Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dantonio wants Spartans focused on Ohio State

Looking ahead at Ohio State, MSU hasn't defeated them since 1999, nor in Columbus since the year before that.

Here's a look at the game, what it means in the big picture and what it means to the Ohio natives on the team. Also, injury updates on Bennie Fowler and Tyler Hoover.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A look inside the AP Poll: Week 5

There seemed to be some confusion among MSU fans when the polls came out. How could the Spartans fall, or at least not rise, in the polls?

In the coaches poll, the Spartans fell from No. 23 to No. 25. In the Associated Press poll, they remained as the first team outside the rankings. The only change in the top 25 was that Arizona State moved in, and USC moved out, as the Sun Devils defeated the Trojans.

But taking a look at the ballots, there were some voters who didn't seem to think much of MSU's 45-7 win over Central Michigan.

There were five voters who had MSU ranked last week and unranked this week.

The biggest drop was from John Hunt of The Oregonian. Hunt had the Spartans at No. 20 last week. The teams that Hunt moved into the rankings ahead of MSU were: Georgia Tech, Illinois (after their three-point win against Western Michigan), Arizona State and Houston.

The remaining voters who moved MSU out of the rankings had the Spartans at No. 24 or No. 25, so there wasn't much of a fall.

MSU highest ranking is No. 17 from Ira Schoffel of The Tallahassee Democrat. Schoffel moved the Spartans up two spots from last week. He also has seven (!) rankings that are considered extreme (including MSU) and one that is near extreme.

As for local voters, Jeremy Sampson of WLIX-TV dropped the Spartans down one spot to No. 24, which John Niyo of The Detroit News still has them unranked.

Now obviously the polls don't mean a whole lot right now. With MSU's upcoming schedule, a lot will change. A win over Ohio State likely would put them into the top 25. But the next five weeks could see MSU shoot up, plummet out or stay around where they are now.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Notebook: Anchored by line play, MSU defense remains solid

MSU leads the Big Ten in total defense, and while that could be indicative of the opponents, it's hard to ignore the fact that MSU's defense has been more consistent than its offense so far this year.

MSU seems to finally be getting pressure with four linemen, and the secondary is benefitting.

Here is my story on the defense, along with some other tidbits.

Video: Foreman talks about bounceback win vs. CMU

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Makeshift offensive line steps up to the challenge

Out went Blake Treadwell, Skyler Burkland and Jared McGaha and in came Travis Jackson, Fou Fonoti and Micajah Reynolds. MSU's offensive line was publicly challenged by the coaches and themselves after the Notre Dame loss.

Here is my story on how the line rebounded against Central Michigan on Saturday.

Video: Dantonio talks about CMU win

Thoughts and stories on the game coming later. For now, here's some of Dantonio's postgame presser.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

MSU coaches, players face first adversity of season

No coachspeak from Dan Roushar. He took the blame for the offense's performance against Notre Dame. I've said it before, but I think he'll learn from that game, just as the players will.

With Big Ten play opening in two weeks and an offensive line losing members by the day, the Spartans will need to come together and face the season's first adversity (story).

Monday, September 19, 2011

Burkland out for season

Mark Dantonio said earlier in the day that Skyler Burkland would be out for the year, which was not unexpected seeing the injury happen. I expect Fou Fonoti to move back to right tackle now. Regardless, this causes even more problems for an MSU offense line that already has plenty of issues.

From MSU:

Michigan State offensive tackle Skyler Burkland suffered a fracture/dislocation of his left ankle in the second quarter of Saturday’s game at Notre Dame. Burkland, who underwent successful surgery on Sunday, will be sidelined for approximately three months. 


His full return is expected in time to participate in the winter conditioning program. Burkland started the first three games of the season at right tackle.

A look inside the AP Poll: Week 4

What a difference a week makes.

Not a huge surprise that MSU fell out of the Associated Press Top 25. The Spartans are the first team out and are No. 23 in the Coaches Poll. But that doesn't mean all AP voters had MSU unranked, although 45 of the 60 voters did.

MSU's highest ranking is No. 19 by Ira Schoffel of the Tallahassee Democrat. Schoffel has several teams ranked in "extreme" spots, including Nebraska at No. 4 Wisconsin at No. 12.

