Q&A with strong safety Eric Smith

Michigan State senior strong safety Eric Smith will be among the 12 seniors to leave the Spartan program following Saturday's season finale against #5 Penn State unless MSU can pull the monumental upset.

EAST LANSING - Michigan State senior strong safety Eric Smith will be among the 12 seniors to leave the Spartan program following Saturday's season finale against #5 Penn State unless MSU can pull the monumental upset.

While odds are long, MSU has played well in their last few meetings against top-ten teams, including an upset of then #5 Notre Dame this season.

GoSpartans.net caught up with the heady senior who has been at the back line of the MSU defense for what seems like an eternity.

Smith talked about facing the Nittany Lions on Saturday, the future of head coach John L. Smith and the team's bowl hopes.

GSN: How good is the PSU offense? SMITH: ``They have a very talented quarterback, receivers that catch the ball and run real well. They've got a real good running back. So they pose a threat at all positions.

GSN: What kind of problems does QB Michael Robinson pose for the defense?
SMITH:``He's very good, running, passing, whatever he does, he doesn't a real good job."

GSN: Many observers and fans feel that John L. Smith is on the hot seat and some say he should be fired, what do you think?
SMITH: ``The fans are going to say what they're going to say. We're not worried about that, we're worried about Penn State. Whatever happens, happens. The fans are going to say whatever they want to say."

GSN: The Nittany Lions whipped you pretty soundly a season ago. Is the team using that as motivation?
SMITH:``We're using trying to have a winning record more for ourselves. We're not really worried about what they did last year. I'm sure we'll be thinking about it, but we've got to try to better ourselves.

GSN: Does MSU really have a chance to get back to playing the way they did in the first four games?
SMITH:``We're going to have to try and find it. I can't really tell you waht it was that we had back then that we don't have now. But we need to find it before Saturday."

GSN: What significance to you place on Senior Day?
SMITH:``It's special being the last game of our season, but we have a chance to continue the season so we're going to be playing hard so that its not the last game of the season."

GSN: With your MSU career coming to a close, what kind of emotions are you feeling going into this game?
SMITH:``I haven't really thought about it. I don't know what emotions are going to hit me at the time. I guess we'll just see after the game."

GSN: Do you remember how you felt when you committed to MSU?
SMITH:``That day I was real excited when I came out of Bobby Williams' office. I came out and told me dad. Coach D'Antonio, the one that recruited me, he was surprised they offered me he didn't know they were going to. When I got back home, everybody was surprised 'Oh really, you got a scholarship'." [LAUGHTER]


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