Post-CMU: Dantonio Transcript

Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio met with the media on Saturday following his team's 45-7 victory over Central Michigan.

Opening statement Nark Dantonio....
I thought we started very fast. As a football team, we decided to receive the football so we went down the field on the first series so that was a big positive. We made an emphasis to run the football. I thought we were able to do that. Obviously, in the second quarter, the turnovers changed the real complexion of the football game. When you have four interceptions and one goes back for a touchdown, good things are going to happen to you. I thought that offensively, we sort have took our quarterback out after the first series of the second half and we started to play our backup guys. I thought we functioned well. We ran the ball and made plays down the field. We had some explosive runs, which to me we were lacking on a consistent level. Le'Veon Bell had a couple. I think Rock had one as well. Those are good things when you have those. I thought, based on what I remember anyway, we got off the dime a little bit when they threw the football. Defense was dominant. Anytime your defense is dominant, it is going to be very tough to lose that football game. We'll look for this next week's opportunity in Columbus. I look forward to it.

On taking the ball and getting the running game going...
I just wanted to force the issue a little bit as the head football coach. I wanted to make sure that what we talked about all week long, that given the opportunity, we were going to take the football and not say okay, let's do this and let's do that, and by the way, you can have the ball. I don't think that would have been the right mindset so we took the football. I thought our offense played very well in that opening drive.

On the play of Travis Jackson and Micajah Reynolds...
It's tough to evaluate that without seeing the film because there are so many different things schematically that are going on there. I thought we protected pretty well and were able to execute. We put up a lot of points. Seven of them were on turnovers in the first half. We did score 24 points in the first half as an offensive football team. I thought that was production.

On what happened when CMU blocked Michigan State's punt...
They had a bunch of guys run through there and block the punt. Obviously we had a blocking problem. It's frustrating because it takes a clean game and a possible shutout and all of a sudden that possibility diminished. It still could have happened but it diminished. Anytime that you have a kickoff return for a touchdown or a blocked punt, you just can't have those. If you are going to continue to be a good football team, those who catch up to you and have a direct bearing on the game, like it did last week. We have to make sure everything is in sync in those areas. From what I understand, a guy blew a blocking assignment.

On where he thinks they are going into the Big Ten season...
Well, we are at the beginning. That's really where we are at. Our focus has been on Central Michigan this week, completely on it. Our focus has been on these first four games. Now, we are in a position where we start looking at the Big Ten Conference. Obviously, it will be a great opponent in this first game and it will be down in Columbus at 3:30. We'll point toward that and have our guys ready to go. We will be focused and ready to go. It will be a challenge for us, as everybody knows, but I am looking forward to the opportunity.

On Michigan State intercepting the ball four times...
We're getting interceptions. We're getting turnovers. That occurred last week, pretty much as well, with a couple of turnovers so those things are big positives right now. I think we are playing pretty well defensively and stopping the run. Anytime you are able to do that, good things are bound to happen to you because you get ahead with the chains. We are going to find out in the Big Ten Conference. As we mentioned here, the next stretch of football games, the next eight, are going to be difficult football games. That's the way it is in this conference. You expect that.

On Le'Veon Bell's performance...
I thought all of our running backs ran hard. They saw a break in tackles. We talked about that. I thought [Larry] Caper came in the second half and ran very hard. I thought Nick Hill did some good things. The other two guys, Baker and Le'Veon, were positive in the first half. But I thought Le'Veon had a couple big runs, you saw those. He's a guy that can catch it, he can block, he can run the football. He's a load. He's 235 pounds. It gives us a variety of people to use. Whoever is hot, that's just who gets used. Whoever is hot. They better have a good week of practice.

On playing against Dan Enos...
I think Dan Enos is doing a great job there. I don't think the score is indicative of how they played us in this football game. They made some plays in the game, in terms of short yardage stops. Defensively, they are sort of behind the eight ball with interceptions. We were able to hit the quarterback and affect the quarterback some. I think some guys of our guys made some great plays on the defensive end of the field. They hung in there, 31-0 at half and they didn't throw in the towel. You have to credit that to attitude. Congratulate them for that. Dan's a good friend of mine and I wish him the best. His success will be in front of him.


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