If Michigan State punts the football after three and outs, the chances of Notre Dame driving down the field three straight times is miniscule. In fact, the Irish couldn't have won if Michigan State didn't turn the ball over.
But they did turn it over; three times in the fateful fourth quarter and lost a shot at glory.
Now comes the hard part; they must forget about that loss.
The Spartans must go to Champaign, IL., and put in a workmanlike effort against the Fighting Illini, regain their footing and their confidence because two super games still loom on their schedule, Michigan and Ohio State.
Should MSU pull the upset in either of those two contests, they put themselves in contention for the conference championship. The bright side of this loss is that this was a non-conference game. While it lowered MSU in the eyes of the national audience, they can regain any lost luster and more so by beating either of their two upcoming opponents.
First things first though, MSU needs to drop the Fighting Illini like a bad habit. They must not allow this loss to hover over the team. They cannot let Illini show any signs of life and give them hope of an upset. They can and should take their frustration out on Illinois.
The Spartans need to get up early on Illinois and then concentrate on improving their fourth quarter offense. The focus should be on execution, mental toughness and a businesslike demeanor.
Right the ship, head to Ann Arbor 4-1 and try like the Dickens to pull the upset. Do that, and everything that took place Saturday evening in East Lansing will be gone like a bad dream.