Another voter of note, Mike DiRocco of the Florida Times-Union has MSU at No. 24. DiRocco had MSU unranked after week one and No. 19 after week two. So it has been a strange path for MSU on his ballot.

Of the voters who had MSU ranked, most had them between 22 and 25.

As for local voters, Jeremy Sampson of WLIX-TV had the Spartans at No. 24 and John Niyo of The Detroit News had them unranked.

(via Pollspeak)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Thoughts from Section 16, Row 28

From my seat at Notre Dame Stadium, I didn't have the best view to dissect Saturday's 31-13 loss to the Irish.

But from what I did see, here are my thoughts:

The loss falls on the offense and special teams coaching. Obviously the fake field goal looked bad because it didn't work, but doing coming out of a timeout, late in the half, against a team you faked a field goal against last year and down 11, the decision to go for it was very questionable.

As for the other trick plays, MSU's "wildcat" has never worked whenever it has been run. The second time they lined up in it, who didn't see it ending up in Cousins' hands. The Spartans ran the same play against Michigan last year.

The continuing to run the ball so frequently also was questionable. It was clear Notre Dame's run defense was strong and that MSU's offensive line was constantly being overpowered. I don't understand why the coaches put more faith in the offensive line and trick plays than in the hands of Kirk Cousins. The playcalling constantly put Cousins in bad positions in the first half.

By the time they put the ball in Cousins' hands, it was too late. Cousins had some questionable plays, but it was clear he was the most dangerous offense weapon MSU had. Instead of always using the run to set up the pass, MSU coaches need to adjust, sometimes using the pass to set up the run in games like yesterday.

(Add: The red zone offense is a big problem. Ten points in five trips at ND, along with struggles in the first two games. Dion Sims appears the only guy who can make a play down there. The coaches need to come up with some different gameplans when they get close).

The defense actually did make adjustments. If you were to tell me MSU was going to lose to Notre Dame, I would have figured it was because of the ND offense. Pat Narduzzi's gameplan of three linebackers against three- and four-wide receiver sets spelled disaster. But surprisingly, the defense made adjustments, changed plays, used different players (Kevin Pickelman) and had a solid performance overall. Realistically, they only gave up 21 points. I won't count the last field goal off the INT return or the kickoff return touchdown.

Moving forward, MSU fans should be confident in the defense. Saturday's game may end up being the toughest offense they will face this season, and although they weren't spectacular, the MSU defense was solid.

The offensive line remains a problem. Pretty obvious here. MSU averaged 1.3 yards per rush and Cousins was constantly under pressure. It appeared that Cousins was beginning to get nervous in the pocket, a result from being hit so much. The same thing happened last year. If Skylar Burkland is out for an extended period of time, it will be interesting to see if the coaches move Fou Fonoti back to right tackle.

No need to panic yet. Heading into the season, the game at Notre Dame was considered one of the toughest. Just because the Irish were 0-2 heading into the game doesn't mean they were a bad team. As for MSU, this is what the nonconference schedule is for. Just as players will learn, coaches will too. Dan Roushar couldn't use his entire playbook in the first two games, as MSU tried to hide some things. His first big game as MSU offensive coordinator also was the first game he was trailing. He'll learn.

So next up is Central Michigan. This isn't the Dan LeFevour Central Michigan. The Spartans should roll, but once again, we will have to see how the offensive line looks.

I recommend a visit to Notre Dame. The atmosphere is great, the fans are really friendly and the campus is great. Any college football fan should try to take a trip down there once in their lifetime.

Here are some photos I took down there.


This is beneath the Golden Dome.









Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cousins returns to Notre Dame as different player (w/ video)

A lot has changed for Kirk Cousins in the last two years. Since his first breakout game at Notre Dame two years ago, Cousins has become a coverboy.

Highlighting him and the beginning of a road schedule, here's a preview of Saturday's game.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

MSU isn't 'selling out' with Pro Combat jerseys

My thoughts on the new Pro Combat jerseys in this column.

Here are some quotes that I wasn't able to fit in:

Dantonio: "I thought what Nike tried to do was take everything that we were as a Spartan and try to take that and mold that into this uniform. So I was very happy and excited about what they came back with."

Trenton Robinson: "The jerseys aren’t like the big motivation. We want to go out and win that game. To get that extra swag, everybody feels a little bit better."

"When you get new stuff, it’s like Christmas. You’re going to feel good."

