It Was an Ugly (but Good) Win

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It Was an Ugly (but Good) Win
By Daryl Flanagan
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Spartan Nation breathed a collective sigh of relief after Michigan State, behind what may end up being their 2008 defensive play of the year by middle linebacker Adam Decker on 4th and inches, held on for the victory against Iowa on a beautiful fall Saturday in front of a rowdy Homecoming crowd.
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It was a big win on several levels today for the Spartans. MSU persevered through adversity for the 2nd week in a row. This was the type of game that Michigan State would have lost under past regimes. Homecoming and all of the festivities that come with it always brings out droves of donors and recruits. Today the Spartans showed that they are capable of making the big play to seal the deal and represent the university well on such an important day.
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However, MSU still left some questions unanswered at Spartan Stadium. Brian Hoyer was subpar and often inconsistent. Iowa’s defensive line did a great job of stopping Javon Ringer throughout most of the day, while Hawkeye RB Shonn Greene rushed 30 times for 165 yards. The Spartan defense displayed a “bend but not break” effort and the offense had to settle for field goals deep in the red zone when touchdowns may have been enough to put the game away for good. Some key defensive players (Otis Wiley and Chris L. Rucker) also had to leave the game with injuries.
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All that being said, a win is a win, and as Coach Dantonio said in his post-game press conference, he judges the success of not only his team, but his quarterback by wins and losses. From that perspective 5-1 looks pretty good for Hoyer, and for Spartan Nation 5-1 is hopefully a sign that Dantonio has instilled a “finish” attitude and is well on his way to building a program that can consistently compete for Big Ten championships. Iowa is a solid football team, and Michigan State was able to capitalize on some key Hawkeye turnovers for the win.
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One of the best moments of the day came after the game when Ringer was greeted by all-time Spartan great Lorenzo White on the field. The two spoke for a few moments as White presumably congratulated Javon on the victory and outstanding season that he is having thus far. Special meetings like this are what Homecoming is all about and should make Spartan Nation proud to sport the green and white.
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In the end State fans can walk with their heads held high (after their heart rates return to normal levels) as this MSU team is starting to give people a reason to believe that 2008 is another step in the right direction for a program that holds the promise of great things.

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