Saturday, October 11, 2014

Glancing back at Nebraska, and looking ahead to Purdue

Today the Spartans are in West Lafayette to take on Purdue. I'm happy that today's game starts at a more reasonable time of 3:30.
I watched a replay of the Nebraska game, and it's stunning to see how the game unraveled in the 4th quarter, but it had as much--if not more--to do with bad luck as uninspired or mistake-prone play. Kurtis Drummond had a near pick six that would have put MSU by at least a 33-9 score, but instead he whiffed and the ball ended up in the hands of the Huskers' Jordan Westerkamp, and he ran the ball deep into MSU territory. This resulted in a Cornhusker TD to make the score 27-16. Then came Mike Sadler's line drive punt that was run back for a touchdown and closed the gap to 27-22. Sadler should have put more air under the ball or kicked out of bounds. Maybe this is easier said than done in some circumstances. And then, of course, came Jeremy Langford running out of bounds when Nebraska had no timeouts left. Another mental miscue.
At least when MSU needed them most, the Spartans were able to make the most important plays to preserve the win: blowing up the Huskers' two-point conversion try (to keep the margin at 5 instead of 3) and, of course, Trae Waynes' game-ending interception.
Despite the bizarre fourth quarter, Michigan State dominated Nebraska. If the team that pushed Nebraska around for 3 1/2 quarters shows up at Purdue today, this game could be a 35-40 point blowout. But what concerns me is THAT team has yet to play for a full 60 minutes. Maybe they can get away with that against a weak opponent like Purdue, but I hope the Nebraska game was a wake up call.
Purdue has played better of late, but I don't see them hanging with MSU. Call this a workmanlike 38-10 win for the Green and White.

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