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 "Meet the Michigan State Spartans - The Come From Behind..." 
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Post "Meet the Michigan State Spartans - The Come From Behind..."
Meet the Michigan State Spartans - The Come From Behind Kids Who Continue to Win
by: Ed Bagley

Copyright © 2010 Ed Bagley

If you are a Michigan State fan, booster or alumni, watching the Spartans play can be dangerous to your health.

A rabid follower of the Spartans is emotionally vested and seeing them in the first half of their last two games is distressing at best, and depressing at worst. When you spot the opposition 6-3 and 17-7 first half leads, bad things can happen.

First it was a 3-3 Illinois team that went to the locker room with a 6-3 halftime lead only to be outscored by the Spartans 23-zip in the second half. Last week Northwestern jumped out to a 17-0 lead and went to the locker room with a 17-7 lead before the Spartans put together a 28-point second half performance, and 35-27 victory.

So what is it with the Michigan State players? I don't know. One thing is for sure - when a sportscaster says he was in the locker room at halftime in the Illinois game and would not be doing that again because of what he witnessed being said, you know the players got an earful from coach Mark Dantonio and his staff.

The bad news is that Michigan State's players are not starting games fast. The good news is they are waking up in the second half and still winning anyway.

All of that may come to a crashing halt against Iowa. The Hawkeyes (5-2) are currently ranked 18th in the AP Top 25 Poll after losing to the 8th-ranked Wisconsin (7-1) Badgers, 31-30. The Spartans (8-0) are ranked 5th. Ohio State (7-1) is ranked 10th, so the Big Ten Conference is alive and well.

Iowa is no pushover.

The Hawkeyes can score - 33+ points a game to Michigan State's 34+ points per game. Worse yet, the Iowa defense is only giving up 15+ points a game, better than Michigan State's 17+ point a game average. Iowa's total defense is ranked 13th nationally, Michigan State's is ranked 32nd.

The Spartan rushing offense is 28th (gaining 193+ ypg), but the Hawkeye rushing defense is 7th nationally (allowing only 92+ ypg). Michigan State's and Iowa's passing offenses are about the same, 34th to 38th, and their passing defenses are pretty close, 52nd (Iowa) to 62nd (MSU).

Passing efficiency? Iowa wins, ranking 3rd nationally, while Michigan State ranks 11th.

The Hawkeyes have built their national reputation on a bruising defense that takes no prisoners, and practices scorched-earth tactics - in other words, trash and burn the opposition. The Spartans are more of a finesse team, with better balance on offense than defense.

Michigan State must travel to Iowa for this game. Could this be the week that the Spartans lose their first game? It is very possible, even though the Hawkeyes have been beaten by both Arizona (ranked 15th) and Wisconsin (ranked 9th).

It is really difficult for me to watch the Spartans. I am a Michigan State University graduate - Class of 1966, prior to the advent of the Internet and techno prompts when the biggest deal was an IBM Selectric typewriter with the ball, it was at least an upgrade from my old Underwood typewriter left over from the 1940s.

In the Illinois game with Michigan State down 6-3 at the half, I left at halftime and went to the YMCA for an hour-and-a-half workout on the treadmill. I made up my mind I would not watch them lose; if they won, that was OK, if they lost, I did not want to see it. I was lucky that day, they won with a great second half comeback that I missed.

I may not even turn on the set when they play Iowa. I would hate to jinx them at this point in time; after all, they are 8-0. Not to mention the fact that Halloween is just around the corner.

About The Author
Ed Bagley's Articles is Writer, Author and Editor Ed Bagley's personal web site with hundreds of original articles on 46 different subjects. Ed Bagley's Articles is a treasure trove of feel good stories, satire, insight, and frank commentary on our life and times in America. Find Ed Bagley's Articles at:
The author invites you to visit:

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[Note: Due to a size limitation, the title, above, had to be abbreviated. Apologies to the author and - Admin]
This article was posted by permission.

Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:28 pm
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