Sixers 4 Guidos

Category: Football Fan

Hail Mary For the Win!

Hail Mary For the Win!

If Bret Bielma and his Wisconsin Vadgers team stubs anymore toes, they’re not going to have any left.

It was a miraculous win over Mark Dantonio’s Spartan team against their first Top 10 ranked opponent. I would have to say that this is the second best game that I have watched after the “Little Giants” fake field goal play against Notre Dame in 2010. Just due to the fact that the fake field goal was more of a surprise and gutsy call.

Keith Nichol for the win

The opening possession by the Badgers had me thinking that perhaps the Badgers are a lot better than we gave them credit for. Especially by how much they ran up scores against powder puff teams. Then came our first possession and the Badgers D was able to force a fumble. A sinking feeling my gut soon occurred when Wisconsin was able to capitalize on our turnovers.

But all was not lost. In the second quarter, our Spartans seemed to have settle down. Our defense was able to force a safety, a blocked field goal, and a blocked punt shifted the momentum over to our favor when heading into half time. The start of the second half, it seemed no one could really accomplish anything. It kind of felt like the first quarter all over. Each team feeling each other to see what adjustments the opposing team made.

The fourth quarter started slow but gradually became of heart pounding excitement. With Michigan State up by 14 points at one time, Wisconsin was able to storm back and score 14 straight to tie up the game. With some questionable play clock management by bumbling Bret Bielma, we had enough time to attempt to toss up a prayer. With a miraculous bounce and catch by Nichol, it was originally ruled not a touchdown. Obviously the ruling had to be reviewed.

Keith Nichol crosses the plan for the winning TD

In the end, the replay booth reviewed the call and called it a touchdown. For the majority, a lot of the Badgers fan agreed with the overruled call. With a few minority, saying that the call should have stayed since the video and freeze frames were “not conclusive”. Some even clamoring that the “ball” is actually the defenders hand.

There are some minority Wisconsin fans who believe that the original non-TD call was correct just because the camera angle isn’t a perfect perpendicular line as shown above or how the referee standing at the goal line was in perfect position to make the correct call. With live action events that are extremely quick, it’s hard for the human eye to keep up. In the end, I think I believe the right call was made. Majority of the Wisconsin fans believe it as well. And amazingly enough, quite a few Michigan fans too.

So what exactly did we learn this weekend against the Badgers?

1. Our patchwork has steadily improved since the Ohio State game. The bye week before the Michigan Wolverines certainly helped.

2. Due to our steady progress of our patchwork offensive line, we are now able to establish a little better run game which was lacking against better teams. This is preventing Kirk Cousins getting pressured into throwing off his back foot and allowing him to make for the most part sound decisions.

3. Narduzzi is slowly but surely, finally getting the players he needs to play his style of defense. You can see the steady improvements throughout this season. I think as a Michigan State fans, majority of us were calling for his head the first few seasons he was here.

4. Wisconsin believes that they were still the better but choked the game away and gave no credit to our defense who forced those errors on their offense. But that’s usually the case with any fan base. Be it Michigan State or any other schools.

5. I think it’s pretty safe to say that we are no longer the “Same ole Spartans” underneath Dantonio. He has instilled a mentality of never giving up and to fight to the last minute. The players have bought into this mentality and it shows with us winning three out of the four games in one toughest stretch in Big 10 football that I have seen. We now need to beat Nebraska at Lincoln and win out the games we are suppose to win.

6. As much as I badmouth Nichol, he was a hero for this game and is a great team player and Spartan.

7. The last is penalties by Michigan State against the Badgers for this game. We are called a “dirty” defense team but with 0/0 penalties against Wisconsin? Dirty program? More like Michigan couldn’t match our intensity last week and had to cry to mommy about how rough we were playing.

Here’s hoping for a win in Lincoln next week and continue our improving play!

Why I’m a Spartan

Why I’m a Spartan

I was born to be a Spartan. At my high school graduation party my mom proudly displayed a picture of me, barely able to walk, in a MSU t-shirt. Four months later, I was spending my first of what would be seven years in East Lansing.

