The No. 24 Michigan State Spartans defeated No. 11 Wisconsin Badgers at Spartan Stadium 34-24 last week without their Head Coach Mark Dantonio, who had suffered a fatal heart attack a week before. Dantonio’s scheduled to return to the press box on September 19 to coach the Spartans didn’t go as planned. The school announced hours before kickoff that he had been hospitalized again on Thursday because of a blood clot in his leg.
Don Treadwell, Michigan State offensive coordinator, took over the duties for Dantonio, who had planned to watch this game on television from the hospital. “I don’t know how much I had, but I think at times some of the assistants had some contact with him,” Treadwell said, according to ESPN.com. “He was much involved as he could be absolutely.
Michigan State didn’t do anything too tricky on Saturday, but the Spartans were unafraid to go for it in short-yardage situations, leading 27-24 in the fourth quarter. Michigan State went on a 15-play, 84-yard drive that used up 7:57 and ended with B.J Cunningham’s touchdown catch on the fourth down. “We had that play in since camp, and I’ve wanted to call it three or four times,” said Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins, according to ESPN.com.
The Spartans converted three third downs on the drive before needing all four to score near the goal line. “Three third downs and a fourth down,” Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said,
according to ESPN.com. “We thought we had some calls we talked about in the huddle. Then they hit us on the critical fourth one in the end zone that ultimately decided the football game.”
Treadwell’s squad had 19 first downs, 444 total yards, 269 passing, 175 rushing, 9-18 on 3rd down conversions using 36:24 of the clock. Kirk Cousins was 20 for 29 with 269 passing yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. Mark Dell, wide receiver for the Spartans had six receptions, 91 yards receiving, and one touchdown.
Bielema’s squad had 15 first downs, 292 total yards, 127 passing, 165 rushing, 3-11 on 3rd downs, and had the ball for 23:36. Scott Tolzien, the Badgers quarterback, was 11 for 25 with 127 yards passing and one touchdown. James White, running back for the Badgers had 10 carries, 98 yards rushing, and two scores.
The Spartans will face off against the Michigan Wolverines. Denard Robinson is putting up a Heisman Trophy season. Robinson was 10 for 16 with 277 yards passing and three scores against the Indian Hoosiers. This is a crucial game for both teams, as these squads are trying to climb the mountain by getting to the BCS National Championship.Tweet