Yes, this is a reality check. A kick in the teeth, with the taste of blood and astroturf to pick out of our mouths for the next 6 days. With that said, we squared off against a darn good squad and fought to the end. We had opportunities that we did not capitilize on, especially early. Passes that sailed just too long or were dropped. Holes that were missed. By the time we got anything resembling a rythem, we were down by 3 scores and it was all but over. This put the defense out there for a way to long and... well... the talent gap definetly showed as we bounced off their backs like water off a ducks back.
A note on the offense... There seemed to be a hesitency around how much to run Denard; deciding way to late to screw it and let him run. Not that this would have radically altered the outcome, but I think we would have approached the first 25 minutes differently and kept the game a bit closer.
With that said, I am still very high on this team. I like out chances against the rest of our schedule (barring more injuries). I like that we will go against MSU having already faced smash-mouth team that is even bigger & tougher then Sparty. I think this will make us more prepared for their 60 minutes of unnecessary roughness. I think the coaches can use this film to teach some very good lessons that we would not have otherwise received by plaing a patsy.
Losing sucks, especially on the big stage with everyone watching. However, once this team clicks (especially on offense), I think we can win any game on the rest of our schedule (please not I did not say we will, just that we can). We are definitely not a top 4 team, but we can establish ourselves as a legit # 6-12 team and contend for the BiG Championship this year.