Gus Johnson has been calling big games across multiple sports and networks for decades now.

Throughout that time, he’s cultivated a very recognizable personal style in the booth. If you’re reading this post you likely know exactly what that style is, and while Johnson has his critics, there’s no arguing that when the moment matches his energy, Gus is always a welcome presence.

Today’s Michigan-Michigan State thriller is a prime example of what happens when those stars align. An in-state rivalry matchup between two undefeated top-ten teams doesn’t necessarily guarantee a classic contest, but that’s exactly what Michigan and Michigan State delivered today in East Lansing.

Gus was in fine form throughout, but few broadcasters can bring the kind of energy and excitement of a raucous college stadium exploding when the home team rips off a huge play like Gus can and does. Here he is calling one of Kenneth Walker III’s five (!) touchdowns, even tossing in a bit of pre-snap premonition as well:

Or here, earlier in the fourth quarter, when the Spartans lined up for a two-point attempt to tie Michigan and set up the thrilling homestretch:

And then finally, the last play of the game. Michigan had managed to get the ball back with no timeouts remaining, and a roughing the passer call meant the Wolverines had life left. Needing a touchdown, Michigan was obviously going to have to push the ball down the field. Everything was in the balance, with home fans becoming memes for how tense things had gotten.

For plays like this, you want Gus on the call. And both he and the Spartans defense delivered:

That’s a phenomenal call. There’s another factor to making this work, too: Johnson’s partner Joel Klatt. Klatt understands the value of laying out and letting Gus, the crowd, and the images on screen do the work in a big moment. A lot of analysts might jump in right away there to try and break down what happened. Klatt is a great analyst, sure, but he also recognizes that there’s going to be time to go over the play. No need to step on a moment.

Are there occasions throughout his career where Gus’s exuberance feels out of place with the action on the field? Of course. And for some people, his style might just be a non-starter. That’s a shame, though, because for a back-and-forth college game, Gus absolutely makes it feel like a big event. Today was just the latest example.

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a columnist at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer. He is probably talking to a dog in a silly voice at this very moment.