Spartans Can Still Salvage Season With Bowl

Spartans Can Still Salvage Season With Bowl

If anything good can come out of it, hopefully all involved with the State football squad can remember one thing, "finish." Finish the ballgame, finish the season. Defensive end Jonal Saint-Dic said, "Don't feel sorry for Michigan State, we'll be fine."

EAST LANSING - It was among the toughest losses to Michigan ever. A series of miscues including poor coaching decisions, lack of execution and missed opportunities, Michigan State loss another close ball game to the University of Michigan.

If anything good can come out of it, hopefully all involved with the State football squad can remember one thing, "finish." Finish the ballgame, finish the season.

MSU's player were celebrating on the sidelines way too soon after going up 24-14. MSU's coaching staff went conservative, rushing only three and playing a prevent defense. Despite that, Mario Manningham found himself single covered by Ross Weaver on the winning touchdown pass.

We can only wonder what would have happened if the Spartans had continued with the same defensive scheme that was battering Henne and Ryan Mallett in the Wolverines backfield? What would have happened if MSU had called a three-deep coverage to prevent the long ball? What if MSU had recovered Ryan Mallett's fumble instead of Mike Hart? What if Ross Weaver doesn't slow up just before Henne's pass went over his outstretched hand?

Still, Mark Dantonio's first season as MSU's head coach doesn't have to be a continuation of the status quo from last season's 4-8 finish. The Spartans have two more opportunities to become bowl eligible and with victories over both Purdue and Penn State, could finish 7-5 and find themselves somewhere like the Chammps Sports Bowl in Orlando.

Spartans defensive end Jonal Saint-Dic -- a player who has emerged as one of the top defensive end candidates in the nation and is a sure bet to play in the NFL next season said -- "I don't want anyone to feel sorry for Michigan State, we'll be fine. We left it all on the field. We still believe in Coach Dantonio and we'll be fine."

That is exactly the attitude the rest of the Spartans must reflect with games coming up in West Lafayette, IN vs. Purdue and at home vs. Penn State.

If the Spartans play with the intensity and passion they brought to the stadium Saturday in West Lafayette, they'll put themselves in great shape for a bowl bid. But the Spartans will have to fight against their own current history of folding up following a loss to Michigan.

Are they the "Same old Spartans" or will they get up off the mat and get into a bowl game. The next two weeks will tell the tale of whether this is truly a different MSU team.

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