Notebook: MSU up to No. 13 in AP Poll
If they haven’t already, the Spartans are beginning to convince the nation that they are Big Ten title contenders.
After an upset win over then-No. 7 Penn State last weekend, the Spartans advanced their record to 7-2 overall and 5-1 in the conference.
This Saturday will be an important showdown in the Big Ten East as the Spartans will take on the Ohio State Buckeyes on the road, with the winner claiming the top spot in the East Division.
On Tuesday, head coach Mark Dantonio recapped MSU’s triumph over the Nittany Lions and previewed the forthcoming matchup against the Buckeyes.
AP poll: In the latest AP poll, the Spartans moved up 11 spots after knocking off PSU.
MSU is now ranked No. 13 in the AP poll and are once again ranked in the Amway Coaches Poll at No. 16 after dropping out of the rankings last week following MSU’s loss to Northwestern.
After the Buckeyes’ stunning blowout loss to Iowa, OSU fell eight spots to No. 11 in this week’s AP poll.
No changes to the depth chart: The depth chart for Saturday’s game, which was released Tuesday, remains unchanged from last weekend.
David Beedle and Tyler Higby are still both listed as co-starters at left guard, while Kevin Jarvis and Beedle are co-starters at right guard.
Josiah Scott and Justin Layne are again listed as the starters at cornerback, and running back Connor Heyward remains the kick returner for MSU. True freshman Cody White will continue to field punts for the Spartans.
“Homecoming game”: For 26 players on MSU’s roster, this weekend’s game will be their chance to head back home as the Spartans’ roster features 26 Ohio-based players.
“We have 26 players from the State of Ohio; ten of them start for us,” Dantonio said. “It's exciting for them to go down and play in front of, really, as close to their hometown probably as they can get, and I'm sure they will be motivated for that.”
Throughout history, Ohio has been an important recruiting area for MSU.
“I just think that state has a large population base,” Dantonio said. “They play good football. High school coaches coach very well. And so there's an abundance of high school players that can play at this level, more than most states. Michigan is divided up between two schools, and you know, it definitely gets a little bit more difficult.”
GoFundMe page: On Sunday, Josh Butler tweeted that his father had passed away suddenly.
Because his father didn’t have insurance, Butler’s family was left to fund any funeral and burial expenses out of their own pocket. As a result, Butler created a GoFundMe page to collect donations to pay for his father’s funeral.
His goal was to raise $5,000, but as of noon Tuesday morning, Butler has raised over $7,000.
Dantonio said on Tuesday that Butler will miss Saturday’s game but mentioned he is “hanging in there.”