Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The dream season is over, but the Spartans counteract defeat with class

January 1, 2016
Senior wide receiver Macgarrett Kings Jr. walks off the field after the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic against Alabama on Dec. 31, 2015 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Crimson Tide defeated the Spartans, 38-0.
Senior wide receiver Macgarrett Kings Jr. walks off the field after the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic against Alabama on Dec. 31, 2015 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Crimson Tide defeated the Spartans, 38-0. —
Photo by Julia Nagy | and Julia Nagy The State News

ARLINGTON, Texas — The dream season is over for the Spartans after a 38-0 loss to Alabama in the Cotton Bowl. The Crimson Tide are headed to the national championship and MSU is headed back to East Lansing, but that is no reason for fans to hang their heads.

The Spartans took a big step forward this season and have plenty to be proud of. This team was led by 20 redshirt seniors and you could tell when it was all said and done.

MSU took their loss gracefully and they had high praise for the team that ended their season sooner than they were hoping.

"Looking back, we've been so fortunate to play in so many big-time games, to win so many games, to win two Big Ten titles. Win a Rose Bowl. Win a Cotton Bowl," fifth-year senior quarterback Connor Cook said. 

"It's just been so fun. The ride has been so fun. And the last thing I want to do is look at the downside and say, 'Our last game as Spartans we lost.' We want to be positive people. We want to look at the bright side. We're just so lucky to play for Coach D and all the other coaches."

Cook reflected on his journey and stepping into the starting role two seasons after former Spartan Kirk Cousins graduated.

"That's the only thing I'm trying to focus on right now, is the positives and how much fun we've had and the whole journey. Walking in as a freshman, I would have never experienced or never expected to have an experience like this," Cook said. "I saw Kirk Cousins and I thought I would be lucky to play one season. So to be able to play in all the games we've been able to play in, you just got to look at the bright side and all the positives."

While head coach Mark Dantonio was disappointed that his team couldn't get the win, he is excited for his seniors to take their next step in life.

"We didn't get it done collectively," Dantonio said. "That's as coaches. That's as players. That's as a program. But you remain focused on being positive, and you take the next step in life. And I think that's what you have to do.

"Had a great season. We'll dwell on that. Our guys will get back ready to start 2016. And guys like (Cook and Shilique Calhoun) will go on and transition to the next phase of their life which will be very, very exciting for them and they'll be very successful."

Dantonio took the time to congratulate his senior class, the winningest class of all time at MSU and he also wished the Crimson Tide luck in the national championship against Clemson. 

Support student media! Please consider donating to The State News and help fund the future of journalism.

"(Alabama) Played a great game," Dantonio said. 

"Unfortunately on our end, disappointing. Want to congratulate our seniors on their careers. Connor Cook is 34-5 as a football player at Michigan State and their senior class. Won more football games than any other football team in the history of Michigan State. So want to congratulate them.

"Tough when you end your career in a loss and a disappointing one at such a high level. But you transition. You move to the next phase of your life."

Discussion

Share and discuss “The dream season is over, but the Spartans counteract defeat with class” on social media.