Staten sees Spartans clinch Rose Bowl bid againPublished 12:32am Sunday, December 8, 2013
When Mark Staten was a senior in high school he watched from the sidelines as Michigan State defeated Indiana to claim a spot in the 1988 Rose Bowl.
Saturday in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Staten, now the offensive line coach for the Spartans, watched from the sidelines as MSU defeated Ohio State 34-24 to win the Big Ten Conference championship and earn a return trip to the Rose Bowl.
Michigan State, which was a 17-13 loss away from playing for the BCS National Championship, scored the first 17 points of the of the title game and the final 17 points to improve to 12-1 on the season.
Staten watched his offensive line go from a much maligned unit early in the season to a well-oiled machine that held its own against the Buckeyes and protected quarterback Connor Cook, who was 24-of-40 for 304 yards and three touchdowns. Michigan State finished the game with 438 yards in total offense against Ohio State.
“They just jelled and continued to believe in their teammates,” Staten said following the game about his offensive line. “Today we played eight of them and today we had to play two out of position because of injuries. They played together and they played for one another and now they are Big Ten champs.
“We are going to the Rose Bowl, it’s amazing. I have to tell you something, I was at the game in 1987 when Michigan State beat Indiana and here I am again.”
Michigan State will now begin preparation for its meeting with Stanford, a 38-14 winner over Arizona State in the PAC 12 Championship Game Saturday night.