Mark Dantonio says MSU football has to improve in fourth quarter play
Football head coach Mark Dantonio was at the podium Tuesday to discuss his team’s offensive inefficiency in the fourth quarter, the 100th game for his staff and the addition of recruit Tyriq Thompson to the Spartans.
Fourth Quarter Woes
Of the 278 points MSU has scored this season, only 28 have come in the fourth quarter , a stat that concerns Dantonio going forward, even though he said some of the games MSU has played in this season have been blowouts.
“Certainly you want to score more than 28 (points) in the fourth quarter, but I think some of that is a result of ... us having our twos in the game and not going at our normal pace,” he said. “You want to address your weaknesses and areas you need to improve in, that’s one of those areas.”
Dantonio couldn’t pin down one commonality in the games when MSU has struggled in the fourth quarter (Oregon, Nebraska and Purdue).
“The bottom line is, do you score points in those situations and put the game out of reach?” he said. “I think our football team is resilient and we are looking forward to the opportunity this weekend.”
Welcome to the Family
MSU welcomed a new face to their roster Monday when they signed linebacker Tyriq Thompson from Detroit.
Thompson will enroll a semester early at MSU and will be working out with the team in the offseason.
Dantonio said he can play right away for MSU.
“I think he’s prepared for it and I think he’s mature enough to handle it,” he said. “All indications are he would be able to play as a true freshman.”
Thompson also plays running back at Martin Luther King High School in Detroit. Dantonio said he likes the linebacker’s explosiveness and speed.
“Very quick, very explosive very intelligent (player),” he said. “It will be exciting to watch him moving forward.”
Saturday’s game against Indiana will not just be for the Old Brass Spittoon — it will also mark the 100th game for Dantonio at MSU, an era that has seen very little turnover in his staff.
“We haven’t had a lot of attrition here,” he said. “I really didn’t think about 100 games. That’s almost unthinkable when you’re staring at game No. 1.”
Dantonio has a 69-30 overall record at MSU. He has yet to lose to Indiana since joining MSU in 2007, and on Saturday, he will attempt to boost his overall number of wins up to 70.
“I just want to thank everyone that has been involved with the program,” he said. “Especially our players who many have come and gone and have been very, very important to our success.”