Three Up or Three Down:  Grading Spartan Football POST Purdue”

  1. UP: Rocky Lombardi The redshirt freshman in his first start was, “Tremendous” according to Dantonio as he was 26/46 passing for 318 yards, two TD’s and no picks.  The OL looked better because he got rid of the ball quicker than we have seen all season, the receivers/TE looked better because he is super talented at the pre-snap read and the running game was better because the D couldn’t only focus on passing.  Spartan Nation readers were NOT shocked at the way Lombardi played.  We have written and talked about what we were hearing from inside the program for nearly 14 months.  To the point that even just a couple of weeks ago some of our competition were mocking us.  That is not the case anymore.
  2. UP: Defense Inspired by an offense that didn’t make them play the entire game because of their anemic performance, they dominated a valiant and powerful Purdue offense that has given others fits.  They held Purdue to 62 net yards of rushing and a staggering 13 points.  What a performance.
  3. UP: Coaching Mark Dantonio had all of the right motives in not starting Rocky Lombardi vs. Michigan.  I am the one who broke the story that Lewerke was hurt once the game started.  But in my opinion, he hurt his team.  This program was jacked for Rocky to play against the Wolverines.  They wanted him and talked about (more than five people) prior to the game.  This time Dantonio went with Lombardi and his team responded.  Dave Warner called nearly the same game he has all year, he now had a QB making the pre-snap readys and getting rid of the ball faster.  That is why when people got on me for defending him, I did.

EXTRA POINT

A lot of young QB’s make the mistake of not realizing the size of the stage that they are on.  That is why so many struggled.  Spartan Nation has been THE ONLY media entity talking about Lombardi going back to early last season.

Why?  The players and staff were.  But credit the youngster with a lineage of coaches in his family tree for realizing the enormity of the moment and preparing for that day since he arrived.  Something Dantonio lauded.

Dave [Warner] does a great job. Rocky is a guy that is going to come in and study extra and be in there. He is a workaholic. He is a guy that actually comes in and breaks down the film, last year. When I say he breaks down the film he is in there breaking down the opposing team’s film. What they call things, going through it meticulously. Not as a quarterback, but as almost like an analyst. He is that type of guy who is going to have those answers, but now is going to need to put those answers into play but he is going to know what to do. He is going to be confident in himself and you saw that today. He was very confident and did an outstanding job. Big moment, really a big moment and I can tell you that I guess, I don’t know, 105, so that is 105 and this could be as rewarding of a win maybe in our time here. We need to get up off the mat and five wins, one more puts us to a bowl game. When everybody was sort of selling us short, we got up and went. That is sports and that is athletics and that is what makes athletics so unique to everything else. There are the intangibles that are difficult to measure.”

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