My two favorite teams won this past weekend, and the defensive efforts of the Michigan State Spartans and Detroit Lions were highly impressive. MSU beat Florida Atlantic University 44-0, and the Lions defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-20.
Remarkably, the Spartans held FAU to 1 first down in the entire game, and only 48 total yards. Granted, FAU is a lousy team, but this type of dominance is almost unheard of. Time of possession was really a one-sided statistic, 42:26 to 17:34 in favor of MSU. On offense, MSU wide receiver B.J. Cunningham caught five passes and became the leading Spartans receiver of all time (153 receptions), surpassing Matt Trannon. For the record, MSU has been blessed with a boatload of accomplished receivers over the years, including NFL players Derrick Mason, Mark Ingram, Andre Rison, Courtney Hawkins, Devin Thomas and Nigea Carter. Select company, for sure.
Turning to the pros, the Lions controlled the ball for 36:25, while Tampa Bay was limited to 23:35 time of possession and 315 total yards. The Detroit defense did not dominate like the Spartans did, but then, Tampa Bay is a playoff-caliber team. Hanging on as Tampa made a valiant comeback effort, and defeating the Bucs in the heat and humidity of Florida was a notable achievement.
Both of these teams are likely to have a great season, in my humble opinion, and I am so looking forward to it.
As for the Michigan Wolverines, kudos to them for coming from behind 24-7 to pull out a thrilling 38-34 victory over Notre Dame in the first ever night game at Michigan. However, both teams played sloppy, sieve-like defense. If they don't improve defensively, neither squad will finish much above .500 this season.