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ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 30: Blake Bueter #69 of the Michigan State Spartans and Luke Campbell #62 of the Michigan State Spartans hold the championship trophy after defeating the Pittsburgh Panthers in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 30, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images)

The Michigan State Spartans are celebrating today, as they’re coming back to East Lansing winners of the Peach Bowl, taking down Pittsburgh last night, 31-21. During the post-game press conference, head coach Mel Tucker had lots to say about Michigan State’s victory. What made the win even sweeter is that the Spartans did it without star player Kenneth Walker III, who bowed out to look to the NFL.

Here’s some of what Tucker had to say during the press conference:

“It was a great victory for us. I want to thank the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl for just an incredible experience for our football team, our entire organization. We’re forever grateful for the opportunity. Our guys played extremely hard, like they always do. They never flinched. They continued to just keep chopping wood and keep believing. We were able to hit our stride there in the second half and play complementary football — offense, defense, special teams working together. We were able to take it down deep into the fourth quarter and we got stronger and stronger as the game went. We went down into the deep water and were able to find a way to get it done. Really proud of our guys, our seniors.”

“Our fans were incredible. They traveled, they were deep. They really helped pull us through. I know there’s going to be a lot of partying in Spartan nation tonight, and so it was just a great experience. To get to 11 wins and a New Year’s Six bowl is quite an accomplishment for this group.”

“This performance … it was indicative of how we played all season and our culture. We’re relentless. We don’t flinch. We believe in the process. We keep chopping. We’re in great condition. We know that we can go deep into the fourth quarter and wear teams down, take them into the deep water. That’s where we want to be. We were able to get them to that point and we were able to finish. And so it was a tremendous victory to get to 11 wins. It’s quite an accomplishment. And doing it as a team, playing complementary football, it was just tremendous. The best is ahead for us.”

Anne Erickson's love for music drew her into radio, and she started shortly after graduating from MSU. She has a passion for rock and metal, plus local music. She also fronts the band Upon Wings. Email Anne at erickson@WRIF.com, follow her on Instagram at @EricksonAnne and tweet at her @AnneErickson!