Spartans Keys To Victory takes a look at five keys Michigan State will need to have in beating a tough TCU in tonight's Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl game.

In August many felt Michigan State would compete for a Big Ten Championship and BCS bowl game. After a year of injuries and growth the Spartans are fighting to win only their seventh game of the season.

What key things will Mark Dantonio's squad need to do in order to leave Arizona with a winning season and only their second bowl win in the Dantonio era?


How quickly the Spartans can get Le'Veon Bell started will be huge in this game. While TCU is sure to be keying on the junior running back, he is still the bread and butter of the Spartans offensive attack and must get off to a solid start if other areas of the Dan Roushar's offensive attack are to get started.


While still missing a couple of key members of the offensive line, Michigan State has enjoyed enough time leading up to this game to have their offensive line gel. While all things start with Bell, the play of junior quarterback Andrew Maxwell could be the deciding factor if the Spartans earn their seventh victory of the year.


Pat Narduzzi needs to get pressure from his front four early in this game as the Horned Frogs are also starting a first year starter at quarterback. William Gholston and Marcus Rush must bring pressure from the outside while anything from the inside would be an added bonus.


Leading up to the game Mark Dantonio has talked about the chances of senior cornerback Johnny Adams being on the field as slim. Adams would be a huge loss to the Spartans overall defensive attack and Harlon Barnett will learn quickly if a player like Mitchell White is ready for such a major role in such an important game.


The reoccurring theme from this season has been close losses in the fourth quarter. On paper this game looks to be another defensive struggle, something the Spartans are use to after all their close games. While the Spartans defense has been the team's strength, it has also been guilty of giving up the big play in the final minutes of games this season. A complete fourth quarter by the Spartans should give them enough to win another tough battle.

Big Red Report Top Stories