Spartans Win Fitting

One year after games ended with the Spartans coming up just short on the scoreboard, the team has shown the ability to win and close out games when it matters most. However, Saturday's victory over Purdue ended just the way it should have. Spartans All-American Greg Jones lowering the boom on a quarterback forcing a poor throw, giving his team a chance for a turnover, and sealing the victory.

Saturday was full of emotions as players, coaches, parents, and fans said goodbye to a senior group who has become one of the more successful group of players in Michigan State Football history.

When Greg Jones looked to lower the boom on Purdue quarterback Rob Henry forcing a throw that would be intercepted by Chris Norman, a 35-31 come from behind victory was sealed. Ten years from now no one will remember much about the breakdown of the whole game that saw the Spartans struggle to get anything going. But as this team has shown all year, the mistakes of just a season ago have been remembered and turned in the opposite direction.

Kirk Cousins Under Pressure
Dave Berk,
After going into the half down 21-13, the Spartans found the third quarter to be one of not many positives. However, the fourth quarter will be one that will go down in the Spartan history books as another great comeback.

With the Spartans defense playing inspired and holding Purdue in check, the offense and special teams found their groove just in time to pull off the win.

It with a failed drive leaving the Spartans 12:42 left to find a way to comeback from a 15-point deficit.

Chris Rucker intercepted a Rob Henry pass giving Spartan fans hope, a few plays later Kirk Cousins found B.J. Cunningham for a 5 yard touchdown and after a Dan Conroy kick, the Spartans where a touchdown and two-point conversion away from being tied.

However, Purdue came ready to play and after a great return on the kickoff the Boilermakers were in scoring position. The Spartans defense came up big forcing Purdue to kick a long field goal. Carson Wiggs attempt from 52-yards was solid and the Spartans found themselves again down by double digits with just over eight minutes left in the game.

The Spartans wasted little time as Cousins found a groove and hit Charlie Gantt, Edwin Baker, Brad Linthicum, and Cunningham for the apparent touchdown. While replay had fans and the Spartans coaching staff seeing a touchdown, the official on the field felt Cunningham did not keep possession of the ball when he came down in the end zone. Mark Dantonio pushed for a replay view and was forced to challenge the play only to have officials again rule an incomplete pass.

But the Spartans did not lose faith and on the next play Cousins hit Mark Dell to the touchdown and the time to go for two had come.

Greg Jones
Dave Berk,
Again, Cousins found Dell in the front part of the end zone and the senior wide receiver would show great hands in stabbing the ball out in front of him giving the Spartans two points and putting them down by three.

This time the Spartans left nothing to chance. Kevin Muma kicked the ball into the end zone forcing a touchback and the Spartans defense rose to the occasion forcing Purdue to punt the ball away.

The next couple of plays are the type that are forgotten about in the years to come. Denicos Allen blocked the Boilermakers punt attempt and Johnny Adams recovered the ball putting the Spartans on the three yard line and in position to score and go ahead for only the second time in the game.

After Edwin Baker failed to gain a yard, Cousins saw an opening tucked the ball diving into the end zone giving the Spartans the final points needed to send 17 seniors off in grand fashion 35-31.

But wait, Purdue did not come to lose on this day and was able to move the ball to the Spartans twenty yard lining setting up the game's final play with Jones getting credit for a quarterback hurry and Chris Norman sealing the Spartans tenth victory over the season.

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