I think that first quote from Robinson says a lot. It's going to be Michigan week, the jerseys are going to be the last thing on the minds of everyone. They'll be hyped up leading up to the game and when they take the field, but after about five minutes, it's going to be another football game where you have to make plays.

Lastly, here's Gholston talking about the decision to get them and what he thinks.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dantonio prepares for Notre Dame

Video from today's press conference.

MSU Pro Combat jerseys revealed

After a lot of hype, MSU's Pro Combat jerseys were revealed this morning.

Photo from @MSU_Football on Twitter
Here is a photo gallery. Looks like it will read "Spartans" on the name spot, similar to what Georgia had.

I know some people aren't fans of the bronze, but given a rare opportunity like this, I think MSU fans will accept it. I think they're pretty cool.

The relationship between MSU and Nike is very important. A quick glance and you realize there is no white on the jerseys. There should have at least been SOME white. "Fight for the only colors?"

Here is a statement from MSUSpartans.com:


Like the ferocious Spartan warriors of ancient Greece, the Michigan State University football team views every game as a battle, requiring the right equipment and attitude for victory. Accordingly, the Spartans are one of nine teams chosen to wear the innovative Nike Pro Combat system of dress for the 2011 season. When the gates lift for their battle against archrival Michigan on Oct. 15, the Spartans will sport a unique design with bronze colorways, honoring the heroic armor of their historic namesake. Bronze is visible throughout the uniform, adding an authentic strength and durability synonymous with the Spartan name.


The uniform's overall innovation starts at the baselayer, as strategically placed seams, pads and cooling zones help minimize distraction and optimize protective coverage. It features customizable protection, incorporating a thin, incredibly strong carbon fiber plate. This symbolically mirrors that of the Spartan shield, which is emblazoned on the right of the baselayer. The Nike Pro Combat Deflex padding, combined with strategically placed cooling zones helps wick away sweat to keep competitors cool, while the Flywire-threaded collar allows for more breathability, enabling that extra push needed during the rigors of Saturday battle.


Echoing the cry of King Leonidas, the back of the collar is inscribed with the words "Molon Labe," the Spartans' defiant challenge to the competition to "come and get them!" Gloves complete the traditional Spartan headdress look. Armed with intensity and determination, MSU will fight on the battlefield until the last team is standing. 





Monday, September 12, 2011

Nike Facebook page says Pro Combat revealed tomorrow

Kind of out of nowhere, but the Nike Football Facebook page says that the remaining Pro Combat uniforms, which would include MSU, will be revealed at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning.


The Nike post reads: "Oregon, Boise State and Georgia were just the beginning. Check out all the remaining Nike Pro Combat uniforms, right here, tomorrow at 9 am EST."


I figured MSU would have some sort of press conference about this and make a big deal, and I have not heard anything thus far. This is something to keep an eye out for tomorrow. 


A look inside the AP Poll: Week 3

That's more like it.

After completely dominating Florida Atlantic in a 44-0 rout, the Spartans were rewarded with more confidence from the voters in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll, moving up two spots to No. 15. (MSU also is No. 15 in the Coaches Poll.

Most voters had MSU in the 14-16 range, which seems about right. MSU's highest ranking was No. 11 from Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News. Wolf moved the Spartans up two spots from week two and had them at No. 15 in the preseason.

Surprisingly, there is another voter who doesn't have MSU ranked, and that is Rob Long of Fox-1370 Radio in Baltimore. Somehow, Long dropped the Spartans from No. 21 in week two to unranked in week three after giving up one first down to FAU. Figure that out.

Who did Long jump over MSU? Arizona State (17), Michigan (21), USF (22), Baylor (24) and TCU (25). Also, Long didn't move Ohio State after a close call at home against Toledo.

Through three weeks of polls, five different voters have not ranked MSU at some point. The two voters who had MSU unranked last week, Mike DiRocco of The Florida Times-Union and Mike Hlas of The Cedar Rapids Gazette, moved MSU up to No. 19 and No. 20 on their ballots, respectively.

Bizarre.

As for local voters, John Niyo of The Detroit News had the Spartans at No. 14 and Jeremy Sampson of WLIX-TV had them at No. 15.

As always, thanks to Pollspeak for the great site.

