Following a rough ending to Michigan State Football’s season on Friday night, rumors began to circulate around the uncertainty of the coaching staff heading into next season.About 12 short hours later, MSU got to work quickly and found their new head coach. Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith finalized a deal with the Spartans to become the new head coach of Michigan State, the program announced Saturday afternoon.
Jonathan Smith, who has led Oregon State to new heights during his tenure over the past six seasons, has been named Michigan State University’s 26th head football coach.
The finish to the season doesn’t excite the Spartan faithful, but the team has fought adversity throughout the entirety of 2023. With their backs against the wall, Michigan State showed up to each game with the same mentality, believing they would win no matter the result on the field. In order to get back to where the program once was though, a new coaching hire would need to be a significant one to take the step back in the right direction.
In the final post game press conference of the season, interim head coach Harlon Barnett kept it short and simple when describing the 2023 Michigan State football season.“It was the season of adversity,” Barnett said after the 42-0 loss in which redshirt freshman quarterback Katin Houser was sacked six times and where the defense allowed sophomore Penn State running backs to both rush for over 150 yards.
In the last game of Michigan State football’s season, the No. 11 Penn State Nittany Lions dominated the Spartans in every way to come out with a 42-0 win at Ford Field in Detroit.
Know Thy Enemy is a Q&A where the perspective changes from the eyes of The State News to the eyes of the student newspaper of Michigan State's opponent. This week, The State News' football beat writer Nick Lundberg spoke with football editor Seth Engle of the Daily Collegian ahead of Friday’s Penn State-Michigan State game.
Coming into the matchup with a 4-7 record, MSU has had many tales of their long season. The Spartans picked up a quality comeback win in their last contest against Indiana, winning 24-21. With the Nittany Lions coming to town however, it is going to be difficult to maintain momentum that Michigan State has generated over the past week or so.
Sitting on a 4-7 record, there doesn’t seem to be much left to play for to the average viewer, as the Spartans were eliminated from bowl game contention two weeks back in a loss to No.1 ranked Ohio State. However, the closing message on the year is more significant than wins and losses.
“I am a Spartan, I bleed green, and there’s nobody that they can find to do a better job,” Barnett said at his press conference on Monday. “Maybe equal to (me), because I ain’t gonna do that – confident, not cocky – but there’s nobody that they can find better. Maybe equal to, but not better.” Just hours after Barnett made his pitch, MSU basketball coach Tom Izzo praised the former All-American Spartan defensive back’s efforts this season with the turmoil surrounding the program.
For the final game of the 2023 regular season, Michigan State football will be heading to Ford Field in Detroit for the first time since 2010 to play the No. 11 Penn State Nittany Lions. This will be the last time MSU will take the field this year as they would not be bowl eligible even if they were able to complete the upset and take home the Land Grant Trophy.
Michigan State football had two players take home Big Ten weekly awards after their last second win against Indiana on Saturday. Redshirt junior tight end Maliq Carr won offensive player of the week while redshirt freshman quarterback Katin Houser took home freshman of the week.
Michigan State football went back and forth with the Indiana Hoosiers all game long, but the match eventually came down to a 49 yard field goal attempt by Indiana redshirt junior kicker Chris Freeman. Freeman’s kick sailed wide left though, and the Spartans hung on to a 24-21 victory for their fourth win of the season. With the win comes the Old Brass Spittoon, which is headed back home to East Lansing after last year's loss.
The Michigan State Football team has continued to struggle immensely against ranked teams this season, coming off a 38-3 loss to Ohio State. The Spartans will have a chance on the road to face an opponent closer to their speed as they are set to face Indiana on Saturday. Both teams come into the matchup 1-6 in the Big Ten, and a 3-7 record overall.
The Michigan State Football team will look to bounce back on the road following a 38-3 loss to Ohio State. The Spartans are set to face Indiana this Saturday, the last remaining game on the schedule that is not a ranked opponent.