MSU takes care of a well coached BGSU 28-17!

Hondo S. Carpenter

September 8, 2007

East Lansing, MI

Spartan Stadium

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The weather was perfect and although the scoreboard was not as one sided as last week, the MSU Spartans won the game by a score of 28 to 17 over the Falcons of Bowling Green.Â

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As I told you earlier in the week in my BGSU scouting report, the Falcons are very well coached and they came out with a game plan that put 8 men in the box (close vicinity to the line of scrimmage) and dared MSU to attack them with Brian Hoyer. The Spartans tried to establish the run in the first half, in fact they ran it 18 of their 32 plays but only for an anemic 59 yards.

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Don’t slight BGSU; the coaching staff that I had bragged about last week showed that it deserved it with a great game plan. MSU’s coaches however are no slouches either. Although they did not want to dip too far in the playbook, they had to open things up more in order to loosen up the Falcon defense.  And they did.Â

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Proving that the adjustments we saw last week were not a one time thing, the Spartans stormed out in the second half with what looked like a whole new game plan. Seeing coaches who could adjust hasn’t been seen in the Spartan Nation since Saban left but those days are in the rear view mirror. The Spartan staff came out and led by a resurgent defense and QB Brian Hoyer they took command.

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Hoyer, who had two interceptions in the first half just let it go and played the second half like the gunslinger from St. Ignatius that he is. In fairness, he had one interception at the end of the second half that was not his fault when the BGSU blitzer was literally bear hugging him from the front unblocked as he was throwing.

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Hoyer ended the day with great numbers. He threw it 29 times for the day completing 17 along with two scores and of course the two interceptions. Devin Thomas again demonstrated that he was Hoyer’s favorite target with his second game in a row of over 100 (156 this game) receiving yards and 263 in all-purpose yards.Â

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The Spartan running game which Dantonio so desperately wants to establish did make an impression, but it had to first get going after Hoyer’s great play forced them to get eight men out of the box. Caulcrick had 55yards and another touchdown that moved him to ninth all time on the MSU TD list and Ringer also was huge carrying the ball 22 times for 94 yards and a score.

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Hoyer got to show his athleticism with 5:27 left in the third quarter when he rolled left on a naked bootleg and instantly had a Falcon in his face. No problem however for him as he simply lowered his delivery (nearly to a side arm) that certainly he had done as a star baseball pitcher back in the day and completed the pass to Davis for only three yards. The point that many would miss is that without Hoyer’s athleticism it would have been at least an 11-yard loss.

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Dantonio had complained after the last game that his Spartans hadn’t yet really faced any adversity and that changed today. Late in the first half the Spartans had recovered a fumble that the official had inadvertently whistled as down (the inadvertent whistle made it non-reviewable). The crowd may not have been impressive in size but the student section has been perhaps the best in history and they sounded like a mass of thunder as they rained down boos that echoed up into the tops of the press box.

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Even the most diehard Spartan fan had to feel bad for the Falcons. The Spartans hitting was relentless the entire game and BGSU QB Tyler Sheehan was bruised and battered so bad in the second half that on three separate occasions I was sure he wouldn’t be back.

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I had to think back to the Citrus Bowl season to remember a Spartan defense that beat up a team like the Spartans did today. If you were to have sat outside Spartan Stadium and just listened to the crowd you would have known that this was an old fashioned Big Ten game with all the oohs and ahhs.

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Boleski’s leg is certainly not back to 100% but he did a very good job with kicks and the Spartans, although it wasn’t pretty, walked away with a 2-0 record and the adversity that Coach Mark Dantonio wanted.

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Jonal Saint-Dic had an interesting day. He was scheduled to start, but when he took his helmet off before the team ran on the field Coach Dantonio decided to start Brandon Long just to let Saint-Dic know that MSU doesn’t do anything as individuals. Saint-Dic to his credit didn’t pout, he simply sat and waited and when he got in, he led the Spartans with three sacks and two forced fumbles.

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There was a lot of reason to be excited even though the team didn’t play well. One reason is that they didn’t quit, they just stayed steady like their coach and they came out with the win.

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