Just a few months after the victory, Mark Dantonio has many questions to answer this spring with key members of his staff and high production players no longer wearing the Green & White.
Here are five questions that need answered this spring for Spartans fans to have a high level of excitement come the start of the 2013 season.
1. Will new Spartans offensive coordinators Dave Warner and Jim Bollman provide some new twists to a Spartans offense that struggled at times during the 2012 season?
Warner and Bollman become the third and fourth offensive coordinators under Mark Dantonio since coming to Michigan State. A longtime assistant under Dantonio at Cincinnati and Michigan State, Warner knows what his boss wants offensively, but is sure to throw a few of his own plays into the mix.
Bollman is a known commodity to Dantonio and experienced in the power running game the Spartans have used since Dantonio arrived in East Lansing.
While Warner will take full responsibility of calling plays on game day, you have to believe in the days leading up to the game Bollman will put his two-cents into the mix in the run game.
While Dan Roushar may have been an easy target for fans, players still must make plays and the Spartans lacked that in 2012 as compared to the two previous seasons.
2. Will the early departure of standout running back Le’Veon Bell hurt the Spartans offensive attack?
It is no secret how much Bell carried the Spartans on his shoulders last season. How do you replace one of the best running backs in the country? Spartan fans may not have an answer until mid September when incoming freshmen enter the race for important playing time.
3. Has senior quarterback Andrew Maxwell matured into a quarterback that can carry an offense?
The second part of question two is how well Maxwell is suited to put the Spartans on his shoulder and carry the team to victory. Some questions will need to be answered as Connor Cook was the bowl game hero and Tyler O’Connor will be looking at his first major reps of his career.
4. Will Spartan receivers show the ability to catch the football?
One of the biggest issues last season was the many drops seen out of the Spartan receivers. The talent is there for big plays to be made. However, if no improvement is shown in the spring, fans should not expect anything different than what was shown during the 2012 season.
5. Who will replace Dion Sims at tight end in 2013?
Sims had his best colligate season in 2012 and was Maxwell’s go-to-guy many times. The Spartans missed Sims when he was out with injury and picked up when he returned. The field is wide open for any number of players to step up and show the ability to snatch the early lead at the position.