The War Room:  Go Inside #24 Michigan State Football

2018 MSU Spartans (PHOTO:  MSU SID)
2018 MSU Spartans (PHOTO: MSU SID)

The War Room: Go Inside #24 Michigan State Football

I get a lot of nuggets and information that alone are not big enough for a story. When I have a few that I can assemble together I will, and when I only have one or two I will post them on our Phalanx Forum board. So welcome to The War Room.

  • There is a lot riding on Saturday’s game. Several big-time recruits, especially in the 2019 class are watching VERY close. It would give Dantonio a 3-1 lead over Harbaugh and 9-3 against UM.
  • While I do not subscribe to any ONE game being a big deal in recruiting, this one is SIGNIFICANT for UM, even more than MSU.
  • Mark Dantonio held back this week. He wants the Spartans focused on just winning. He told the media tongue in cheek, “Hopefully I'm talking in circles.” He has kept the lid on his team, but I can tell you, they are boiling. I expect for the Spartans to come out on fire for the first time all season.
  • Joe Bachie after the loss to Northwestern may have saved the Spartans season. He called EVERYONE out when he said afterward, “When you're put in a leadership position, you gotta lead. And if you don't wanna lead, well, you better get out of that position because the train is gonna move forward."
  • This week means everything to Mark Dantonio. He talked about how this week became so personal for him. “I think one of the biggest reasons is that when I came here in 1995, you know, I experienced things firsthand at the start when (former MSU head coach) Coach Saban was here, and so I understood when I came back as the head football coach how important this game was to our fans, to the state, and sort of went from it from there. We've got a lot of players from the State of Michigan. They understand that, as well, and so it becomes sort of ingrained in people as you go. We just sort of point towards it and try to do our very, very best.”
  • A lot of people have been asking me if the Spartans are going to be too jacked up for Saturday. Are you kidding me?
  • Dantonio said of his player fuse this week, “I just tell them to get ready. Everybody's got a different way to get ready but when the time comes, you generally have a feeling. You need to be at your very best every single week, not just this weekend, but every single weekend. If you want to be at your very best, I think everybody's got a different way to get there and I'm pretty accepting of that, and collectively, we go as a group. We have little things that we try and do as we go forward to collectively unify us. I think most of the time, getting ready for a football game is a long-lasting thing. You've got to be ready and if you get ready on Friday night and you're not ready Saturday at noon, you know, that's not good, so you need to be ready at game time. I believe in that and we try and do our best to get there. You know when you see it, I guess.”
  • The loss to ASU and Northwestern should not have happened. Dantonio admitted it after the NW loss when he said, “We should be 5-0.” He is right. They should be 6-0 now.
  • That said, the Spartans season took off after last year’s loss to Northwestern and it certainly looks that way this year.
  • Dantonio said this week about the resurgence at PSU, “Our guys came with a conviction and sense of commitment and understood that it was going to be a big task and just kept working it. As we kept working it and we kept hanging in there, you know, that tide started to turn a little bit, as you saw the last two drives, it started to turn. And that big stadium got quiet, and that's usually what ends up happening, if you can keep moving the rock, as I said before, just keep pushing, don't take your hands off that big rock, maybe eventually it will roll a little bit, and I think that's what we did.”
  • While I do not expect LJ Scott back this week at all, it is NOT accurate to rule him out for the year…yet.
  • Some have come out with WILD SPECULATION that he is in trouble. STUPID! He is not. LJ is a good kid. It is an injury.
  • I do not expect everyone back, but the Spartans are going to have some key players back this weekend.
  • I said this several weeks ago, and I want to reiterate it now. I DO NOT expect Urban Meyer back at OSU next season. I expect Ryan Day to be the next coach.
  • Mark Dantonio reiterated after the win over PSU, “We came here to win.” He was certainly more aggressive. I do not expect that to go away for the rest of this year. This team has massive upside and no room to fail.
  • Justin Layne is growing every game in front of us, but Khari Willis is playing out of his mind. He is one of my all-time favorite human beings to ever play at MSU as a person, but he is becoming an amazing football player.
  • Several NFL people scratched their heads at how the Spartans used Felton Davis III (FD3) in the first five games. Not anymore.
  • Moments before the winning TD, I got a message from an NFL AFC team member of management that said, “I don’t care who is calling the offense, if they don’t give Felton the chance to win this, and someone needs to be fired. If this was my team he would get that chance.”
  • Matt Coghlin has kicked like a straight up superstar, but Cole Hahn has as well. He is quietly having a superb season.
  • Now that the Tyler Higby experiment is over at C, Matt Allen is growing into what we thought he would be. Still shaking my head about Higby at center, who made it REALLY clear he preferred G before the season.
  • La’Darius Jefferson is coming on strong. He is an explosive player with a football IQ that is through the roof. I can’t even imagine how good he is going to be as an upperclassman.
  • As a former QB, keep an eye on him throwing the ball.
  • Can Laress Nelson continue to emerge? He finally got his shot last week and man did he not disappoint.
  • Raequan Williams and Mike Panasiuk are having an outstanding season. Lost is the play of Gerald Owens and Naquan Jones. WOW, those two are really special as well.
  • Turn on the PSU game and watch Jones and Owens. Get some popcorn, they weren’t perfect, but they were really good.
  • Tyriq Thompson had a great game vs. PSU. He rated really high. Big props to that young man.
  • If the Spartans win Saturday, I will tell you right now that I believe they will beat OSU. Have to win Saturday, but write that down.

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