EAST LANSING – The last time Michigan State football played in front of a packed Spartan Stadium was in a victory over Maryland on Nov. 30, 2019.
Over 50,000 fans were in attendance before MSU took down Wake Forest, Mark Dantonio retired, and Mel Tucker left Colorado for East Lansing.
The second-year head coach waited an entire season to see people in the stands.
After months of waiting, MSU didn't play in front of cardboard cutouts or a limited amount of family members.
Instead, during Michigan State's final spring practice, the Spartans hosted 6,000 fans.
"It was incredible to have our fans out there, the band, and the cheer team," Tucker said with a smile. "That was something we were all looking forward to, just getting back to normal."
The marching band played in its usual South end zone bleachers, spaced out for social distancing while the cheerleaders hung around an open space in front of a mostly empty student section.
However, many of the students left on campus stood on the field, and seeing them gave players "an extra boost."
"They're the greatest fans in the world, and we missed them very much," senior defensive end Drew Beesley said. "We missed the 'Go green, go white' chants. You couldn't ask for a better time in the spring game in the woodshed."
Now, Michigan State will prepare to take three weeks off before its summer program ensues, but Saturday afternoon was another opportunity to improve.
"We got a lot of work done today … we wanted to be efficient, we wanted to get better, and continue to gain ground ... I felt like we were able to get a lot accomplished today," said Tucker.
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