MSU BEATS UP UAB 55-18 BUT THERE IS A LOT MORE TO THE STORY!

Hondo S. Carpenter

September 1, 2007

East Lansing, MI

Spartan Stadium

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The MSU Spartans have suffered in the past for not being able to do the little things that it takes to win. Stupid penalties, men out of position and mental mistakes that would drive the Spartan Nation crazy failed to materialize today. You could see the crowd of 67,796 looking to the tunnel in the north end zone however to see if they were coming.

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If today’s 55-18 blowout of the Blazers of UAB is any indication, the Spartans under Mark Dantonio have addressed those issues. Now don’t be foolish, I am not in any way anointing them for the Rose Bowl (this year) but it was nice to see the Spartans do what needed to be done.

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Some in Cincinnati called Mark Dantonio’s style boring, or old school but to the Spartan Nation it is sweet music to our ears. The Spartans won a game that they should, and that will continue. How many years have we looked back at the schedule and seen an L that we all shook our head at. This team demonstrated poise, and grace today along with nose bleeding power hitting and execution of a running game that heretofore has been ignored. Jehuu Caulcrick had a monster day running for 93 yards on 10 carries with 4 TD’s! That was impressive but the much bigger issue was on four separate occasions I saw Spartans walk away from “hitting back” and getting stupid penalties. They carried themselves like Spartans and the scoreboard reflected it.

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Finally the Spartan Nation had a true Spartan on her sideline and that was refreshing. See the usual stoic Dantonio on the sidelines painted a picture that most did not expect. His enthusiasm was controlled but with each player that came off the field he had warm greetings and better yet: coaching. It was fantastic to see players not getting screamed at from a finger pointing staff that couldn’t handle the pressure of being on the hot seat and seeing a group of guys that simply coached. This next statement Dantonio will take as a compliment but it really looked like practice all summer and spring.

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As you know, I have told you all spring and summer that during scrimmages the coaches would stop and gather the team around their respective coach and get correction. The same thing happened today as each time a unit came off the field they were instantly swarmed by their teammates (something you didn’t see in recent times) as they headed to a coach for just that: coaching.

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The Spartans dominated a bewildered UAB team that is undergoing a complete overhaul like MSU did only four short years ago. I don’t think it is fair to look at this game against a so heavily overmatched UAB and read more into it, but it was a good win against a DIV 1 A team. There is a lot you can read into it, but more information will come in two weeks against PITT as to how good they can be.

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The Spartans gathered at the fifty after the game not to plant a flag, but for a team prayer. What Dantonio probably doesn’t get, is that the rest of the Spartan Nation is doing that also, only it is for him being here!

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