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Learning How to Take Care of Business

Another weekend, another win… gotta love football season. There is a lot to celebrate in East Lansing. More than a 2-0 start; I saw a great deal to celebrate in MSU’s 28-17 win over a very good BGSU team. I am not going to anoint Bowling Green the MAC Champion just yet, but I’m here to tell you that they are going to be in the thick of it come November.

Did anybody notice the blown calls last Saturday in Spartan Stadium? I sure did and I have to say it was the best thing to happen to our Spartans on Saturday. Most of you are probably asking yourself, Henne (no relation to “0-2 Chad Henne”) what are you thinking? My response follows some simple logic. When was the last time MSU faced some serious in-game adversity and powered through it for a 4th quarter “W”? An MSU team coached by Bobby Williams or John L. Smith probably would have packed it in after Hoyer’s second INT and certainly would have stained the sheets after the second blown fumble call by the officiating crew. We’d have heard all about the missed calls at the post-game presser. There would have been enough blank looks throughout the coaching ranks to make Spartan fans buy into the mediocrity.

It is Spartan Football 2007. There were no fingers pointed. There weren’t any defenders sulking. Most importantly, no one in a green uniform quit on Saturday. I was so proud to be Spartan, because our boys manned up and handled the adverse conditions. They took care of business, left the dirty laundry in the bag and played to win. Too many times we’ve seen MSU run into the buzz saw when a call went the wrong way or an INT rendered the opponent an instant scoring opportunity. Not this MSU team. Hoyer wasn’t going to pout. Ringer wasn’t gashing the BG defense for 7 yards per carry; the individual stats didn’t seem to matter. Dantonio wasn’t going to let a couple INT’s or blown calls ruin MSU’s unblemished record. I cannot confirm this, but I have to believe the MSU staff was secretly happy that the officials blew a couple of calls that would have made Saturday’s game an all out route.

An eight and half minute drive, are you kidding me? Saint-Dic with three sacks, where did that come from? I suspect it had something to do with an MSU team learning how to hunker down and be a football team. The MSU defense had their hands full early with BGSU’s offense. Make no mistake; BGSU has a very good offense. A spread offense, when run to precision is a tough nut to crack. Just ask our “friends” in Ann Arbor. As the game wore on MSU’s defense became more confident and our boys really answered the bell. Warrick went out with an injury and Travis Key stepped in without missing a beat. Ross Weaver found his way to the Spartan bench with a bad case of the cramps. No worries, Chris L. Rucker, true freshman stepped up and got the job done.

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The Spartans proved they could maintain composure even when the cards were stacked against them. We learned more about Dantonio’s “Men In Green” and you have to love the way they responded on Saturday. Now, I’m not going to run to the post office and send Saturday’s officials thank-you cards or anything like that. What I will say is that their mistakes taught us more about our team than any fumble recovery could.