Breaking Down The Outback Bowl

Michigan State earns its first bowl victory since 2001 and does so in thrilling fashion going triple overtime against Georgia in the Outback Bowl. Here is our post game breakdown following the 33-30 victory.

Was Michigan State's triple overtime win over Georgia enough to silence the critics as to the direction Mark Dantonio has the Spartans program heading? We look at this and more in our breakdown following the Outback Bowl.

What Was Learned

Despite their slow start Michigan State showed they have taken great strides in the rank and file of the Big Ten and in college football. Respect is earned on the field and Mark Dantonio's team showed the ability a quality coaching staff capable of developing talent can have on the field. There is depth in the Spartans program unlike any time in the past and much will be expected by Spartan fans in 2012.

Despite the win, don't look for the media to give the Spartans their due as many will be picking against the Spartans having success in 2012 without Kirk Cousins and company.

Key Play of the Game

Don't be fooled as to what is the best play of the Spartans win over Georgia. While everyone will look at the blocked kick by Anthony Rashad White, the clutch holds by Brad Sonntag saved the Spartans and gave them a chance to even go to overtime.

Key Stat of the Game

Many will look at the Spartans giving up 39 rushing yards on the day. However, the key stats of the day are.

OFFENSE: Michigan State was a perfect 5-for-5 in the red-zone scoring three touchdowns and hitting field goals.

DEFENSE: Posting 17 tackles for loss is a major feat against any SEC team and showed just how good the Spartans defense was in 2011.

Look Ahead at 2012

OFFENSE:

How well prepared Andrew Maxwell will be in taking the place of Kirk Cousins will be the biggest question when the Spartans open spring drills. The Spartans will also have to look at some younger players to fill gaps along the offensive line, wide receiver and tight end.

DEFENSE:

We fully expect Jerel Worthy to pass on returning for his senior season and take his talents to the NFL. In his place Anthony Rashad White will have to show he's capable of staying healthy and take on a dominate role along the interior of the line. However, the Spartans are loaded with young talent on defense and fans should not expect a letdown in 2012.


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