2. The Oregon defense showed up
The Michigan State defense was supposed to be the star, and it was.
It was dominant against the Duck running game, it was suffocating, and it was brilliant on third down stops, stuffing Oregon on 12 of its 14 tries.
But the Oregon defense allowed just two field goals.
Michigan State was playing on a sliding scale. The offense was miserable, it wasn’t supposed to do anything right, and it was supposed to be all about the D in a close game.
But Oregon allowed 331 yards, was on the field for more than 37 minutes, and still held up time after time. It didn’t let the Spartans get within closer field goal range late, it came up with the game-sealing fourth down stop – stuffing MSU three times on the day on fourth downs – and even if it didn’t do it statistically, it outplayed MSU for stretches. And now …