It had not been easy going for Michigan State’s offense in the fourth quarter early in Big Ten play.
Through two games, the offense had yet to score in the final frame, but that script was flipped Saturday to the tune of three rushing touchdowns and a 21-0 advantage in the final quarter of Saturday’s 56-17 win against Indiana.
Defensive end Shilique Calhoun said finishing better was something coach Mark Dantonio had the team focusing on.
“We came in here with the intention we were going to finish this game out,” Calhoun said. “We weren’t going to leave no loose ends and play to our ability all game and not just the first three quarters.”
”We’ve talked about it, we talked about it a lot,” Dantonio said. “Not necessarily just the fourth quarter, but finish the game.
”There was a big push at the end of the third quarter of this case today and we wanted to move that process forward. I thought our guys came to play and an outstanding effort by them.”
Senior offensive lineman Connor Kruse said the win would give a different feeling to the flight home, as it was a different feeling to close out the game instead of hanging on late.
”“It’s something we harped on,” Kruse said. “It’s something we harped on last week, we gotta finish in the fourth and we didn’t.
”Every week we harp on it and finally being able to finish in the fourth shows that our offense can handle this and our defense can handle the fourth quarter and we are back to where we were last year finishing the game. We are planning on doing it next week.”
The goal now will be to maintain that effort consistently through four quarters, as the Spartans saw a lull in the second quarter – both offensively and defensively.
”I feel it happens with teams from time to time,” Calhoun said. “We just need to come out fired up.
”We need to generate our own motivation. That’s something that we need to do as players. We are getting better and better each week.”