Arthur Ray Jr. named finalist for courage honor

If you remember, Ray was nominated for the America's Choice Honor for Courage in American Sports a week ago. With the award being completely determined by fan voting, Ray has been named one of six finalists.

Here is the release from the Big Ten:


Michigan State's Arthur Ray Jr., an offensive lineman who has battled cancer for over four years, was named a finalist for the America's Choice Honor for Courage in Sports. The winner, wholly determined by fan voting at www.Facebook.com/CourageInSports, will be announced on "Courage in Sports," a one-hour CBS special (Nov. 13, 5 pm ET) that recognizes individuals that have overcome monumental challenges to achieve greatness in the world of sports. Ray is one of six inspirational stories in the finals, which run Oct. 3-16.

A standout lineman at Chicago's Mount Carmel High School and ranked among the nation's top offensive guards, Ray signed to play for the Spartans in 2007 but was diagnosed with bone cancer soon after. After four years, frequent chemotherapy, nine surgeries, multiple infections and almost two years on crutches, Ray was cleared to practice in April 2011 and is on the Spartans roster this season. Although taking a rest period following a setback in camp, Ray made the first start of his career Sept. 2 against Youngstown State.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

O-Line improves and an awesome photo of Kirk Cousins

The offensive line looked much better Saturday, but it'll be a different test in South Bend. The first road game for a group that still had a few penalties should be interesting.

Good luck to any team trying to defend Dion Sims on a fade route. The former two-sport player made it look easy against Florida Atlantic and, according to Dan Roushar, the MSU defense in practice. Kirk Cousins said Sims could have been the first player taken in the Spring Game draft.

Tyler Hoover may be out next week, Pat Narduzzi was unsure.

Here is my notebook from Saturday.

Also, here is an amazing photo of Cousins from Matt Radick of The State News. I suspect some of you may make it your computer background. It's not photoshopped, it was taken when the players were in the smoke before coming onto the field.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hill takes advantage of opportunity

The blowout people were expecting helped MSU gets its backups some playing time. No backup took better advantage of the playing time than fourth string redshirt freshman running back Nick Hill.

The former Chelsea running back had 56 yards rushing on a team-high 14 carries.

Here is my story on Hill's day.

Video: Nick Hill on his day

Working on some stories. Hopefully they'll be up tonight. For now, here's Nick Hill talking about his day.

Hill had a team-high 14 carries for 56 yards and looked very confident and decisive.

Dress list update

Bennie Fowler (Country Day) and Tyler Hoover (Novi) are not dressed for today's game against Florida Atlantic.

Fowler has been dealing with a foot injury and Hoover suffered a rib injury last week.

On the dress list are offensive guard Arthur Ray Jr., who had a memorable start last week, and center Travis Jackson, who has been dealing with an ankle issue since camp. Mark Dantonio said earlier in the week that Jackson would only play in a reserve role if he was able to play. Blake Treadwell is listed as the starter at center.

Freshman linebacker Lawrence Thomas also is dressed, although I wouldn't expect him to play, given the fact he hasn't practiced much and MSU wouldn't want to waste a redshirt opportunity.

Skies are cloudy, but the weather report shows we could miss the rain. Let's hope so.

New Spartan head logo at midfield. I'm glad they put an S at each 25-yard line.

Looks like there's a Situation

When MSU Athletics Director Mark Hollis tweeted in June that The Situation from "Jersey Shore" would be attending an MSU game, it raised a lot of eyebrows.

What game would it be? Why would he go out of his way to come to East Lansing?

Well, it appears today's Florida Atlantic game will have a "celebrity" guest. This tweet from hockey coach Tom Anastos today caught my eye, saying he was on campus.

As it turns out, Sitch, whose real name is Mike Sorrentino, is filming a web series at Wharton Center on campus, so he's not going out of his way or anything.

I'm curious to see if there will be any sort of recognition for him during the game. I sure hope not.

(UPDATE: Sorrentino is in fact here.)

As a reminder, you can chat with me on Twitter at @ChrisVannini during the game.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fonoti moves to left side as offensive line battles continue

JC transfer Fou Fonoti has moved to left tackle this week and, despite having never played on the left side before last Thursday, is listed as a co-starter with Dan France.

France performed OK in his first career start, but I think some of the mistakes can be chalked up to first-game jitters. But the coaches really like Fonoti, and since Skyler Burkland has solidified the right tackle spot, they will take a look at Fonoti.

