There’s no shame in being 7-2 and No. 12 in the AP Top 25 poll. Certainly Mark Dantonio would rather be 9-0, ranked No. 1 in all of the polls and be looking to continue perfection, but for Michigan State in 2014, that just is not the case.
“I don’t want anybody to feel bad for us,” Dantonio said in his press conference on Tuesday. “We’re still in the top 20.”
It doesn’t appear that Mark Dantonio is happy with 7-2, but that is where his team is at. Dantonio’s teams have had a good reputation of bouncing back after losses, and that is what he is hoping to do now.
Dantonio addressed the media at his weekly presser cool, calm and collected – saying his team can get stronger as a result of the loss against Ohio State.
“You have to gain something from every thing. You have to gain something from a loss,” Dantonio said. “That’s important that we do that.”
Dantonio also commented on the outlook for his team moving forward.
“I still think we would have an opportunity to be the best team in the Big Ten. It may not show it in the records, but I still believe that we have that possibility,” Dantonio said, adding that he believes his team will go to Maryland prepared to play.
Defensive struggles have been a theme of Michigan State’s season – specifically big pass plays in both losses to Oregon and to Ohio State. Sophomore cornerback Darian Hicks is adjusting to his role as a starter and Dantonio commented on his struggles.
After the game on Saturday, Hicks was swarmed by media members, many asking for his thoughts on his negative performance. While Hicks himself said he was confident in his abilities to move on and get better, Dantonio supported that claim on Tuesday.
“He [Trae Waynes] played for two years, and in his last game he [started],” Dantonio said, comparing Hicks’ learning curve to star corner Waynes’.
“Darian is a true sophomore, he played some last year a little bit in and out and he’s started now for nine games.”
After the loss to OSU, Dantonio and the Spartans move on to one of the Big Ten’s newest members, the Maryland Terrapins. Dantonio, who has won in every Big Ten football team’s stadium up until the addition of Maryland and Rutgers, will be traveling to College Park for the first time with Michigan State
“This is the first time down there, so there’s change,” Dantonio said, anticipating an exciting atmosphere and plenty of MSU fans making the trip.
Maryland will be missing star wide receiver Stefon Diggs, and their offense will be led by quarterback C.J. Brown, who was recruited by Dantonio.
“I think C.J. is an exciting player. He’s got the ability to run the football, he can create,” Dantonio said of the Maryland quarterback. “It remains to be seen what they are without Stefon Diggs.”
Bradley Allen is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports
Photo: Bradley Allen/Impact Sports