I need to write my post-game observations earlier--i.e. immediately after the game--rather than wait until two days later when the inspiration isn't quite there anymore.
My stress-o-meter for this game was high, and it reached dangerous levels when Iowa took advantage of the Darqueze Dennard/Isaiah Lewis collison (temporarily knocking Dennard out of the game) to score a touchdown, and quickly followed that up by throwing a touchdown pass that Dennard misplayed. In a half in which Iowa had been thoroughly outplayed, the Hawkeyes took a 14-10 lead into the locker room. I can't repeat the language I blurted at my TV screen--but by now you probably know me enough to guess that it was deeply emotional and contained a few choice four-letter words.
I calmed down in the second half, and the Spartans took control and played perhaps their best 30 minutes of football this season.
Yes, I know that Iowa isn't Alabama. They aren't even in the top 25. But Iowa has been a constant thorn in MSU's side going back decades--particularly at Kinnick Stadium. Going on the road and knocking them off is an important win for the Spartans, I don't care what the naysayers believe.
I also have to give the MSU coaching staff credit for the offense's vast improvement between the Notre Dame game and the Iowa game. Like a lot of fans, I freaked out after the Notre Dame game (read post below), but it looks like the Spartans are working things out on the offensive side of the ball.
Remember when I wrote that the Notre Dame isn't always a good litmus test for how the rest of the MSU football season will go? The opposite is true with the Iowa game. The Spartans tend to play the Hawkeyes in September or October (I don't why that is). If one looks that the years in which MSU defeated Iowa, the Spartans have almost always gone on to have at least a winning season (1987, 1989, 1993, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2008, and 2011 for example).
My modest streak is in jeopardy.
Since 1993, I have attended at least one MSU football game each season for a total of 20 consecutive years. It looks like that streak will end this year.
I should have bought tickets for one of the non-conference games, but for whatever reason (still in a baseball mood, perhaps? Not excited to spend good money to watch an inferior opponent?) I didn't pull the trigger.
The final home game against Minnesota is one I could easily attend and not break the bank in doing so, but I will be driving home from Disney World that day.
I'd love to see the Michigan game, but I don't have an extra 300 bucks (or so) floating around waiting to be spent on a football ticket.
The Purdue game could be a possibility, but I'm scheduled to be at a family event that Saturday, so that's probably out. The only legitimate possibility is this weekend's Indiana homecoming game, and I'm still trying to figure out if I can make that happen. We'll see. But chances are, I don't see an MSU football game in person this season--and it's breaking my heart.