There is nothing worse being a Spartan fan than going to Ann Arbor and enduring 110,000 obnoxious Wolverine fans. Traffic sucks and you have to get there at least 4 hours prior. Parking is $60 if you can find it. Restaurants are packed and walking 5 miles in the cold is the only thing you can do to stay somewhat warm.
This was the game of the year for both teams and having beat U-M 5 of the last 6 meetings, this game was pivotal to both programs.
As predicted the game was close throughout and State surely had opportunities to lead if the receivers didn’t drop so many passes. With the score 23-21 in favor of U-M and only 10 seconds left in the game, even MSU handed the Paul Bunyan trophy over to U-M. Vegas put the odds of MSU winning at .2. Yep that is two-tenths of one percent.
The rest is history and no doubt will be one of the top 10 final plays in football history forever.
As a State fan, I am very quiet yet excited to be 7-0. You have to go back to 1948 when a first-year Michigan coach beat the Spartans in year one. Harbough was oh-so close. But oh-so-close is only good in tiddlywinks and hand grenades.
Very, very happy Monday!
45 degrees and rain. Cold rain that chills your bones.
Tailgaters filled up the International Center and MSU bookstore more than the parking lots to stay warm and dry.
Spartan Stadium sold out for the first time this year. Even the aloof students finally showed up.
Gallons and gallons of hot chocolate and coffee being poured. Ice cream sandwiches were not in demand even though MSU now makes their own at a whopping 110% fat grams per serving.
First it was the U-M marching band (not bad but most likely Reese Puffer would beat them in competition) then it was the Spartan marching band getting the fans on their feet. And the smart fans never left their feet.
Then the moment we were all waiting for: The football game to start.
U-M took an early 3-0 lead but that my friends was the only lead they would see for the rest of the game. In as many years I have been a Spartan fan, I have never seen an ass-whipping like this. It was U-M’s worst loss in team history and there were so many records broken, even the statisticians couldn’t keep up. Brady Hoke, gloveless, hatless, jacketless and headset less walked around the entire game patting his players not on the back but on their ass like they did a good job. If Hoke was brought on to toughen U-M, many would have second thoughts. Seven sacks and –48 net rushing yards.
Now if Conner Cook completed just half his wide open passes, the game would have been put away well before the end of the third quarter. But MSU always finds a way to add drama to its games and finally, and I say finally, this time they didn’t blow it on stupid personal fouls or dropped punts. They played a full 60 minutes and it showed.
With MSU beating U-M that last 5 out of 6 meetings, perhaps the rivalry has little meaning anymore. Can you imagine the OSU score when they get done with the Wolverines? However truth be told, the rivalry will always exist because there are more cocky U-M fans in Michigan and the USA than Spartan fans. And the victor loves its bragging rights for the year.
Bet against us now, and pay the price.
Michigan football is in big trouble. However If they can win one more game this year, let it be this Saturday at home vs. Nebraska. That’s the minimum little sister can do for us.
Simply told, this picture at Spartan Stadium this past Saturday told the story:
I ran the half marathon on Sunday and could barely walk afterwards. What did Robinson feel like after being sacked 7 times and leaving with four minutes to go with a serious injury?
Yes we won 28-14 and beat U-M soundly. But the score should have been 42-14 at minimum. We dropped several passes, turned the ball over twice on long running plays and committed more penalties than the law allows. Once again the Spartans were not a disciplined team but luckily the defense showed up and so did RB Edwin Baker.
Sitting in the stands on a windy day with rare glimpses of the sun, we spent as much time cheering the team as cursing head coach Mark Dantonio. “How could he call that play?” “”How could we get yet another penalty?” and the rumbling continued on all game. But in the end, Dantonio is the first MSU coach to beat U-M four in a row since 1959-1962. And a W at the end of the game is all that counts.
THE TALE OF TWO COMMENTATORS
Driving home after the game is always fun after a Spartan victory. Not only do we watch the game, we want to watch instant replays. Then we want to listen to the wrap-up. Then we want to watch more replays on ESPN. And finally, we want to read about the game in the newspaper the following day. This time however it was surreal. And it reminded me of political chatter we listen to on TV and on the radio.
WJR 760 is home of MSU sports. Their commentators focused on the victory, the defense, stopping Robinson and being tough when it counted. They spoke about RB Baker, Cousins making a few key plays and what it took to win the game. On the penalties, yes they were unhappy about some of the calls but were clear that be focused on a tough defense, sometimes you get some tough penalties.
On the other hand, WWJ 950 is home of U-M sports. Their commentators focused on the “cheap” shots the Spartans took on Robinson, head coach Brady Hoke went for a pass on 4th and inches on the Spartan 9 and how U-M should have won the game. They belittled the Spartans and didn’t give them credit for a quality win. Mind you, both stations are Detroit-based and both teams are Michigan-based.
In the end, MSU won. Spartans have yet another year of bragging rights and we will see what we can do to make it five straight in 2012.
P.S. Here is another reason why the U-M – MSU rivalry is so bitter. Fans start out very young!