Three Up or Three Down: Grading Michigan State Spartan Football POST Holiday Bowl

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Chris Frey & Brian Lewerke at the 2017 Holiday Bowl.  Photo:  Duffy Carpenter @DuffyCarpenter1

Chris Frey & Brian Lewerke at the 2017 Holiday Bowl. Photo: Duffy Carpenter @DuffyCarpenter1

Three Up or Three Down: Grading Spartan Football POST Holiday Bowl

  1. Mark Dantonio Not only got his 100th win, but he got more than that. The Spartans are currently #16 but could climb into the top ten to end this season. Dantonio rolled the dice and didn’t get rid of any staff after last season. While I certainly didn’t think he needed any holistic changes I would have made a couple. He stuck with his convictions and won. Let there be no doubt that he is the second best coach in Spartan football history and his time is far from done. Kudos to him and his staff.
  2. Dave Warner’s Career Path Facing a WSU DC that many consider the best in the PAC-12 and allegedly on his way to Columbus, OH. The Spartans OC shined. The Spartans rushed for 227 yards (best against a Power 5 with a winning record all season). The Spartans also passed for 213 yards despite a futile 1st quarter marred by player mistakes. Warner had an amazing season and deserves the chance to be a head coach. No, I am not trying to get rid of him, but the reality he has earned his shot.
  1. Brian Lewerke’s Resiliency He was terrible in the first quarter, ut did what champions do. He didn’t quit. His three touchdown passes tied a Spartan bowl record and his 73 yards rushing were the most by a Spartan quarterback in a bowl game.


I have written many times that Mark Dantonio is not a liar. That is why I insist people really listen. Jim Harbaugh should take notice of what he said. Especially the first three words:

But we're stockpiling. But if you look at the football game, I thought we played very well defensively really throughout with the exception of one or two drives, but played very well against a good offense, very well-conceived offense, good conceptually and we tackled well. We tackled well in space, came up with a couple of turnovers, offensively we got on the board and ran the ball effectively and had big plays in the passing game and I said because of the pressure the quarterback was going to have to create and that's what he did. He created with his feet and then with his arm as well and, you know, big things happened. I thought we played solidly on special teams and come away with a convincing win. Very, very excited about it.”

Michigan State will come into 2018 a top ten team and the 2019 recruiting class is shaping up to be Dantonio’s best recruiting class and the Spartans are stockpiling. See you in East Lansing on October 20.

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