With all the odds against the Michigan State Spartans, they still found a way to win.
This was Mel Tucker’s fourth road win vs a ranked Big Ten opponent in his tenure. The Spartans also spoiled Illinois, clinching the Big Ten West Division today. It was also good to see Bryce Baringer and Daniel Barker both got some revenge against their former school.
Michigan State defensive lineman that were missing in action included: Jacob Slade, Simeon Barrow, Avery Dunn, Zion Young, Jacoby Windmon, Brandon Wright, Khris Bogle, and Jeff Pietrowski. So it’s safe to say that Michigan State was definitely short handed. Credit Scottie Hazelton big time for the way he’s dramatically changed this defensive approach.
Michigan State Digs Deep
The win today shows that Michigan State can have those young guys come in and make an immediate impact. That’s big for getting recruits and transfers for the Spartans in the future. It also keeps the Spartans’ hopes of making a bowl game alive. MSU will need to win two of their last three games against Rutgers, Indiana, and PSU.
It wasn’t a pretty win, but MSU will take anything that they can get. Payton Thorne was 19/29 for 182 yards and two touchdown passes. Jalen Berger had 15 carries for 81 yards, which is one of his best games of the season. Jayden Reed had 5 catches for 68 yards and a touchdown. So when you put all that together, it wasn’t a great offensive day, but it got the job done. Especially, with the way the offensive line was banged up and how the offensive struggled in the beginning, it’s a much better turn around.
The biggest takeaway was the effort displayed by MSU in this game. I thought this was the most motivated we’ve seen MSU in a long time, which shows that this team still cares. Despite all the off the field distractions and adversity, Mel Tucker has been able to get his message across. I’ve never seen Coach Tucker more fired up after the Michigan loss, and it really showed in the effort today.
I expect MSU to play a very similar game against Rutgers when they play them next weekend.
(AP Photo/Matt Marton)