Ohio State Vs Michigan Last 15 Years Football latest 2023

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College Football – The Curse is Now Over – Michigan State Avoids Its Customary Late Season Collapse

When 16 seniors left Spartan Stadium in East Lansing on Saturday after their 9th win of the year against Purdue, their greatest legacy will be that they were the class that broke the curse – Michigan State’s dreaded curse of start fast and end badly.

Before Mark Dantonio took over as coach last season, former coach John L. Smith started the previous 4 seasons at 18-4 and finished at 4-22. In 2003, it was a 7-1 start and a 1-3 finish. In 2004, it was a 4-3 start and a 1-5 finish. In 2005, it was a 4-0 start and a 1-6 finish. In 2006, it was a 3-0 start and a 1-8 finish. This is called a curse.

Mark Dantonio started last season at 2-4 and finished at 5-2. The Spartans went 7-6 and found themselves in a bowl game. After beating Purdue 21-7 at home Saturday (11-8-08), the Spartans are 9-2. Michigan State lost its opener in California, picked up 6 straight wins, was beaten by Ohio State 45-7, but bounced back with another 3 straight wins.

The curse is officially over. Dantonio changed Michigan State’s culture from “it’s all about me” to “we are one”. It demanded discipline, focus, performance and accountability. Its players now believe they can win and have learned to close a game and win, again, and again, and again.

The Spartans grab a bye this week, then take on the No. 7-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions on the road to ending their season. When Saturday began, Penn State was 9-0 and ranked No. 3. After being upset by Iowa 24-23 in Iowa, Michigan State now has a chance to win a share of the Big Ten title for the first time since 1990.

The Spartans’ conference record is 6-1 while Penn State and Ohio State are both 5-1, leaving Michigan State a half-game lead in the standings at this time. Penn State takes on Indiana ahead of their matchup with the Spartans. Ohio State faces Illinois and Michigan to close out its season.

Michigan State is currently ranked 18th in the AP Top 25 poll. The Spartans have everything to gain and nothing to lose against Penn State as the Nittany Lions are ranked 7th and will be favored in their territory. The Spartans won’t be expected to win, and if they did, they would earn at least a share of the Big Ten title.

Michigan State (9-2) isn’t blowing the socks off of teams right now, like Florida, Alabama and Texas Tech, but they’ll still win a much bigger bowl game this year, even if they lose to Penn State as expected.

What’s been so interesting about Michigan State this year is that the Spartan defense has outperformed their stats. Among the 119 teams in Division 1-A, Michigan State ranks 75th in rush defense, 59th in pass defense and 37th in base defense. They’re ranked 18th in the nation among all teams, but aren’t among the top 25 teams in any of those defensive categories.

When the push came against Purdue, the Spartan defense came damn close to a shutout. Their offense had 4 turnovers on Saturday but the defense held on.

Michigan State stopped Purdue on its first 15 possessions of the game, including a 14-yard sack on a 4-and-5 at the Spartan’s 27-yard line, and a 1-min save on a 4-and-1 at the Spartan 29-yard line. On his 16th possession, the Boilermakers finally had a 16-play, 88-yard drive for their lone touchdown with 42 seconds left in the game.

With just 19 seconds left in the 1st half and Michigan State leading 7-0, freshman defensive back Johnny Adams stepped forward past a pass from Justin Siller and returned the interception 40 yards out for give the Spartans a 14-0 halftime lead. Again the defense not only held but scored to help the attack.

Here’s a fact that hasn’t been mentioned by sportswriters and analysts nationwide: Of teams with 9 or more wins, there are only 9 teams that have fewer losses than Michigan State after the 11th college football game week.

They are Texas Tech (10-0), Texas (9-1), Alabama (10-0), Oklahoma (9-1), Penn State (9-1), Utah (10-0), Boise State (9 -0), Ball State (9-0) and Brigham Young (9-1). The Spartans are in good company in every way.

Can Michigan State beat Penn State? Penn State is coming off a road loss to Iowa, 24-23. Of course, JoPa (coach Joe Paterno) is furious to miss out on another national title. Michigan State hosted and defeated Iowa 16-13. In college football, anything can and will happen.

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

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