2004 Michigan State Football Season Preview

<b>Head Coach:</b> John L. Smith (118-65) <br><br> <b>Last Season's Record:</b> 9-4 (5-3, T-4th in Big Ten) <br><br> <b>Last Bowl Appearance:</b> 2003 Alamo Bowl (17-3 loss to <A HREF=http://nebraska.TheInsiders.com>Nebraska</A>)<br><br> <b>Key matchup(s):</b> Sept. 18th @<A HREF=http://notredame.TheInsiders.com>Notre Dame</A>, Oct. 30th @<A HREF=http://michigan.TheInsiders.com>Michigan</A>, Nov. 6 <A HREF=http://ohiostate.TheInsiders.com>Ohio St.</A>

Star Power: Jason Harmon, Free Safety, Junior, 5-11, 185; Eric Smith, Strong Safety, Senior 6' 1", 193; Wide receiver Agim Shabaj,Junior, 5' 10", 187

Notable Additions: Roland Martin, 6' 5", 335, OL, Chicago Harper; Carl Grimes, 5' 9", 180, WR, Detroit St. Martin DePorres; SirDarean Adams, 6' 0", 223, LB, Bradenton, FL

Notable Subtractions: Quarterback Jeff Smoker, drafted by the St. Louis Rams, 6th round (No. 201 Overall pick).

Notable Returnees: Agim Shabaj, 5' 9", 195, WR; Junior; Ron Stanley, 6' 0", 234, LB, Senior; Jason Harmon, 5' 11", 202, FS, Senior; Eric Smith, 6' 1", 193, SS, Junior

09/11/04Central Michigan
09/18/04Notre Dame
11/06/04Ohio State
11/20/04@Penn State
Offensive Overview: Michigan State's Drew Stanton will lead a talented receiving corps (6' 6" Matt Trannon, 5' 11" Agim Shabaj) as good as any in the Big Ten, but with a patchwork offensive line and an unproven running game, Coach Smith will have to get creative.

Defensive Overview: MSU sports one of the best safety tandems in the nation with Harmon and Smith, and their front seven is not bad, they must overcome inexperience at the corners

Special Teams Overview: An embarassment of riches with kicker Dave Rayner, punter Brandon Fields. Smith also recruited standout junior college transfer John Goss

The Spartans could crash the Big Ten's bowl party if... a little bit of good fortune comes their way. While Stanton is inexperienced, so is almost every other Big Ten signal caller. If they can shore up the corners and the offensive line, MSU could surprise again and finish in the top five of the conference.

TheInsiders.com 2004 College Football Preview
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