Scouting Report and Reality Check for MSU vs. IU!

Hondo S. Carpenter

Spartans facing biggest test thus far…

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Certainly there is no pressure on Mark Dantonio from the MSU administration to win or lose. His job isn’t on the line and we knew there would be transition pains. Mark Dantonio feels the pressure internally because he is a winner by trade.

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I have known Mark for many years and I can assure each of you that he is nothing short of the highest moral character and fiber. He loves Michigan State. He wants to turn the MSU ship in the right direction. He will get this program where it belongs, among the Big Ten’s elite. He knows that there were questionable calls late in the last two games. He knows that this team has depth and talent limitations.

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It still doesn’t change that fact that he attacks each game as a ‘W’ and will settle for nothing less. Coach told me this past summer, “I hate to lose. If a coach steps on the field and doesn’t think he can win and compete then he doesn’t need to be there. I can assure you that each time we step on the field at MSU I will expect to win.”

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No one grieved the loss to Northwestern more than Mark. He sees the empty seats and sees it as his job to earn back the fan bases respect and win these games. I know he will.

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If you watch the MSU vs. NWU game tape, you saw the NWU QB make perfect throws and reads as if he played flawlessly each week. He looked like a sure fire NFL #1 overall pick. He doesn’t play like that every week, but he did against the Spartans.

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You saw guys missing plays, but where in position. You have to be very careful when you are critical of coaches. You need to watch and see if the team was in the right scheme and the player missed a play, or where they out of scheme and it was the coaches’ fault. I saw only one time in the last game that the Spartans where in the wrong scheme. I did see multiple times that players missed tackles and gave up big plays.

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The offensive play calling was awful the last drive of regulation and the first and only drive of OT. This is not even debatable. Look at the score and the stats and try to tell me Treadwell is a failure. 41 points…forget about it.

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I think IU is a very good football team. MSU is very young, but is an up and coming team. I gave my reasons in the post NWU article as to why this team is not collapsing. You can call me a free base green kool aid addict if you must. As long as the Spartans make the plays that are called, win or lose this is not a collapsing team.

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The Spartans have turned in a very good week of practice under the lights at Spartan Stadium. I’ll call it… 35-34 MSU.

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This is the biggest game for MSU in a long time. This is not just about a bowl game. Mark places a lot of pressure on himself. As much criticism, as he has gotten this week, he would love to give the Spartan Nation a win. Sadly, it would mean more to him for the sake of our fans then to get the fans off his back. He is a Spartan. He thinks about the Spartan Nation first. Something I wish more Spartans did.

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Losing two in a row stinks. I understand how disappointed the Spartan Nation is in the last two losses. We wanted so badly to think that this team was better than it probably is. I said before the season that this team would be lucky to get to 6 wins. Read the archives. I hate to lose, but I have not lost faith in Mark Dantonio and I am glad he is our leader.

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Spartans are notorious for killing themselves. Shelve all the crap about who should have gotten the job. I had one recruit this week tell me that another school was showing his family internet proof about how much heat was already on MD. If you love MSU you don’t have to like bad play calling or losing, but you have an obligation to give our kids and coaches time to prove themselves. I was the first member of the media to call for JLS ouster. Only after it was time. Now is not. In fact, talking about who shoulda, coulda or woulda is ignorant and detrimental to a program that many claim to love.

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It’s hard to say the Spartan Nation deserves better when the pain is self-inflicted. I pointed to poor play calling, missed plays and missed tackles as our undoing last weekend. I also want the many fans, recruits, current players and families to know that SpartanNation.com stands firmly behind MD and this staff. They are doing what it takes and I couldn’t be prouder. Happier at 6-0? You bet, but not prouder! Go State!

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