Spartans 6-5 After Bye Week In Dantonio Era

Spartans 6-5 After Bye Week In Dantonio Era

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Spartans 6-5 After Bye Week In Dantonio Era

While the rest of the college football world is engrossed in all of the drama and dynamics related to the games being played right now, Michigan State is resting and gearing up for next Saturday’s Big Ten opener at Indiana.  How have the Spartans fared after bye-weeks during the Dantonio Era?

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It’s a surprising stat within the substantial amount of amazing stats that pile up to provide facts supporting the successes of the Mark Dantonio Era in East Lansing.

Michigan State’s record in games played after bye-weeks since Dantonio became head coach is a pedestrian 6-5.

That record sort of doesn’t fit with the rest of the stats, dynamics, accomplishments, etc that have all become a part of a football program that has earned its rightful place among the nation’s strongest and most consistent in all of college football.

One week from tonight, Michigan State has an opportunity to re-energize its season with a game at Indiana.

A win in Bloomington would get the Big Ten part of the scheduled started off with an important victory and an important energy and confidence.

Nobody within the Spartan program will be taking the Hoosiers for granted – and the fan base should follow suit.

Two seasons ago, Michigan State went to Bloomington and lost to the Hoosiers in overtime, 24-21, in what is, at least up until now, Dantonio’s only loss to Indiana.

That 2016 loss to the Hoosiers was the third straight for that Spartan squad and seemed to be the one that sent Michigan State reeling for the remainder of the season.

A win at Bloomington in a week would go a long way towards calming the waters in and all around the Spartan program.

A win at Bloomington could potentially have the exact opposite impact on this year’s Spartans compared to the impact the 2016 loss had on that season’s team.

As Michigan State rests up, mends its bumps and bruises, and starts to get focused on a possible 2018 re-boot, let’s take a look at how Mark Dantonio’s teams have fared in the past after bye-weeks…

2007:

No bye.

2008:

The Spartans were thumped, 49-18, at Penn State after a Week 12 bye in a game that was for a share of the Big Ten Championship.

Michigan State was never in the ball game as Penn State jumped all over the Spartans in taking a 28-0 lead in the first half.

Penn State went to the Rose Bowl while the #19 Spartans played #16 Georgia in the Outback Bowl, losing to the Bulldogs 24-12 and finishing the year with a 9-4 record and a #24 final ranking.

2009:

No bye.

2010:

After a Week 11 bye, Michigan State rallied to defeat Purdue, 35-31.

Michigan State was in deep trouble and had to outscore the Boilers 22-3 in the fourth quarter.

The victory earned the Spartans a share of the Big Ten Championship – the program’s first one since 1990.

2011:

Following a Week 6 bye, Michigan State gut-punched UMAA 28-14.

Edwin Baker had a huge day in running for 167 yards.

Kirk Cousins threw for three touchdowns.

Most importantly, the win was the fourth consecutive win over UMAA and Devin Bush was somewhere in Florida as a 10-year, clueless about the fact that Michigan State was well on its way to establishing a decade of dominance over UMAA.

2012:

During a frustrating and herky-jerky season that ended with a 7-6 record following a win over TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Michigan State lost at home, 23-20, to Northwestern after a bye in Week 11.

It was the 2012 Spartans’ fourth loss in five games.

2013:

In one of the more underrated victories throughout the entire Dantonio Era, Michigan State went to Iowa City and beat the Hawkeyes in impressive fashion, 26-14, after a bye in Week 5.

The game that was played prior to the bye-week was a somewhat brutal and ugly 17-13 loss at Notre Dame and many thought that there was water loading up in the Michigan State boat.

With all sorts of questions swirling around the Spartan program, Michigan State outscored Iowa – at Iowa City – 16-0 in the second half and Connor Cook became the leader of the offense with 277 yards through the air to go along with two touchdowns.

This win propelled the Spartans and the team didn’t lose another game, finishing the season with a Big Ten Championship, a Rose Bowl victory, and a final #3 ranking.

In 2013, the Spartans had two bye-weeks – following a Week 11 bye, the Spartans won for the first time ever in Lincoln with a very impressive 41-28 win over Nebraska.

2014:

In the second week of the Spartans’ Big Ten Championship-defending season, Michigan State made a trip to Eugene, Oregon for a prize fight with Marcus Mariota and the #3 ranked Oregon Ducks.

Michigan State led that game against the Ducks at the half – but the Spartans wound up faltering in the second half and lost 46-27.

People were worried as the Spartans entered its bye week.

Following that bye-week, the Spartans took frustration out on Eastern Michigan with a 73-14 win.

There was another bye-week that season – and after the Week 10 bye, Michigan State lost a tough one to Ohio State in what was a de-facto Big Ten Eastern Division Title game.

Ohio State took it to Michigan State at Spartan Stadium, winning 49-37.

2015:

One of the more controversial and, ultimately, meaningless losses following a bye week came when Michigan State lost 39-38 at Nebraska after a Week 9 bye.

Michigan State was unbeaten when it headed to Nebraska.

The Huskers got the win – but a controversial touchdown pass with 17 seconds remaining in the game was the difference.

Despite the loss, Michigan State went on to beat Iowa in the Big Ten championship before being thumped by Alabama in a College Football Playoff semifinal.

2016:

The 2016 Spartans had a weird Week 2 bye.

The next week, the Spartans thumped Notre Dame in South Bend, 36-28.

After falling behind 7-0, Michigan State rattled off 36 straight points and wound up hanging on for a win that seemed to suggest the Spartans were on their way to yet another sensational season.

Michigan State lost seven straight following this win and, memorably, ended up with a 3-9 record, the worst season for the program since 1982.

2017:

Following a Week 3 bye, Michigan State was pounded at home, losing to Notre Dame 38-18.

With the sting of the 2016 disaster still very fresh for everyone, there was a sense that Michigan State might be on the decline.

The Spartans turned everything around following that tough home loss to Notre Dame and finished the season 10-3 with wins over Penn State, UMAA, and Washington State in the Holiday Bowl.

 

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