Marc Dantonio Builds a Big Ten Contender
When Marc Dantonio left Cincinnati to take over as the head coach of the Michigan State Spartans, he wanted to win with defense, special teams and a physical offense. He also wanted to build a program that would be a consistent Big Ten title contender instead of a team that was good only a couple of times each decade. You could say that he wanted what Wisconsin had become.
This Saturday at 8pm in Indianapolis at the Lucas Oil Stadium, Michigan State ranked 11th nationally will face the No 15 Wisconsin Badgers for the Big Ten title. Dantonio admires the job the Badgers have done over the past 15 years with strong offense and consistent winning seasons. Both teams were at the top of the Big Ten last season while Wisconsin won a tie-breaker and became the Rose Bowl selection.
This year they have identical records once again, 10-2, and possession the passing leaders of the league, Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins. These teams are similar in many ways and present a compelling match-up for a national stage late Saturday night.
Wisconsin has a power running attack led by Montee Ball who scored a league leading 34 touchdowns during the season. But it’s the accurate throwing of Wilson and the great defense that creates a winning program. Michigan State has all three aspects down as well. Cousins has thrown for more than 2700 yards this year. Add to that 139 yards a game on the ground and a top ranked defense and you have everything the Badgers have.
Oddly, the spread is in favor of Wisconsin in this somewhat evenly matched title game. Both teams should be motivated to win the first ever conference championship game. Don’t miss this one Saturday.