FAU Win Fun in the Mud, Now Comes the Irish

Sloppy fun defined Michigan State's shutout victory over Florida Atlantic. But the drenching day brought back some bad memories of next week's opponent.

Biblical rains drenched Spartan Stadium last weekend.

The remnants of Hurricane Ike made Michigan State's 17-0 win over Florida Atlantic a sloppy, soggy, downright ugly affair.

But there was one shining ray of sunlight that pierced through the eye of the storm: Javon Ringer racking up a career-high 282 yards behind a determined Spartan offensive line.

The star of the afternoon carried the rock a career-best 43 times and took a pounding, but had only one complaint after the game.

"The only thing on me that's really aggravating is just my feet — they're wet," Ringer said. "That was pretty much it. There was a lot of water out there — my socks and my shoes and everything got heavy."

Sure, it's easy to claim you had fun after a win, but many of the players said the constant downpour took them back to a simpler time.

"Sometimes it's really hard to do what you want to do out there when it's wet," senior captain Otis Wiley said.

"It's like backyard football, like in the backyard when it's wet, sliding in the mud. It was a fun in the sense that we were playing good and beating them … it was a fun atmosphere for everybody."

Wiley's fellow senior defensive captain concurred.

"It was fun out there," Justin Kershaw said. "It was enjoyable getting muddy, like playing out in the backyard. I would prefer it not to rain, obviously, but it was a good time."

The fun and celebration ended Sunday morning, though, when the focus shifted to Notre Dame, which could have traveled back to South Bend in an ark two years ago after a historic come-from-behind victory in driving rain. To this day, that defeat carries a sting.

"It's in the back of our minds that they came in and stole the game from us," Wiley said. "It's a rivalry that's become a brutal one. When they come in, we know it's going to be a hard-fought battle. Notre Dame never quits and we're never going to quit."

But MSU is going into Notre Dame week on a roll, and after the Spartans' first shutout in nine years, the squad is playing with passion and purpose.

"We're confident going into every game, because we know what we're capable of," Kershaw said. "We have great coaches, we have the players and personnel to make it happen. So we're confident going into Notre Dame."

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