Here is my story on Fonoti's transition to the left side, along with updates on Bennie Fowler and Nick Hill.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

BTN talks NFL with Kirk Cousins

This was posted Thursday night on the Big Ten Network's website.

The show hosts talk with Kirk Cousins about a topic not many have addressed this year: the NFL future for Cousins.

Cousins has all the physical and mental tool to be drafted. In this interview, Cousins talks about the importance of maturity and being able to impose himself on a team with passion in the NFL, even as a young quarterback. Some interesting stuff here:

Video: Dantonio talks offensive line

From today's press conference:

A look inside the AP Poll: Week 2

A so-so performance didn't change the overall view of the Spartans, as MSU is still ranked at No. 17 in the second Associated Press poll. (The Spartans moved up one spot to No. 16 in the coaches poll.)

But MSU's performance made a big impact on the individual ballots of some voters.

Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer was a believer in MSU last season, often having them ahead of Ohio State. Lesmerises had MSU at No. 9 on his preseason ballot (higher than any other voter), but this week, he has the Spartans at No. 24. Only two voters ranked the Spartans lower, and that was not ranked at all.

Chadd Cripe of the Idaho Statesman has MSU higher than any other voter at No. 12. He had the Spartans in the same spot in the preseason.

The two voters who have MSU unranked are Mike DiRocco of the Florida Times-Union and Mike Hlas of The Cedar Rapids Gazette. DiRocco dropped the Spartans from No. 16, while Hlas dropped them from No. 21.

The two voters who had MSU unranked in the preseason poll — Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times and John Clay of The Lexington Herald-Leader — both have the Spartans at No. 23.

As for local voters, John Niyo of The Detroit News has MSU at No. 17, while Jeremy Sampson of WLIX-TV has the Spartans at No. 20.

The AP Poll may not mean much in the scheme of things be part of the the BCS formula, but it's still fun to look into and talk about.

(My apologies to Pollspeak for the unkind words. I actually prefer the AP Poll to the SID, I mean Coaches Poll).

Monday, September 5, 2011

Arthur Ray Jr. nominated for courage honor


Arthur Ray Jr.'s mission took another step Friday, when he played his first collegiate snap since being diagnosed with cancer in 2007. Now, Ray is being recognized for his courage, being nominated for the America's Choice Honor for Courage in Sports.

Here's the release from the Big Ten:

Michigan State offensive lineman Arthur Ray Jr. and former Indiana basketball standout Landon Turner are nominated for the America's Choice Honor for Courage in Sports, Intersport announced today. The America's Choice Honor, wholly determined by fan voting, recognizes individuals that have overcome monumental challenges to achieve greatness in the world of sports. 

The winner will be announced on a one-hour "Courage in Sports" special airing at 5 p.m. ET Nov. 13 on CBS. Each week for six weeks, two inspirational sports stories will be featured on the Courage in Sports Facebook page (www.facebook.com/CourageInSports). The top weekly vote-getter will proceed to the finals, which run Oct. 3-16. 

A standout lineman at Chicago's Mount Carmel High School and ranked among the nation's top offensive guards, Ray signed to play for the Spartans in 2007 but was diagnosed with bone cancer soon after. After four years, frequent chemotherapy, nine surgeries, multiple infections and almost two years on crutches, Ray was cleared to practice in April 2011 and is on the Spartans roster this season. 

Although taking a rest period following a setback in camp, Ray remained vigilant and returned to the field this season, earning his first collegiate start against Youngstown State last Friday night.

Capital One Mascot Challenge Update: Sparty falls


Despite garning the second-most votes, Sparty fell to Georgia Tech's Buzz in Week 1 of the Capital One Bowl Mascot Challenge.

This was a tough loss, Sparty got a lot of support on social media but it was all for not. Buzz received 116,925 votes, while Sparty had 104,020. The next closest support was for Auburn's Aubie, who received 79,703 votes.

So Sparty falls to 0-1 in the 12-game season.

Moving on to Week 2, Sparty now faces Big Red, from Western Kentucky. At the time of this post, Sparty has 1,202 votes and Big Red has 436.

You can vote at CapitalOneBowl.com, Facebook.com/MascotChallenge and via text, by sending a message of "VOTE" to 78527 and replying to a confirmation message with the word "SPARTY."

