Spartan Fans have a lot to be Thankful for, Starting with Coach Mark Dantonio’s Approach

Hondo S. Carpenter

Spartan Fans have a lot to be Thankful for, Starting with Coach Dantonio’s Approach


The Spartans head into the 2009 campaign with a fan base full of optimism and hope for the future. Now before you give me the old thought that everyone is that way this time of year, remember this is the Spartan Nation. Times have not always been like they are now.


There is one main area, however, that I don’t think fans recognize as one of the biggest reasons for hope. This staff is married to one scheme. It isn’t the run control three yards and a cloud of dust you heard when they arrived. It isn’t a base 4-3 that we also heard. Both schemes are great and both schemes will always have their place. The biggest reason for hope is that they are only married to winning.

Mark Dantonio Has His Eyes on a Bigger Trophy, the BCS Trophy
Mark Dantonio Has His Eyes on a Bigger Trophy, the BCS Trophy


They will change schemes, and they will do things that best utilizes the talent that they have. They will adapt and do the things that put the best 11 on the field. Here are some examples:


  1. Sure, they had a TE in Kellen Davis, but when DE was the need, they moved him over there in key situations. They weren’t afraid to think outside the box.
  2. Yes, Coach Dantonio loves to run the ball. You also see this team move to four and five receiver sets and this year, although it won’t be the primary formation, you will see some option.
  3. The spread offense is growing in the Big Ten, and although against primarily pro set teams you will still see the traditional 4-3 they started implementing last season with some 3-4 with Brandon Long. They will do more this year with Trevor Anderson and in 2010 will use it as their primary D against spread teams. They won’t abandon the 4-3. Far from it. They will still have pro sets teams and spread teams that will use some pro set. When they see teams that are not in the spread, the 4-3 will still be that base. They won’t, however, stay 4-3 when many teams they face run spread and the talent they have to fight it dictates the 3-4.


Look at Spurrier at South Carolina. He has been highly criticized because he won’t adapt “his” offense match the players his offense needs.


This Spartan staff isn’t married to what they are comfortable with. They aren’t set in their ways. They have one clear goal and that is a Big Ten title. They will take the best course towards that goal.


The issue is that this staff adapts to the talent it has. It looks down the road three years (and not for other jobs) and looks at recruiting and analyzes where things are going. That is one of the biggest things that should make the Spartan Nation excited. That is one of the things that should make the fan base cheer.


At the end of the day, who cares if you run a spread or pro style offense? Is it a concern if you offer a 4-3, 3-4 or a hybrid? All that matters is winning and this group gets that. For that reason alone I am excited about the direction of this football team.

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