Heading into his 100th game at MSU on Saturday at Indiana, coach Mark Dantonio continued to preach about the currency of consistency. And it all starts with the routine that occurs from the end whistle on Saturdays to the kickoff the following week. Here's a look at that routine, from the day after the Oct. 4 win over Nebraska to the start of last week's game at Purdue.
Instant Reactions: No. 8 Michigan State @ Indiana The Only Colors
On the surface, Saturday's 56-17 dismantling of Indiana, which was highlighted by the offense piling 682 yards of total offense in the midst of scoring 42 unanswered points to turn a 17-14 deficit into a 56-17 rout, looks like business as usual. But, to me, there's still an issue that continues to creep up and if it isn't addressed, the Spartans may certainly pay for it later on.
Short memory pays off in long run for Connor Cook Detroit News
Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook will never be described as a game manager. Waiting on others to create while he just orchestrates the offense simply isn't in his character. The Michigan State junior is the classic gunslinger and when a quarterback approaches the game like that, he'd better have a short memory.
Nick Hill breaks century mark for first time Detroit News
Nick Hill admitted there was a smile starting to stretch across his face as he raced down the field Saturday evening. The fifth-year senior running back was in the midst of scoring on a 76-yard run, the final touchdown in No. 8 Michigan State's 56-17 victory over Indiana, and he was feeling pretty good about it.
Three MSU questions: Spartans hear coach, finish strong Detroit Free Press
What can we tell from beating a third-string quarterback?
Connor Cook still forces too many throws. Will he ever stop?
Speaking of receivers, is this really the same group that couldn't catch early last season?
MSU notes: Connor Cook bounces back after interception Detroit Free Press
Connor Cook threw a bad pass, Indiana's Tegray Scales picked if off, IU scored two plays later to go up 17-14, and everyone at Memorial Stadium should have known — the Hoosiers were in trouble. "When he throws a pick, man, he gets a little more drive in him," Michigan State junior defensive end Shilique Calhoun said of Cook. "He's like, 'You know what? We're gonna score now.' "
Michigan State has look of playoff team Detroit Free Press
They are getting there, though what "there" means remains a matter of debate. For stretches, Michigan State looks as good as anyone, a balanced and explosive squad that can expand the field or shrink it.
Spartans Deliver Strong Second Half in Win Over Indiana MSUSpartans.com
So much for the hand-wringing angst surrounding Michigan State's fast starts and nerve-wracking finishes. On Saturday, the Spartans showed they can also win with a strong finish after a sluggish beginning, which had them falling three points behind a feisty Indiana team late in the second quarter in Bloomington.
Connor Cook threw three touchdown passes, Jeremy Langford ran for three more scores and No. 8 Michigan State scored the final 35 points Saturday in a 56-17 rout at Indiana. Cook finished with 332 yards, Langford and Nick Hill each topped 100 yards on the ground and Tony Lippett had 123 yards receiving as coach Mark Dantonio moved into a tie for second on the school's all-time victory list with No. 70.
Spartans 56, Hoosiers 17: Michigan State finishes strong at Indiana MLive
Michigan State avoided falling victim to the classic "trap" game Saturday, but not before Indiana threw a scare into the No. 8-ranked Spartans. Michigan State (6-1, 3-0) stayed atop the Big Ten East Division and kept its College Football Playoff hopes alive with the 56-17 victory over the Hoosiers (3-4, 0-3) at Memorial Stadium.
MSU trounces Indiana in trap game, 56-17 Detroit Free Press
The fourth quarters have been getting a little bit too interesting for Michigan State. This one was quick and boring. The No. 8 Spartans did have a few harrowing moments Saturday at overmatched Indiana – even trailing 17-14 for 86 seconds in the second quarter. But their offense took over from there and their defense shut everything down in the second half, producing 42 straight points and a 56-17 rout at Memorial Stadium, and setting up a home date with rival Michigan.
Michigan State rolls over Indiana Detroit News
Michigan State took care of business on Saturday, now it can put its focus into what's coming next Saturday – a meeting with archrival Michigan. The Spartans avoided any talk of the Wolverines during the week, and early against the Hoosiers it looked like a letdown was possible. But the moment proved fleeting.
