An Eron Harris turnover late, and basket inside by freshman Ethan Happ with 10 seconds remaining enabled Wisconsin (10-9, 2-4) to scratch out a 77-76 win over No. 4 ranked Michigan State (16-3, 3-3), which led the Badgers by four points with less than a minute remaining.
The Spartans are preparing for a Nebraska team that has endured several close losses under first-year head coach Mike Riley. With just three wins on the year, the Huskers must win their remaining three regular season games to become bowl eligible. Michigan State, however, is not taking Nebraska lightly. Getty Images Michigan State has won 12 straight Big Ten road games under ninth-year head coach Mark Dantonio. “Nebraska’s not an easy place to go play, period. End of story,”
With a week off to heal and re-energize, the Spartans look to kick off the month of November with momentum going down the home stretch of the season. Historically, the Spartans have done well in November under Dantonio. One thing to mention here is that the Spartans have yet to put it all together in a game where all facets are playing well: offense, defense and special teams. It’s evident that they know how to win and expect to win despite playing up to their potential. We will see how the season goes now with four games left, including the big one in Columbus on November 21 against Ohio State.
#Michigan State scored 24 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to turn a close game into a comfortable victory over Indiana. The star of the game was MSU quarterback Connor Cook, who passed for 398 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. Cook’s passing yards was two shy of the Spartan record of 400 set by Bill Burke in 1999 against Michigan. It was imperative that Cook put the offense on his shoulders in the absence of a running game. Different combinations in the offensive line is making it difficult to establish any continuity to have a consistent ground game. The upcoming bye week is a welcome sight to a team that is looking like a “mash unit” right now. The Spartans play again on November 7 at Nebraska. It is expected some of the injured players will be back, especially on the offensive line and defensive backfield.
“We know how to win,” Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said. “The bottom line is we know how to win here. We’ve learned how to win close games and in this case, sort of distance ourselves. The culture exists here where we expect to win. That’s the biggest thing. We expect to win and there is a confidence level.”We certainly didn’t play our best football, but we’ve got enough players playing extremely good football to stay in games with everybody and make enough plays to win a football game.”
ESPN analysts Mark May and Robert Smith both predict Michigan to beat Michigan State on Saturday. Smith even used the “Big Brother” reference in making his prediction. That comment alone you can bet will be bulletin board material for the Spartans. Coach Mark Dantonio has used that as motivation since he’s been the head man at Michigan State.
Michigan is on a roll right now and the Spartans have struggled in beating lesser competition the last two weeks in Purdue and Rutgers. Michigan’s defense has shutout the last three opponents, which has made everybody take notice. Coach Jim Harbaugh has instilled some confidence in a team that is basically the players left over from Brady Hoke.
The national media has really jumped on the Michigan bandwagon and has projected them as a playoff team. This is THE game in the Big 10 this week and the winner will be in a good position in not only the league, but nationally as well. We will see how the rest of the season plays out.
The injury bug continues to hit the Spartans after this week’s game with Rutgers. How many injuries can this team take? One of the top running backs is out (Madre London) with an ankle injury, as a result, the redshirt was taken off Delton Williams, which may a blessing in disguise. He is an experienced back and is itching to play. Jack Allen goes out as does Darian Hicks. These guys are very valuable players on this team; star players to be exact! What’s been very good in all of the injuries is that the team keeps winning. It doesn’t seem to matter how. They just seem to make the big play when needed to win the game. They’re not getting style points, but, at the end of the day a win is a win. It doesn’t matter if you win 10-9 or 60-0, a win is a win!! That bodes well as the season progresses in terms of the mindset. If you believe you can win no matter what, that makes a big difference.