Saturday, October 24, 2015

Knee-jerk post game reactions (Michigan State 52, Indiana 26)

I'm relaxing on the couch, drinking a glass of wine, sort of watching USC/Utah (having changed channels after it became clear--or at least highly likely--Rutgers will not put up much fight against Ohio State).

My wife and I went to the MSU/Indiana game today. It was my 50th all-time MSU football game (I'm dorky enough to keep track of such statistics). It's probably more games than many, but completely dwarfed by anyone who has had season tickets for several years.

We sat in Section 4, Row 43, Seats 24 and 25; directly behind the small but boisterous Indiana section. The Hoosier faithful made noise throughout the game, but made a mad dash to the exits when the Spartans went up 45-26 late in the 4th quarter.

We saw and experienced about every kind of weather the Great Lakes State has in its arsenal, with the exception of snow. It was warm and partly sunny when the game started, then dark rain clouds moved into East Lansing and it poured for about 20 minutes or so. The storm brought a cold front and we shivered for the remainder of the game (though MSU's 4th quarter scoring barrage got me up, moving around, and slightly warmer).

Overall, it was a fun, albeit long, late afternoon and early evening at Spartan Stadium. Nate Sudfeld and IU's offense were as tricky as I expected, but the Spartan defense played much better in the second half and held the Hoosiers to only six second-half points. MSU was finally able to apply some pressure to Sudfeld and make him less effective.

I don't know what else can be said about Connor Cook. He just might be the very best Spartan quarterback I've ever seen. It's amazing to think how far he's come since replacing an ineffective Andrew Maxwell in the 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, and then taking over the starting job for good after the 2013 Notre Dame game.

Cook carried the team on his shoulders today, though he was ably assisted by Aaron Burbridge, R.J. Shelton, Macgarrett Kings, L.J. Scott, and Gerald Holmes. Cook came only two yards short of tying Bill Burke's single-game passing record of 400 yards (against Michigan in 1999).
What's most important is that the Spartans survive this game, get the win, and enter a much-needed bye week at 8-0.

Meanwhile, I remain convinced that my "Gruff Sparty" hoodie and my old school "block 'S'" MSU are somehow lucky, and thankful that I made a last-minute decision to buy rain ponchos at Meijer.

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