Michigan State Spartans coach Mark Dantonio minces no words in criticism of team's opener
By NOAH TRISTER
AP Sports Writer
EAST LANSING — One more win would give Mark Dantonio a share of the school record.
The Michigan State coach is in no mood to celebrate.
“Football is a game of effort, toughness and knowing what to do. Half of our team figured that out, half of it didn’t,” Dantonio said Tuesday. “We will make sure that other half gets it figured out this week.”
That statement set the tone at Dantonio’s weekly news conference. Four days after the Spartans opened the season with a 28-7 win over Tulsa, he was clearly still concerned about the mistakes on offense that prevented Michigan State from a more decisive victory. Dantonio didn’t raise his voice or lose his temper, but he was blunt when calling his team out for a variety of shortcomings.
“I’m going to call it as I see it up here right now — going to send a message to our football team. We have a long season ahead of us. We can play much better than that,” Dantonio said. “I was disappointed in the effort when I see guys running routes that are not at full speed. I see guys blocking at the point of attack, throwing a shoulder in there, not addressing a defender. Can’t happen.”
Michigan State held Tulsa to minus-73 yards rushing, but the Spartans scored only one offensive touchdown, and that was on the first drive of the game. Michigan State had 14 penalties for 122 yards. In the second quarter, MSU started three drives inside the Tulsa 40 and settled for three field goals.
Michigan State dropped one spot to No. 19 in the latest AP Top 25. The Spartans host Western Michigan on Saturday night, and Dantonio is one victory shy of Duffy Daugherty’s school record of 109.