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Good, Bad, and Ugly: Michigan State

Good, Bad, and Ugly: Michigan State

10/13/2002 by Jon Miller of Hawkeye Nation


The Good, The Bad and the Ugly: MSU

The Good

Special teams

The special teams play of this team has been nothing short of “special”!!! For this segment, I would like to acknowledge the guys on the Kick off return team. Nate Kaeding, Warren Holloway, Matt Roth, Scott Boleyn, Sean Considine, George Lewis (before the injury), Mike Follett (before the injury), Tony Burrier, Bob Sanders, Adolphus Shelton, Jermire Roberts and Chigozie Ejiasi are a few of the guy who have manned our KO coverage teams. Between Kaeding touchbacks and excellent coverage, Purdue never got the ball beyond the 20 yd line. MSU had one return out to the 22.

A combination of great schemes by the Norm and the staff, and inspired play produced the best defensive game of the year, IMHO. In this game, both our run and pass defense was outstanding. We have to signal out a few individuals: The much maligned CBs, Antwan Allen and DJ Johnson were both more aggressive and made plays. A few PI calls (some questionable) did not take away from a great effort. The DL played inspired- the starters all played very well and Matt Roth provided an awesome spark in this game. Kudos to Norm Parker, who used a combination of DL stunts, coverages and blitzes. On a couple series, we “flipped” our DT and DE to get mismatches and on a few plays, Norm used 4 DE along the front 4 (Roth, Babineaux, Robinson and Hodges). The MSU offense did not seem to be in sync all day and only scored on two drives that were “extended” by very questionable PI calls.

Laying the Wood!

I have not seen this many impressive hits since the Alamo Bowl win in December. Great hits by Bob Sanders, Derek Pagel, Antwan Allen, DJ Johnson, Matt Roth and Fred Barr, amongst others. The DL needs to get special mention here…it seems to me we had the MSU OL completely back on their heels (i.e. intimidated!).

Winning the Turnover battle:

In this game, we forced 5 takeaways and only gave the ball away once. Winning the TO battle wins games!

The Bad


Could call this a “bad”, but…some of these penalties were aggressive mistakes and others were very questionable calls by guys in stripes who seemed to be out-of-position. MSU was awarded 6 first downs via the penalty route.

The Streak

No, not the snapping of Charles Rogers 13-games with a TD catch streak…Fred Russell failed to get 100 yard for the first time on Saturday, no fault of his. A good DL of MSU and a commitment to slowing the run held Russell in-check, but allowed some big plays by others downfield.

The Ugly

The only Ugly that could come from this game is if we get overconfident and overlook a very improved Indiana team next week. Take care of business guys, one game at a time!

Hawkeye NationHawkeye Nation was founded by Jon Miller, and later acquired by Rivals and Sports Illustrated. You can visit them at

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Good, Bad, and Ugly: Michigan State - Summary of Iowa football and basketball games