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Spartans knock off #5 West Virginia in Rose Bowl

Discussion in 'Thread Archive' started by -4-, May 30, 2011.

  1. -4-

    -4- Walk On

    May 25, 2011
    Firing on All Cylinders
    Outstanding second half effort lifts Spartans to 24-10 Rose Bowl win.

    Despite a ho-hum 9-3 season this year, the Michigan State Spartans earned a trip to Pasadena for a Rose Bowl match-up with #5 West Virginia this season. While MSU came in as slight underdogs, in the end MSU would come out on top. The Spartans made the necessary adjustments to the explosive West Virginia offense, shutting down their Heisman candidate quarterback in the second half, and the Green and White walked off with an impressive 24-10 victory.

    After West Virginia opened the scoring with a field goal on their opening drive, the Spartans went to work. MSU rode the legs of Junior running back Brian Wilson all game long, as the Spartans took their opening drive the distance, scoring when Eric Hale took a reverse 7 yards in for the score.

    The spread attack and quarterback Scott Thomas proved difficult for the Spartans to adjust to, as West Virginia answered right back with a scoring drive of their own, taking the lead back when Thomas hooked up with Derrick Ransom for a 28-yard score.

    Despite being able to move the ball relatively easy, the Spartans’ weakness in the kicking game proved costly, as MSU turned the ball over twice inside the West Virginia 25-yard line in the first half, once on downs and once on a fumble. But, despite the troubles, MSU managed to get close enough for Damien Robertson to knock in the game-tying field goal right before the end of the first half.

    The teams came out of the locker room in a 10-all tie, and all signs were pointing to this game turning into a dandy. But, in the second half, it was all Spartans. The coaching staff adjusted to the West Virginia offense and bottled the Mountaineers up entirely, posting a second half shutout while the MSU offense continued to thrive.

    The Spartans continued to ride the back of Brian Wilson (24 rushes for 130 yards), which opened up the passing attack. David Williams had an impressive day through the air, going 15/21 for 254 yards and two second half touchdowns (10 yards to Eric Hale and 58 yards to Steve Jacobs) as the Spartans pulled away.

    The BCS win boosts Michigan State to a 10-3 finish on the year, and will likely give the Spartans a needed boost in off-season recruiting, as MSU still has 7 available scholarships this season. Next year, the Spartans should be looking to challenge for the Big Ten crown once again as 14 starters return and MSU welcomes in a top fifteen recruiting class to East Lansing.

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