dantonio has changed the culture at Michigan State from “it’s all about me” to “we are one.” They demand discipline, focus, performance and responsibility. His players now believe they can win and have learned how to close out games and win again and again.

The Spartans caught a bye this week and then went on the road to take on the No. 7 Penn State Nittany Lions to end their season. Penn State was 9-0 and ranked No. 3 when Saturday began. After Iowa’s 24-23 upset at Iowa, Michigan State has a chance to claim a share of the Big Ten title for the first time since 1990.

The Spartans have a conference record of 6-1 while Penn State and Ohio State are both 5-1, with Michigan State currently a half game ahead in the standings. Penn State takes on Indiana before taking on the Spartans. Ohio State faces Illinois and Michigan to end its season.

Michigan State is currently ranked No. 18 in the AP Top 25 poll. With the Nittany Lions ranked No. 7, the Spartans have everything to gain and nothing to lose against Penn State and will be favored on their home field. The Spartans won’t be expected to win, and if they do, they’ll have at least a share of the Big Ten title.

Michigan State (9-2) isn’t currently solving teams like Florida, Alabama and Texas Tech, but they’ll get a more important game this year even if they lose to Penn State as expected. .

What’s so interesting about Michigan State this year is that the Spartan defense has outpaced its stats. Among 119 Division 1-A teams, Michigan State ranks 75th in rushing defense, 59th in passing defense and 37th in scoring defense. They rank 18th among all teams but are not in the top 25 in any of these defensive categories.

When push came to shove against Purdue, the Spartan defense held Dern to a near shutout. Their offense had 4 turnovers on Saturday but the defense was tough.

Michigan State stopped Purdue on its first 15 possessions of the game, including a 14-yard sack on 4th-and-5 at the Spartan 27-yard line and a minus 1-yard stop on 4th-and-1. Spartan 29-yard line. On its 16th possession, the Boilermakers finally put together a 16-play, 88-yard drive with 42 seconds left in the game.

With just 19 seconds left in the first half and Michigan State leading 7-0, freshman defensive back Johnny Adams stepped in front of Justin Siler’s pass and returned it 40 yards to give the Spartans a 14-0 halftime lead. Again, the defense not only stopped but scored to help the offense.

Here’s a fact that sports reporters and analysts across the country haven’t mentioned: Of the teams with 9 or more wins, only 9 teams have fewer losses than Michigan State after Week 11 of college football play.

They are Texas Tech (10-0), Texas (9-1), Alabama (10-0), Oklahoma (9-1), Penn State (9-1), Utah (10-0), Boise State (9). are -0), Ball State (9-0) and Brigham Young (9-1). By any standard, the Spartans are in pretty good company.

Can Michigan State beat Penn State? Penn State just lost to Iowa on the road, 24-23. Of course, Joepa (Coach Joe Paterno) is mad about missing out on yet another national title. Michigan State beat Iowa 16-13. In college football, anything can and will happen.

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

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