The old saying rang true todayâ€¦ good teams find ways to win. Note to everyone in the college football world, Michigan State is a GOOD football team. When Michigan State needed senior leadership, a captainâ€™s effort and cool head, Brian Hoyer found a way to lead his battered Spartans to victory.
There was no Mark Dell to throw the ball to. Seven drops plagued the Spartan receivers. Brett Swenson was called upon to kick his fourth big field goal of the game and he banged it through the uprights with seven seconds on the clock to give MSU the win they needed to keep the â€œsame ol' Spartansâ€ label out of the newspapers.
The offensive line couldnâ€™t give Ringer a crease anywhere on the field today. He was held to a modest 54 yards. I canâ€™t speak directly to this, but I can only guess Ringer was happy to trade Heisman stats for a Spartan victory. Blair White was again the best receiving target on the field for either team two weeks in a row. The referees forgot that they had a hanky in their pockets as Wisconsin's defense mugged our receivers all game long. MSU needed someone to play beyond the miserable miscues and Brian Hoyer knew exactly what to do with the football. Brian delivered a comeback with less than ninety seconds in the game. He did this methodically and without a timeout in the Spartan hopper. Brian finished 19 of 44, but his 19 were some of the biggest completions by a Spartan QB ever.
I am now plucking the feathers and preparing my mix of maple BBQ sauce to lather up the crow I deserve to eat. I am going to eat every bite and enjoy every moment of this Brian Hoyer / MSU win. I have called for Hoyer to win a big game all year for his team. Today he delivered and made every armchair QB and amateur sportswriter eat the crow he served up so beautifully. The Wiscy defense was in the backfield for most of the game, Hoyer didnâ€™t flinch. His receivers dropped one beautiful pass after another, Hoyer didnâ€™t pout. Ringer never got out of first gear today, but Brian put the team on his shoulders and drove them into position to give Swenson the opportunity kickers only dream about.
Michigan Stateâ€™s post game injury report looks more like a doctorâ€™s emergency room clipboard than a football roster. The defensive backfield was completely beaten and battered. Wiley played well, even though he was hurt. Chris L. Rucker spent the game on the sideline. Ross Weaver was nowhere to be found. Kendell Davis-Clark left the game holding his left arm and all that MSU could do was reach deep into their youthful roster and get a key stop. They got the key stop when they needed it most.
The Spartans face Purdue next week in a game that promises to be a better game than anyone thought. The Boilers snuck out a win over â€œthe big sistersâ€ and Purdue needs to keep winning just to find a bottom of the barrel postseason bowl game. The bye week (November 15) cannot come soon enough as the bumps and bruises have mounted for this â€œspecialâ€ Spartan football team. When the emotions come back into check tomorrow, everyone will know that MSU was fortunate to win this game against the Badgers. White and Swenson were heroes this weekend. Brian Hoyer was bigger than any of us could have imagined. I am firing up the grill, Brian. I am going to enjoy every bite of this beautiful green crow you served up today.