While it may not be anything to pop open champagne over, the Spartans have emerged as a team on the…
Dantonio Talks Notre Dame
Coach Mark Dantonio talked about facing the 0-3 Fighting Irish in his weekly Monday press conference.
"They've got excellent talent and coaching, they have tradition, they are backed into a corner a little bit, but they have a great rivalry with us and anytime you have a rivalry game you need to be prepared," said Dantonio. "We need to become overachievers; that was my message to the team last night, we need to overachieve this week."
The Spartans are riding a five-game winning streak in South Bend, including a dramatic 44-41 overtime victory over then #10 Notre Dame in 2005. But Dantonio knows it's always tough to go on the road.
"I guess history is on our side," said Dantonio. "I just know that when you're in your own environment you have a better chance of playing a little bit better in front of your family and friends."
"They played two tough road games and now they get to come home and it is always more special when you get to play at home. We have to have the mindset when we go down there that they will play well at home. I expect them to be well prepared to play, and I expect our guys to be ready to play."
Last season's game was a painful one for Michigan State as Brady Quinn led the Irish back from a 17-point fourth quarter deficit to beat the Spartans 40-37.
"I think it's human nature to be motivated from what happened last year, everyone wants to succeed, but I think they will be motivated to get a win and play better as well," said Dantonio.
MSU's secondary has suffered several key injuries to their starting defensive backs in the last two weeks, losing Nehemiah Warrick against Bowling Green while Ross Weaver and Kendell Davis-Clark left the game early against Pitt. MSU also lost their starting offensive guard, Roland Martin during the Pitt game.
Dantonio briefly spoke about the status of his depleted secondary and other injuries.
"We are going to see all three of those defensive backs possibly play on Saturday and we will see with Roland's situation," said Dantonio. "We might also get other players back as well for Saturday."
Overall, Dantonio stressed the importance of staying focused on the game at hand and not to overlook the Irish's 0-3 record. Although MSU has a win-streak going in South Bend, the fact remains that it is still a home game for the Irish and they will be ready to play.
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