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Michigan State Spartans postgame press convention after the Spartans win 27-24 over No. 7 Penn State Football.
Detroit Free Press employees

The Spartans have a good time after upsetting Penn State in East Lansing on Saturday.(Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press)

Mark Dantonio and Michigan State is aware of the problem that’s forward. It’s a well-known one.

At Ohio State. Big Ten title hopes on the road. Heavy underdog.

But Dantonio additionally likes what he has seen from his 16th-ranked Spartans as they put together for a second-straight probability to solidify a stronghold for a spot within the convention championship recreation.

“I don’t want an overconfident team. I want a team that’s sure of themselves,” Dantonio mentioned on his Sunday night time teleconference. “And so we’ll play quick and play laborious and compete. We’re gonna make some errors, and from what I’ve seen to this point, this recreation (towards the Buckeyes) is gonna be tight. So we simply preserve taking part in one play at a time.

“It’s not good, however few soccer video games are.”

More on the Spartans:

Inside the Spartans: Michigan State survives storm to be contenders

Michigan State soccer: What we realized, what to observe vs. Ohio State

Shawn Windsor: Can Spartans make Big Ten title recreation? Believe it!

MSU (7-2, 5-1 Big Ten) faces No. 11 Ohio State (7-2, 5-1) at midday on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio (Fox). The final time the Spartans visited Ohio Stadium, with out injured beginning quarterback Connor Cook in 2015, they shocked the Buckeyes with a Michael Geiger area purpose as time expired in a 17-14 MSU win.

The Spartans almost replicated that Saturday of their 27-24 victory over No.13 Penn State. Redshirt freshman Matt Coghlin booted the game-winner from 34 yards out because the clock hit zeros to cap a virtually 7-hour day from kickoff to last area purpose.

“Every game’s gonna be different,” Dantonio mentioned, “but I think that we’ve become a little bit more confident as we take each step. … I’m very confident that our guys are having fun, competing. We’ve got good leadership in the locker room, good chemistry in the locker room and there’s good emotion.”

MSU and Penn State waited out a lightning storm that delayed the sport within the second quarter for three hours and 22 minutes. The Spartans trailed 14-7 at that time, with 7:58 left earlier than halftime, however tied up the sport late within the quarter after play resumed.

Nittany Lions quarterback Trace McSorley was 15 of 23 for 193 yards and two touchdowns earlier than the lengthy delay. He was Zero-for-5 with an interception to shut out the half. He completed 26-of-47 for 381 yards, with 70 of these approaching a landing move on the finish of the third quarter when MSU cornerback Josiah Scott slipped and fell in protection.

The Spartans additionally held working again Saquon Barkley to only 63 yards dashing, all coming after his six-carry first half resulted in no whole yardage.

“Defensively, I thought after two out of the first three series resulted in touchdowns we sort of settled down,” Dantonio mentioned. “We tripped on the one long one, but I thought we played pretty effectively stopping the run. Barkley had one big run when he got out of the gate a little bit, but other than that we contained him pretty successfully and big win.”

Dantonio echoed a lot of the glowing evaluations he gave Saturday night time about quarterback Brian Lewerke, who threw for 400 yards and two scores, and MSU’s receivers. He additionally singled out his specialists for jobs effectively achieved — complimenting the job Brett Scanlon did in kickoff responsibility towards Barkley, and praising Coghlin for his area objectives that tied, then received the sport.

“It was exciting to watch that,” Dantonio mentioned, “and now we go to Ohio State to see what’s next.”

Butler grieving

Dantonio confirmed that Josh Butler realized shortly earlier than Saturday’s recreation that his father, Steven, had died out of the blue that morning. The sophomore acquired the beginning task at cornerback towards Penn State.

“Still hard to believe, it just doesn’t feel real, but I know one thing ..no matter what he made sure my brothers & I were taken care of,” Butler wrote on Twitter early Sunday morning. “Sacrificed so much and taught us everything we need to know. I’m going to continue to make you happy dad. I love you RIP DAD see you in heaven.”

 

Dantonio known as it “a pretty private matter” however mentioned Butler realized about his father’s dying somewhat greater than a half-hour earlier than the Spartans’ crew stroll at Spartan Stadium on Saturday morning. The coach walked along with Mesquite, Texas, native Butler, lagging behind the remainder of the crew.

“It was a jolt to our entire team and obviously to Josh,” Dantonio mentioned. “Our thoughts and our prayers are with Josh and his family right now.”

Big moments on the DL

With Gerald Owens sitting out with an undisclosed damage for MSU after which dropping Mike Panasiuk to an obvious leg downside within the first half, defensive sort out Kyonta Stallworth performed his greatest recreation of the season. The sophomore from Detroit King registered six tackles, including two QB hurries.

Dantonio additionally credited his different defensive tackles, Raequan Williams and Naquan Jones (three tackles every) for badist filling the void. Redshirt freshman Mufi Hill-Hunt additionally noticed a few of his first motion of the season.

Contact Chris Solari: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @chrissolari. Download our Spartans Xtra app without cost on Apple and Android gadgets!