November 17, 2013

DotComp: Dantonio has turned me into a snob

LINCOLN, Neb. - I'm a little conflicted by what we saw from Michigan State in its 41-28 victory over Nebraska on Saturday.

In being conflicted, that's another sign that the program has taken another step.

The Spartans are getting better, and I'm becoming more demanding.

The fact that I can watch a Michigan State team win a huge road game at Nebraska, improve to 9-1 overall and 6-0 in the Big Ten and find things to gripe about is as big a compliment as I have ever given to Spartan football.

The Spartans are one win away from clinching a berth in the Big Ten Championship Game and a chance to go to the Rose Bowl. They won at least a piece of the Legends Division championship, and the right to put a trophy in the football building. Yet I'm typing in the press box after the game, grumbling about imperfections.

We used to count victories in November, wondering if Michigan State could get to win No. 5, win No. 6 and bowl eligibility.

Now, we're counting how many 11-win seasons Michigan State has had in the last four years, and whether the Spartans might accomplish another one.

Now we're counting how many career victories the senior class has (38, incidentally, which gives the Class of 2013 the most ever by any class in Michigan State football history).

Now I'm counting the opponent's rushing yards, frowning, and declaring it something short of a total and complete success because Nebraska managed to push the ball on the ground for 182 yards. They nearly gained 400 yards of offense.

Heresy!

Well, this is what Dantonio's Spartans have done to me. They win, and I am left wondering about a handful of plays that were unsatisfactory. I'm wondering why they didn't stop this Nebraska ground attack cold, like they have the others. I'm wondering about the coverage busts in the second quarter.

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