The Spartans made no wasted efforts in displaying their prowess on Friday night over the visiting Jacksonville State Gamecocks during their season-opener.
No. 8-ranked Michigan State piled it high and deep as they quickly steamrolled an outmatched Gamecocks team to a 45-7 victory under the Friday night lights of a newly-renovated Spartan Stadium.
In an interview with MSU athletic director Mark Hollis during halftime, Hollis stated that he was immensely-proud of the new developments, and the honorary captain for the game even said he gave the pre-game speech before the Spartans took to the field, playfully-adding that he was to thank for MSU's early trouncing of Jacksonville State in the first quarter.
And what a trouncing it was; before the first 15 minutes of play were even up, the score had already been driven up to 21-0.
Michigan State looked like they'd just stepped back onto the field after a quick halftime speech at the start of the game, ready to pick up right where they left off last season with a championship victory over Ohio State to win the Big Ten and a Rose Bowl win over Stanford.
MSU quarterback Connor Cook was 12-for-13 for 285 yards and three touchdowns in just one half of work, which gives him 921 yards passing in his past three games, with just 10 quarters of play. By the second half, Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio decided it was time to give backup QB Tyler O'Connor a chance to get his feet wet.
Now the Spartans are ready to turn all their focus onto the upcoming week two match up with the No. 3-ranked Oregon Ducks, a game that can surely make or break their early season.
"We’ve got a big contest next week, everybody understands that,” Dantonio told reporters after the game.
MSU starting cornerback Darian Hicks had one doosey of a game, breaking up pass after pass, thought during the press conference after the game, he only had one thing on his mind.
“It’s gonna be intense,” Hicks said of the showdown with the Ducks. “High-tempo, fast-paced, just because that’s how Oregon is. And we’re gonna gear up for the challenge against them.”
Bottom Line: It looks like we'll get to see what this Spartan team is really made of much earlier in the season than usual.
You can follow MSU writer, Michael Ferro, at twitter.com/MichaelFerro.