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MSU at Ohio State: Week 6, 2005

Wading into a sea of red, the beloved Spartans entered into the historic horseshoe respectful but not fearful. They realized that the much-ballyhooed Buckeye LB group got all the attention and that was O.K. with them. 

Coach Lansing went against his habit of late, and deferred when he won the toss. That was a great move as the Spartan defense held the Bucks to a 3 and out. The Spartans came back and drove to the Buckeye 34 but could get no farther. Brandon Fields had a great punt inside the 8-yard line and the Bucks had to start deep at home.

The Bucks had great drive highlighted by another Jaren Hayes miscue. Pittman fumbled at his own 37 and Bazemore recovered for the Spartans so back came your Spartans. Stanton led his troops down the field with precision passing and MSU found them down inside Bucks territory. With a critical 3rd and 4 at the Buckeye 16, Stanton was under heavy pressure and threw the ball away. John Goss however came in and much to this reporters surprise hit the 33-yard field goal. So with 6:02 left in the 1st quarter, the Spartans had the 3-0 lead after the 8 play drive.

The Spartans kickoff was short, and the Buckeyes fumbled, the Spartans recovered at the OSU 3. On 1st down, MSU got a holding call and so they had to redo 1st down only now it was 1st and goal at the 13. Stanton ran the ball to the OSU 6, bringing up a 2nd and goal on the 6. On 2nd down Trannon was held but the Spartans didn’t get a call and he dropped the ball. On 3rd, OSU got a roughing the passer call so the Spartans had a 1st and goal at the OSU 3. Jehuu Caulcrick took the handoff from Stanton and went straight up the middle for the TD. The PAT was good and with 4:34 left in the 1st quarter, it was MSU 10 and OSU 0. 

The Bucks next drive began form their own 20 as the Spartans had a great touchback. The OSU Buckeyes marched down the field in perhaps some of the worst defensive play calling that we have seen, Eric Smith missed and assignment and OSU had a 51-yard pass play the was virtually uncovered and the PAT was good. MSU began their next drive from their own 20.

Stanton came out on fire. He led our Spartans with precision passing and just enough of a threat that he could and would run that we were missing in the UM game. At the Buckeye 32, the 1st quarter came to an end with MSU ahead 10-7. 

The 2nd quarter began with MSU at the Buckeye 32 and Stanton had a 2nd and 4 and that was incomplete. A crucial 3rd down came up and the LB trio of Carpenter and Hawk sacked Stanton out of the gun. Fields came in and had another terrific punt, pinning the Bucks at the 4.

The Bucks had been effective moving the ball and pinned deep again, gave MSU a chance to stop “laying off” and to start playing some tough defense. The Spartans did just that, playing up tight and fearless forcing the Buckeyes to fumble after a futile 3 and out. Once again Kyle Brown made a bad mistake letting the ball go over his head and the ball rolled for a 76-yard punt. Spartan ball at their own 16.

Stanton led his guys again down the field to the OSU 38, facing a 3rd and 1. Stanton gave the ball to Caulcrick up the middle for no gain. Rolling the dice, (and I agreed with it) John L. rolled Stanton to his left and he completed it for the 1st down to Kellen Davis down to the Buckeye 31. Stanton would not be denied however with a 36-yard TD strike to Scott and with the successful PAT, the Spartans went ahead 17-7with 6:30 left in the 2nd quarter. The drive was 12 plays over 84 yards.

OSU again had a miscue on the kickoff, but they did hold on and the Bucks began their next drive at their own 17. They could do nothing, as they seemed to be completely out of sync. MSU got a penalty (holding) so they began the drive at their own 23. After marching down into OSU territory they self destructed with a series of dumb penalties and Stanton got sack that pushed them all the way back to their own 36 for a 4th and 33. OSU again had a special teams mishap and MSU recovered the ball at the OSU 27 with 1:20 left. MSU on 1st down had Stanton toss to Ringer for 3. On 2nd down Stanton ran for 9, down to the 14 and a 1st down. On 1st down Stanton ran again, and was stopped behind the line. Stanton however made a rare critical error and scrambled and got a sack. In a hurry, MSU got a FG blocked with no time left and the Buckeyes ran it back for a TD as the half ended. The PAT was good and with the half ended it was MSU17 and OSU14.

The MSU drive that began the 2nd half saw them move into the OSU territory, but they eventually got moved back across the mid-filed stripe on a sack. After the MSU punt, OSU began on their own 24. They quickly moved down the field for a 57-yard TD score to Ted Ginn Jr. who ran away from Williams and Kaleb Thornhill hit him but forgot to tackle. The PAT was good and with 10:21 left in the 3rd quarter, it was OSU 21 and MSU 17.

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The Spartans started their 2nd drive of the second quarter from their own 20. Stanton drove his guys immediately down the field to the OSU 16, and a 1st down. On 1st down, Stanton gave to Teague who picked up 3. On 2nd down, Stanton again gave to Teague, up the middle for a gain of 6. On 1st and goal with a double TE set with a single back, Teague took the ball up the middle for the TD. The PAT was good and the Spartans found themselves back on top 24-21 with 4:53 left in the 3rd quarter. The drive was 80 yards, and it lasted 11 plays with a time of possession of 5:28.

After the kickoff, Troy Smith led out his Buckeyes as they began there drive on their own 29. They had a nice drive going, but they couldn’t sustain anything with two very costly penalties. MSU got the punt at the 25 but a critical error by Jason Teague got him a holding penalty and the Spartans had a 1st and 10 at the 15.

MSU needed to really eat the clock and score, midway through the drive, the 3rd quarter ended with MSU at the Buckeye 46 and a 1st and 10. They could do nothing else so after the Fields punt, the Buckeyes had a 1st and 10 at their own 20.

OSU got the ball, but could do nothing with it. The MSU defense held strong and after the punt, MSU began its drive at the 23-yard line. Stanton and his fellow warriors came on the field with 2 objectives: kill the clock and avoid a turnover. 

Stanton on 1st down had a 3 receiver, single back from the gun set. He hooked up to Scott for the gain of 18 and another 1st down. They faced a critical 3rd and 2, but couldn’t connect when Davis couldn’t snag the pass. Fields had yet another great punt pinning the Bucks inside the 20 yet again.

With 9:03 and down 3, the Bucks needed to do something. They couldn’t! Bazemore caused a fumble and Clifton Ryan recovered. MSU ball 1st and 10 at the Bucks 22. That well respected OSU defense held, and Goss came on for the 36-yard field goal and it was blocked. OSU ball at the 20, 1st and 10. Able to move the ball with ease against Jaren Hayes, they marched right down for the score and the lead. The PAT was good and the OSU Buckeyes found themselves up 28-24.

The Spartans were unable to accomplish anything in their next drive and found themselves with a critical 4th down at their own ½ line. Down 4 the obvious decision was to take a safety and be down 6, punt the ball and give you a chance to win. Well, the over paid MSU coaching staff blundered yet another decision when they kicked it, OSU got a great return and was able to put it in the end zone quickly on the drive. The PAT was good and the Bucks had a 35-24 lead, and that was the ball game.

The sad part about the days event was that MSU statistically and on the field was the better team, we lost however in the vital coaching category. This loss is squarely in the coaching staff.

Offense: A

Defense: B Jaren Hayes had a terrible game, but they played well enough to win. 

Special Teams: Field Goals: D The last play of the 1st half is a coaching error.

Coaching: F the coaching was terrible for this game. I am not throwing anyone under the bus. We are better off today then when he started but his staff, and that means ultimately him cost us this game.