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Payton Thorne, Spartans ‘not okay with losing’

Michigan State's quarterback is looking forward to getting back on the field and adding a tally to the Spartans' win column

Michigan State is anxious to return to the playing field after suffering their first defeat of the season last Saturday against Purdue.

Spartan quarterback Payton Thorne said that no player felt good about how Michigan State played against the Boilermakers.

“Losing is not something that you’re just okay with,” Thorne said. “The new guys know that, obviously the guys who were here last year know that. It’s a new expectation, a new standard. So, were not okay with losing. That’s not something you can get comfortable with.”

Thorne said there’s a balance that needs to be found following a loss between learning from the mistakes that were made, but not dwelling on the mistakes and letting one loss turn into two.

“We’re just focusing on what’s in front of us and not getting too caught up in what has happened in the past,” the quarterback said. “We’re going to learn from the stuff that happened, and you learn from wins and losses. It’s not just a loss that you learn from. You’re able to watch the film, reevaluate how you played, and then you watch film every day in practice, and you have to evaluate how you practice as well.”

Thorne noted that multiple players have become more vocal in their leadership this week in practice, and that there’s been an emphasis on “player-led” teaching and coaching in practice.

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“That’s extremely important to us,” Thorne said. “When your players are holding each other accountable instead of coaches having to hold guys accountable, that’s when things really start rolling. If you coach a player, you’re also learning while you’re watching him. You watch your position, and you watch guys that you’re going to be involved with on Saturday, and you coach each other up.”

The Spartans defense struggled mightily in pass coverage against Purdue, surrendering over 500 yards through the air and allowing the Boilermakers to score 40 points. But Thorne said the offensive players won’t allow those struggles to waver their belief in the Spartans’ defense.

“I wouldn’t say that we feel pressure,” Thorne said. “I trust our defense and I know they’re going to make improvements every week, like we try to do on both sides of the ball and on special teams.”

Regardless of how well the defense is playing, Thorne’s expectations for the offense remains the same.

“We’re on the sideline and our mentality, no matter what the defense is doing…our goal is to go score on every drive, and score a touchdown, not settle for a field goal,” Thorne said.

Head coach Mel Tucker has emphasized at all of Michigan State’s goals are still in front of them, and that the Spartans still control their own destiny. That starts with taking care of business at home against the Terrapins.

“We do still have three really big games in front of us,” Thorne said. “We’re just focused on one game at a time, and we’re focused on Maryland right now. Not worried about anything after them. We’re looking to play our best on Saturday and see what happens.”