The competition provides money to each school's mascot program.

So get out there and keep voting.



Sunday, September 4, 2011

Random Sunday night observation

I was watching BTN's highlights of MSU's game, and one specific play caught my eye.

Watch fullback Todd Anderson, No. 42, on this touchdown run.



BOOM.

Anderson got a lot of pub from players during fall camp for his physical play, and although his defender was standing still, I think you can see why Edwin Baker said Anderson had "blown a couple people up" in fall camp.

Given how MSU's offensive line was inconsistent Friday, having Anderson should help create a few more holes.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Struggles in the trenches, Foreman's selfless act


Stories from last night. First off, MSU's defensive line struggled all game, while the offensive line was inconsistent. Mistakes on the O-Line were expected, since there are two new starters. The defensive line struggles, though, could be worrisome.

Here is my story on MSU's struggles in the trenches.

Speaking of the offensive line, Joel Foreman gave up what would have been his 23rd consecutive start to Arthur Ray Jr., who played his first collegiate football game after being diagnosed with cancer in 2007. It was a great moment and really showed why Foreman was elected a team captain.

Here is my story on Foreman's selfless act.

Also, here are some quotes that didn't make it into the story:

Foreman — "I’m going to have 40-something starts by the end of my career. No one’s going to remember the exact number. I probably even won’t remember the exact number. Obviously being able to start at Michigan State is something special. I wish I could do more for him."

Ray — "It’s just the beginning. Everybody’s expectations for Arthur Ray have never been mine. To step back on that field and prove everybody wrong — a lot of people didn’t think I’d get to this point — I’m ready to keep going."

"I believe God is real. If anybody’s a walking miracle, you’re looking at him."

I see you, Arthur.

Thoughts on MSU's win vs. Youngstown State

What was supposed to be a night-long party was more frustration than anything for Spartan fans.

The defensive line did not look good, to say the least. No sacks, not much pressure. The hope is that a blitzing linebacker won't be needed in order to generate pressure, as was the case last season.

The offensive line had good moments and bad moments. There were three guys making their first start on the line, so mistakes were expected, but penalties continue to be an issue, as they were in the last scrimmage.

Kirk Cousins looked good. Great when he wasn't throwing off his back foot into coverage. B.J. Cunningham is going to have a huge year. The three-headed rushing attack also looks strong.

The defense didn't miss a beat with Max Bullough, who had 15 tackles. Greg Jones who? (Get it??)

Great to see Arthur Ray Jr. see the field. Truly an inspiring moment.

They say the biggest improvement comes from week one to week two. The Spartans are counting on it.

I'll have a couple of stories that will be posted tomorrow, hopefully. For now, here are some postgame videos.

Dantonio on the game in general:


Foreman on Arthur Ray Jr.'s start

Friday, September 2, 2011

Arthur Ray Jr. gets start at request of Joel Foreman

Team captain, senior and former Milford offensive lineman Joel Foreman asked offensive line coach Mark Staten to let Arthur Ray Jr. start in his place.

If you don't know, Ray was diagnosed with cancer in 2007 and was finally cleared to practice in March. Here is a very good story on Ray's battle from today's State News.

It's not hard to see why Foreman was voted as a team captain.

Some pregame photos

Day-long excitement here in East Lansing for the home opener against Youngstown State. Kickoff is at 7:30 on Big Ten Network. Here are a few pictures I snapped on my phone while walking around the tailgating scene. A reminder, follow me on Twitter to chat during the game.

Notice there is no logo at midfield. Also, Arthur Ray Jr. is on the dress list.

The Spartan Marching Band walking past me on the Chestnut Road bridge.

 Wouldn't be gameday without Johnny Spirit.

Dantonio and the captains lead the Spartan Walk from the Kellogg Center, past the Spartan Statue, to the stadium.


Players and coaches leave pennies and touch the Spartan statue during the walk. 

Mark Hollis talks with WJR during the pregame show.

A rock outside the main atrium in honor of the MSC Varsity Club members who died in WWI. There is a mistake: I.F. Lankey should be F.I. Lankey, the man who wrote the MSU fight song

 The 2010 Big Ten championship plaque

No logo at midfield. For what it's worth, the indoor practice field has a Spartan helmet logo at midfield.