The last time Michigan State played in Iowa City, the Spartans rolled over the Hawkeyes and kept rolling right into the 2011 Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis.
This season, the Spartans are looking for a tone-setting win to kick off their Big Ten season – and hopefully find themselves back in Indianapolis.
”Coach D talks about if we want to see ourselves on December 7 in Indianapolis it’s going to start right now,” senior offensive tackle Fou Fonoti said. “In order for us to have a better position, it’s going to start right now.
”We’re definitely excited and eager to kick off this season. … It’s pretty much all gas and no brakes for us.”
To start on the right foot, MSU will have to take down an Iowa team that has won its past four games – including its Big Ten opener last Saturday, easily disposing of Minnesota, 23-7. The Spartans will hope to make a similarly strong statement at Iowa on Saturday.
“First game of your Big Ten season you want to make a statement,” senior offensive guard Blake Treadwell said. “You want to set the tone because it’s the first game of the Big Ten season.
”As Coach D says, it’s a new season now. Big Ten season is the most important season.”
Coach Mark Dantonio said the conference opener in Iowa City against the 4-1 Hawkeyes is important, and it presents a big challenge for MSU.
”Any time you start the Big Ten season, your first game is going to set you up for the next game and the next game,” he said. “Challenges get bigger and they get more important as the season looms on.”
While the Spartans are just looking to open Big Ten play 1-0 and bounce back from their loss to Notre Dame, Dantonio said a win helps set the table as Legends Division and Big Ten contender.
”We’ve set the tone, set the standards for championships and that’s what we’re chasing,” Dantonio said. “It goes through Iowa City at this point. That’s all we know. We’ve got to move our football team. We’ve got to move our rock or our foundation to Iowa City to make it happen.”