While I was at the CMU Sideliners luncheon, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio had his weekly conference call. I planned on listening upon returning, but thanks goes to The Oakland Press' Drew Ellis
as he has provided it for me.
On heading to Mt. Pleasant to play CMU in what is billed as their biggest home game in history
I think it is going to be a historic event up there. We are looking forward to that opportunity. As far as them getting ready to play us and us getting ready to play them, there is a history here. They beat us in ’09 so there is a history here of us having to play and play well to come away with a win. I am sure (CMU) is going to be very excited and I am sure they are going to play very well and play very excitedly. We need to be able to match that enthusiasm and execute as well.
His overall thoughts on traveling to places like CMU, WMU and EMU as part of this in-state series agreement
To me, we wanted to do something for the commerce of the state of Michigan by doing this series. I thought it was a positive thing for us to do to be able to reach out to other programs in the state and other communities in this state. That is why we did it. The other factor, to me, that came into this was I knew we’d have a new starting quarterback. If we are going to play an away game at some point, I would rather it be 60 miles up the road in this state, in terms of being our first away game. We will learn from these things.
On Andrew Maxwell’s performance Friday
He was calm and collected and he showed great leadership skills. He had to handle some adversity, which is always key, and how you respond after that. I thought he threw the ball pretty decisively. He had some drops out on the field and there were a couple tipped passes that went away and were picked off. But, I thought he played well, especially for his first time out in a major media event or a nationally televised game, and also with Boise State and some of the things they were doing. There is no question we can improve. But, I liked what I saw when I looked into his eyes and who he was as a young man and a competitor, and the resiliency he showed and the nature he showed in terms of his leadership abilities.
On how the defense was able to react to different situations in Friday’s game
I think the situations we are talking about here is the ability to play after an interception, play in the red zone and be able to limit (Boise State) to a field goal. When the ball gets down to the 4-yard line, to be able to play great goal-line defense. To be able to adjust to the speed of the game and the different formations and what they are doing. To show leadership coming out in the second half and get our football team turned in a different direction.
On margin of victory and what it means in college football today
I guess the only thing I would say there is they all count one, as coach Perles would say when he was here. They all count one. We feel fortunate to have won and the way we won the other night. That is what is important to me, in terms of how we perform and we move ahead. I am not really looking around the country and saying “wow, this is going on or that is going on.” Everybody takes care of their own program.
On what he sees in Dan Enos as a head coach and what he is doing with the CMU program
I know Coach Enos. Obviously he was in our program here and he also played here, so he knows the core of our players and he knows what Michigan State is about. When you become a head football coach and bring your own program into place, there is transition. You make your way through it. There is going to be problems everywhere you turn. There are always problems if you are here, there or somewhere else. I think the key to every leader is how you perform under adversity. I think he is doing that. I think he is performing. Based on what I saw the first game, they played extremely well and ran the ball very well. They look like they have a good football team.
How is Le’Veon Bell feeling after carrying the ball 44 times on Friday
He is feeling great. He is dressing today. There is no more bumps and bruises than he would normally have. If anything, it creates some excitement for him that he was able to do that. It builds even more confidence for him. We are always going to ride the hot back here. Whoever is hot, whoever is making the yards, that is who we are going to ride. That is what we’ve always done here. We need to be effective and just sort of go with the flow in that situation. It’s not like we don’t have other running backs. We have a number of other guys that can make plays as well. It just depends on how everyone is performing in the game.