The Spartans were unable to run the ball effectively against the smaller Chippewas defensive front, the committed unforced errors and numerous penalities. Despite all of that, all they needed was to fall on Central's desperation on-sides kick attempt and "game over."
They weren't even able to do that.
Even after CMU recovered the kick, MSU blocked the 48-yard attempt but gave the Chips a "re-do" because of a player offsides. "It's very disappointing, and I can't keep track of all of them when they are happening. The last one was disappointing especially when you tell him not to jump off sides, and to be cool because it's a 48- yard kick. The guy jumping off sides isn't going to block the kick anyway coming up the middle. We'll wait and see what it looks like on the field, but it's disappointing because it's an unforced error and that's how you lose football games," said Coach Mark Dantonio. MSU's path doesn't get any easier. The loss to Central could cause a domino effect that sends them spiraling out of bowl contention.
They head to Notre Dame next week, then to Wisconsin before coming home to face a newly revived Michigan squad who desperately wants revenge for last year's loss to MSU. Linebacker Eric Gordon knows the pressure is on. He said "sometimes pressure can be a good thing." It's only good if you respond.
"In the end, it's time for us to just circle the wagons," said Dantonio. "It's been nice around here and everyone has been saying nice things about us - but now there will be people critical of us so the main thing we have to do is focus.
You find out things about your leaders in times of crisis, and I believe we will be strong. We have to get ready to focus on Notre Dame, and it doesn't get any easier from here because then we have Wisconsin and then Michigan at home.
We have to get ready to play, and put this behind us and move forward while learning from the mistakes we made. We will find out a little bit about our chemistry, about our senior leadership and about our other leaders. This is not the time to panic so we are moving forward from here."