Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio addressed the media in his first weekly press conference of the season late Tuesday morning. The topic of conversation was Friday’s game against Jacksonville State, as well as the new facilities at Spartan Stadium.
It was the first press conference in the new media center located in the north end zone expansion.
Dantonio jokingly claimed that MSU has always been one of the big boys of college football, just with bad locker rooms.
“We are constantly trying to evaluate where we are at in all aspects of our football program, not just on the field,” Dantonio said in regards to the new facilities.
While he is excited that platform for the football team is professional, he made it clear that the state of the art locker rooms will mean nothing if the players in the locker room do not perform.
“The bottom line is, it’s about wins,” Dantonio said.
At No. 8 overall, MSU is one of the preseason favorites in the country, butpreseason rankings are often meaningless when compared to the standings at the end of the season. Dantonio stressed over and over again the importance of the JSU game. Stating that this is an opportunity to find out “who we are”, as well as “where we are at.”
Friday’s game against JSU will be the first look at Michigan State since their Rose Bowl win on New Year’s Day. Expectations for Michigan State are high, but the first game will be the opportunity for Coach Dantonio to see where his returning starters are at physically and mentally, as well as which first-year starters will give the team a lift this season.
“I would hope our attitude throughout camp has been very positive and enthusiastic,” Dantonio said.
“Again, this is a statement game. If you can’t get excited about playing in Spartan Stadium on the first game of senior year, or junior year, or sophomore year or freshmen year, maybe it isn’t happening for you,” Dantonio said. “If things don’t go right for us, it will not be because we have overlooked Jacksonville State. I can promise you that.”
Dantonio describes the team’s atmosphere leading up to Friday’s opening game against Jacksonville State:
Bradley Allen is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.
Photo: Bradley Allen/Impact Sports