Spartans' Dantonio delivering on promise to take over state
A year before
The Spartans' 26-20 overtime win over the Wolverines on Saturday was about so much more than a 1-3 Michigan State team getting its season back on track or a 4-0 Michigan team suffering its first setback. For a program that's spent a large chunk of its history playing the role of its state's "little brother" (as former Michigan running back
Then, taking over at his own nine-yard line with 2:53 left, Forcier engineered what can only be described as an
But just when we thought he'd etched himself into Michigan lore, Forcier's third-down pass into the end zone at the start of overtime was tipped into the air and intercepted by Michigan State's
Even before the game, neither team was as good or as bad as their respective records. While Forcier has proven the perfect leader for Rodriguez's offense and reinvigorated the Wolverines' fan base following a 3-9 debacle last year, Michigan's defense has been living dangerously all year. Indiana nearly knocked it off last week. This time, Spartans QB
And prior to those two last-minute touchdowns, Michigan State's defense was the first all season to slow down the Wolverines' offense. Most notably, the Spartans held Michigan to just 29 net rushing yards, down from a season average of 240.3. It was a redemptive performance for a unit that got largely torched in its losses to Central Michigan, Wisconsin and Notre Dame.
When Forcier is rolling, Michigan can knock off just about anybody, but its defense will prevent it from contending for a Big Ten title. Cousins is an underrated quarterback himself, though interception-prone. The Spartans will need more defensive gems like this one to return to a major bowl.