Spartan Victory Slips Right Through Their Hands
Photo: Image by Photo Courtesy: Michigan State Spartans
Another home game, another loss.
After two years of not losing a home football game, the Michigan State Football team has now fallen to 2-2 at home, 3-2 overall.
After a tough, grind-it-out game on Saturday afternoon, the Spartans once again lacked the offensive firepower to pull out a victory. Although quarterback Andrew Maxwell had a solid game with 269 yards and no turnovers, he had limited help around him. Potential Heisman candidate Le'veon Bell ran for 45 yards, failing to get through holes that Barry Sanders would have trouble with. Ohio State's front seven absolutely dominated the line of scrimmage, and played a huge factor in their victory. Wide receiver Keith Mumphrey came up with a 29 yard pass which including dragging four Buckeyes, en route to his first touchdown of the year. Drops played a major factor yet again, stalling some drives that had real promise.
Leading up to the season, the Spartan defense collected numerous accolades, and had potential All-Americans lining up the depth chart. That defense came to play Saturday, consistency bailing out the teams offensive woes. Led by linebacker Max Bullough, the defense forced three turnovers, including a fumble by OSU quarterback Braxton Miller that should have led to a Spartan touchdown, had it not been blown dead on a poor call by the officials. The unit did have trouble in containing Miller in the pocket, as he ran for 145 yards, and threw for another 179. He showed his elusiveness, and proved to be the MVP for the Bucks, making the key plays when they needed them the most.
Despite the two losses in five weeks, their goals remain in sight. The Big Ten has been sluggish as a whole, and current leader Ohio State is ineligible for postseason play, along with Penn State. The current contenders for the B1G Championship look to be MSU, Michigan, Nebraska, and whoever can make it out of the damaged Leaders Division. If Coach Dantonio and company can hold ground in the division, the Rose Bowl is still a realistic opportunity.
It just looks like the trip to Pasadena will lie squarely in the hands of the Spartan receivers.