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Westsider Rider

Monday, October 03, 2005

The Weekend in Football

Well I was wrong, way wrong, not about the game as much as I was down about our chances in East Lansing that was more frustration talking. What I was wrong about is the difference that Mike Hart makes for this team. Coming into the season I knew Mike Hart was going to get his but I expected Max Martin and Kevin Grady to help him out and our rushing attack would be a three headed monster. However after watching this team with and without Hart in action I can definitely say he is the MVP of our team by a wide margin. With the threat of him back there Henne can be more effective and like I read somewhere today it's like Henne getting his safety blanket back. This team is so much better with Mike Hart it's not even funny and I was an idiot for thinking otherwise. It's been mentioned before but last week Hart was in uniform but not playing, they showed him on the sidelines trying to get the guys fired up after the Martin fumble and once Wisconsin took the lead for the first time and that's the kind of thing that makes him so special. Also trying to take down the DT on the return for the TD he was all the way down at the other end of the field not giving up and that is the type of player I am extremely proud to have represent our University.

I was bracing myself for the worst because I didn't think we could get it done in EL this year but Hart came up huge and Henne actually started looking like Henne and we got the job done and I can't emphasize how proud I am of this team for doing so. This is a turning point in this season and I think we have a good shot to win most of our remaining games and keep the New Years Day Bowl streak alive. Don't get me wrong our program still has problems and they need to be addressed but with Mike Hart in the lineup we are definitely not as bad as I thought we could be. Steve Breaston didn't play but Super Mario Manningham did and I can proudly say I called that one. He has emerged as a part of our offense and I'm glad to see him getting the ball more and more, just one thing let's get him that #1 jersey because #86 just doesn't look quite right on him. Just as I thought after the game on Saturday we're back in the top 25 at #21, hopefully with Mike back we can get rolling again as we have home games the next two weeks before we head out to Kinnick.

Due to my company's golf tournament on Saturday I didn't get to watch as much football as I would've liked but from what I did see, USC is not the super juggernaut that everyone made them out to be, they still have some tough tests most notably against a Notre Dame team that is looking better and better every week. If there is one team that has more luck than the Trojans its Notre Dame in South Bend, it will be a very interesting game in two weeks. Alabama looks very impressive after their shellacking of Florida. The shocker to me was the score of the Penn State - Minnesota game and the PSU defense holding Laurence Maroney to only 48 yards. This weekend I will not be able to watch every game I hope to since I have tickets to the big game on the west coast this Saturday as the undefeated #10 California Golden Bears head to the Rose Bowl to take on the also barely undefeated #20 UCLA Bruins. This should be a great game to watch and it will be a good time as I will be heading there immediately following the battle for the Little Brown Jug. It's another great weekend of football upcoming along with the Brown Jug, there's the Red River Shootout which Texas should easily win and Georgia - Tennessee, man I love the SEC, and the game of the week in the Big Ten as the Buckeyes finally leave the Horseshoe and head to Happy Valley to take on the resurgent Nittany Lions of Penn State. It's going to be on ESPNHD so I'm excited to be able to watch that in HD once I get home on Saturday night. I've converted a lot of my friends in recent years to College Football and it's easy to see why, every week there are games like the ones I just mentioned and the excitement and atmosphere of college football cannot be duplicated in any other sport which makes it my favorite by far.


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