Air Force vs Michigan State: 5 players who earned a game ball

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Sep 19, 2015; East Lansing, MI, USA; dMichigan State Spartans linebacker Andrew Dowell (5) celebrates fumble recovery during the 2nd half of a game at Spartan Stadium. MSU won 35-21. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

With so many things going the way of Air Force last Saturday in East Lansing, there was just enough to tilt in Michigan State‘s favor to earn the Spartans their third victory in three tries on the year.

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Luckily for the Spartans, the Air Force vs Michigan State game taught head coach Mark Dantonio a lot about what his team needs to work on going forward and what needs to be capitalized on that is already working. For instance, Connor Cook and Aaron Burbridge developed a dominant connection on Saturday that needs to be harped on relentlessly moving forward.

The defense really let the Spartans down, though, as the front-seven got pushed back on multiple occasions while the secondary allowed way more deep passes, to a team that runs 90 percent of the time, than it should have.

In fact, 51 out of Air Force’s 60 plays happened to be runs in the tricky triple-option attack — the Spartans had a tough time defending that as well, rarely figuring out where the ball was after the first fake.

Despite the poor play by a handful of players and position groups for MSU, there were a number of guys who had great games and career days.

If you’ve ever played football, or seen a football movie, you would know that the coach of the winning team usually hands out the game ball to the star player(s) who really stepped up and put the team on his back.

Here at Spartan Avenue, we are going to hand out game balls to the five guys who really performed well and impressed. Let’s take a look at who earned it.

Next: 5. Andrew Dowell, LB