Michigan State turns tide on Indiana with two touchdowns late in first half MLive
Michigan State came into Saturday having not trailed in a game since its Sept. 6 loss to Oregon, a stretch spanning four full games. Indiana broke that streak at the 5:25 mark of the second quarter when it scored on a nine-yard Zander Diamont run to take a three-point lead. The moment didn't last long.
Michigan State football pulls away from Hoosiers in second half iSportsWeb
In the words internet sensation Apollos Hester, “Sometimes in life, you’re gonna start slow. That’s OK. We told ourselves, ‘Hey, we’re gonna start slow, we’re gonna keep going fast. We’re gonna start slow, but we’re always, always gonna finish fast.” And that’s exactly what the No. 8 Michigan State Spartans (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten) did on Saturday, who after a slow start, went on to beat the Indiana Hoosiers (3-4, 0-3), 56-17.
Indiana would seem to represent the classic "trap" game for Michigan State, but Spartans coach Mark Dantonio says that's simply not going to be the case. "The way this program is built is to every week, every day, ground yourself, and work hard,'' said Dantonio, asked about the chance his team might be looking past today's game at Indiana and ahead to its game with rival Michigan next Saturday.
Mark Dantonio's eight-year tenure at Michigan State has been full of signature moments as he's turned the Spartans into one of the nation's top programs. Today's trip to Indiana marks the 100th game of his coaching career at MSU, and he will join Charles Bachman, Duffy Daugherty and George Perles as the only others to reach that mark in East Lansing. The 10 most memorable, presented chronologically:
Chaos should prevail on one side of the ball, where Indiana will try to spring loose the nation’s leading rusher and Michigan State will chase around a freshman quarterback — the tempo fast, the plays big. On the other side, MSU is going for boring. And for that it will rely on an offensive line that is starting to pair power with finesse and, quietly, become as good as anything the No. 8 Spartans (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten) have going. This is MSU game No. 100 for Mark Dantonio, and he’ll try to avoid shocking upset No. 1 with what may prove to be offensive line No. 1.
Bloomington, Ind. — It didn't even take a minute last season for Tevin Coleman to show the Michigan State defense he was the real deal. The Spartans were aware the Hoosiers had a fast-paced offense that could score quickly, but when Coleman burst through the line and ran 64 yards to give Indiana an early lead, his status as a big-play guy was cemented.
Once again, we find ourselves facing another opponent where my opening line is “The Spartans are truly facing themselves this week.” The Hoosiers offense scheme is dangerous, but their defense is horrible. Decimated by injury at the QB position, the Spartan defense should have a field day.
After losing three of the team's best players from last year to the pros, Coach Tom Izzo is now looking at Branden Dawson, Denzel Valentine, & Travis Trice to be the three that lead MSU this upcoming season.
Michigan State snuck up on the nation last season, not breaking into the Top 10 of the rankings until December. But that's not happening this year, and it's creating new challenges for coach Mark Dantonio. Dantonio and the No. 8-ranked Spartans (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten) are having to deal with pressures that come with being a favorite to make the College Football Playoff, such as scrutiny at each turn and speculation about the professional futures of its best players.
Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook has a lot to think about where his immediate playing future is concerned, according ESPN college football analysts Lou Holtz and Danny Kanell.
Michigan State had plenty of reasons to want a big game from Lorenzo White on Nov. 14, 1987. The Spartans were a win over Indiana away from clinching a Big Ten title and a berth in the Rose Bowl. And with more than 4,000 career yards, White was making a case for the Heisman Trophy in his senior year.
Michigan State is trying to put the finishing touches on its football recruiting class of 2015, and several players from Georgia are being targeted. Under coach Mark Dantonio, Michigan State has had tremendous success in the Peach State. First-round NFL draft pick Darqueze Dennard was from Georgia, as are four current players: wide receivers Keith Mumphery and Andre Sims Jr., defensive back Nick Tompkins and defensive end Montez Sweat.
The Michigan State Spartans wear their top eight ranking with pride. They should. It is a reflection of the effort and work they put in and the determination of the Big Ten’s best coaching staff. That said, you can’t run from the elephant in the room.