I received my B.A. in Economics from the Eli Broad College of Business, and was one of the first classes to graduate under the newly renamed “Michigan State University College of Law”. I look back at that photo, and realize even at that age I knew where I’d end up.

My mom used to take me to games, and would sit me on her lap as she’d scream and yell so loud that I’m sure George Perles really did hear her. You see, I’m afraid that if I had chosen to go to any other school I’d probably be orphaned.

My mother was, and still is to this day, the biggest MSU fan I have ever met. She knew not only the players stats, but their majors and how they acted off the field. She took great pride in the fact she graduated from MSU, more so than any other fan I’ve ever met.

For me, I feel truly lucky to be a Spartan. I think back to my freshman year at Bailey Hall, eating at peanut barrel, or the time I spent at “Ricks” american cafe (do they still have VIP cards?).

I remember the aud, gumby’s, the idiots who dived into the red cedar when the temperature dropped below 0, and hoping they would cancel classes every time we’d get a snowstorm. I remember the riots, the burning couches, the banning of drinking games at tailgating. I remember Johnny Spartan. I even remember when shaw hall wasn’t a “spa”.

Even here in Arizona I will still see the occassional green and white shirt. When I do, I always yell “Go green”. Sometimes, I’ll get a confused look from the person, which makes me think wearing our school colors is now passe. However, for those who bleed green like I do I will hear that beautiful music to my ears…..”Go White”.

Sparty vs. Bucky: For All the Big Ten Glory

Sparty vs. Bucky: For All the Big Ten Glory

The holiday season must be here. People will be wearing green and red. The food will be in abundance. Bands will be playing. People will be singing. A good time will be had by some.

Sounds like a typical office holiday party, right? Sure… but not if the people wearing green or red are at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday for the Big Ten Championship Football Game.

Unlike last year, the Michigan State Spartans and the Wisconsin Badgers won’t be sharing the Big Ten Title. This year, there will be a clear winner and a definite loser. No more of this wolverine crap (not bull crap) of having “co-champions.”

With the Spartans coming off an easy win on the road against Northwestern and the Badgers giving the Joe Pa-less Penn State team a proverbial beat-down, both teams make their way to Indianapolis with tremendous momentum.

Naturally, the Badgers have a score to settle with Michigan State because of the wild finish to their previous matchup at Spartan Stadium back on October 22nd. Wisconsin WR Jared Abbrederis thought he’d be able to swat Kirk Cousins’ pass away from Sparty’s own BJ Cunningham, but Keith Nichol grabs the ricochet and powers the ball across the goal line for the win!!!!! Sparty On! Sparty On!

That was then. Saturday is a whole new ball game.

Here are a few things the Spartans need to do to keep the score in their favor:

Break Down Wisconsin’s O-Line: Over the years, Wisconsin has had a solid offensive line. They’re the reason why RB Montee Ball and QB Russell Wilson have been able to put up the numbers they have. Ball averages 6.5 yards per rush and has 29 rushing TD’s this season. Wilson has been known to engineer comebacks (the October 22nd game at Spartan Stadium is evidence).

Keep Pressing on Offense: There’s no reason why Kirk Cousins and BJ Cunningham can’t hook up often. Wisconsin’s d-backs have given up big plays at what seem to be “inopportune times” for them. If Cousins can spread the love around to all his receivers, good. They need to keep the Badgers guessing.

Special Teams: I’m talking about kick coverage. Get to Abbrederis and put him on the turf before he can get his wheels going.

Enough of my blather…. I’m sure you have your opinion on what the Spartans need to do to be the undisputed Big Ten Champion. I’d better log off before my wife catches me writing this….

…..she’s a Badger fan. The couch isn’t a comfortable place to sleep. So, shhhhhh! Go Green!

As far as she’s concerned……I hope it’s a great holiday party in Indy with the splashes of green and red adorning the stands.

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