Looking over our beloved cathedral of the Spartan Nation, the new press box was my vantage point to watch the beloved Spartans start the 2005 campaign.Â The weather was perfect (is there ever a bad day for football) and the atmosphere in the stands was electric.
The man that many have called the messiah of MSU football Drew Stanton masterfully showed his control of Coach Lansingâ€™s system.Â In the first drive as he led us on an eight play (4 run/4pass) sixty-eight drive capped of with a 6 yard touchdown pass to Kyle Brown.
Now it was time for the defense (what many fear is our weak spot) to show what it could do.Â It responded with a quick three and out that concluded with a Kaleb Thornhill sack and a punt return for forty-six yards by Kyle Brown, thus setting up the offense with a first and ten from the Golden Flash thirty-nine.
Back on the field came the green nation led by Stanton .Â Again they marched to the end zone with a 7- play (3 pass/4 run) thirty-nine yard drive that was concluded by a seven yard run by Jehuu Caulcrick.
The gang green defense responded once again, when they ended a Golden Flash drive with an Eric Smith interception.Â An illegal block however penalized his impressive return, but it was after the interception so it stood.
Again the offense took the field and began the march for seven.Â They marched down on a seven-play drive (five pass/2 run) that ended with a Ryan Woods fumble when he was upended (literally) on a great hit.Â Once again, the defense returned to try to stop the Golden Flashes. They held, thus giving the offense a first and ten at the Spartan twenty.
The Spartans couldnâ€™t do anything and suffered their first three and out of the day.Â After the punt, the Golden Flashes had a great forty-five yard bomb that placed them at the Spartan twelve.Â The Golden Flashes were able to convert for a TD and with that we saw the complexion of the game change, momentarily.Â Â We now found the score 14-7 Michigan State, as the first quarter was almost complete.
The Spartans next drive was a thing of beauty as they drove eighty-three yards on nine plays and we watched as Jason Teague ended the drive with an acrobatic four-yard touchdown run.Â The extra point was wide left and the Spartans re-took control twenty to seven.
Again the Spartans marched down the field on a three play, sixty-eight yard drive, that was highlighted by two Caulcrick runs of forty-two and five yards.Â The latter being for the fourth Spartan TD of the afternoon and a 26-7 score.Â Goss came back in the game as the place kicker and completed the PAT.
The Golden Flashes next drive lasted eight plays and eighty yards that ended with a thirty-one yard bomb for a touchdown.Â The PAT was good and the score was 27-14 Michigan State midway through the second quarter.
The Spartans next possession once again found our Spartans marching down the filed virtually unbothered, but when his receiver missed his route, Stanton threw an interception that the burden of fault needed to be placed on his receiver.
The Spartans next drive saw Jehuu Caulcrick score his third TD of the afternoon and Stanton also converted the two point conversion to Terry Love, making the score 35-14.
35-14 was how the second half came to an end for the Spartans and the Golden Flashes.Â MSU set a school record with 438 yards in total offense.
Near the end of the third quarter, Stanton hooked up with Jerramy Scott on a twenty-one yard TD strike and Goss completed the PAT for a 42-14 lead.
With 2:30 remaining in the third quarter, Stanton already had 297 yards passing, completing 22 of 29 throws.Â Jehuu Caulcrick had over 100 rushing yards and Love had over 100 receiving yards.
The fourth quarter began with R-Fr Brian Hoyer under center.Â He along with Fr RB sensation Javon Ringer marched the Spartans down the field sixty-six yards in nine plays, that Ringer ended with a two yard run for a TD.Â The PAT was successful and with 12:55 left in the fourth quarter, MSU was ahead 49-14.
Hoyer finished the game 4/5 for twenty-eight yards and Ringer had 12 rushing attempts for sixty-nine yards.
Overall the Spartans dominated and showed the overly confident Golden Flashes that they belonged in the MAC and maybe they could talk smack with Eastern Michigan , but sure as hell not MSU!
Special Teams:Â C+ (they would have been much better but the kicking game was not great.Â Please see MSU random notes article for more.
Coaching:Â Adjustments and preparation was great.Â A
I graded the team out at 92%
Offensive MVP:Â Jehuu Caulcrick
Defensive MVP:Â Sir Darean Adams