Capital One Bowl: Dantonio, Wiley Transcript

"The next step is to return to these types of games, possible BCS games, and I think our players have a taste of that." --Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio

Transcripts courtesy of Florida Citrus Sports

ORLANDO - Michigan State Quotes

Head Coach Mark Dantonio

Opening Statement: First of all I'd like to congratulate the University of Georgia on an outstanding game. When you have the opportunity to win 10 games in a season and both of us had the chance to- I think that's a tremendous statement.

I'd also like to congratulate our players and our seniors especially in terms of what they've been able to accomplish this year and raising the bar. This program has taken a step forward. It's frustrating when you play a close football game and it was a close game with the score being 6-3 at the half.

I guess you can point to missed opportunities in the first half, but give Georgia credit for their defense. I thought they tackled very effectively. Nonetheless, our guys played and had opportunities, even into the fourth quarter we were five points away and just needed to get the possession back and we've got a chance to win that football game.

I'm very proud of our football team, it didn't work out today but I thought we represented and had an outstanding week here.

The Capital One Bowl has been a tremendous experience. I'm not satisfied and I don't feel good about not winning the football game but I'm very proud of our football team their accomplishments and the way they've represented here, both on and off the field.

On where his team made leaps this year and steps they need to make for next season: We won the close games and played a lot of players throughout the season. We had the opportunity to play for a co-championship at the end of the season. In the case of this game, it's a big game for us with a lot of media exposure here and we played competitive, which is the first thing we needed to do.

After the Ohio State and Penn State games, we needed to compete at this level against this type of team and we did that today. It's not a perfect world. We tried to eliminate their two 1,000 yard receivers in Massaquoi and Green and it looks like we did.

We held Moreno to 68 yards so it looks like we did those things, but what we didn't do was stop a couple other guys. We had a game plan and we tried to stop what they do best and we did that pretty well.

Offensively, we needed to run the football more. I think kickoffs hurt us, we weren't as good as we've been and obviously the punt return hurt us at that point.

On what this season meant and team goals for next year: This season showed that our bowl opportunity last year in the Champs Sports Bowl was not a flash in the pan, we had something to build on.

We came back and responded and went a bit farther and built more within the program. Those are all positives for us. Our seniors have raised the bar for everybody.

The next step is to return to these types of games, possible BCS games, and I think our players have a taste of that. Our seniors sacrificed these first two years and came up a bit short, so they understand the things you have to do to get to this point and we will get there. Our goal will always be a Big Ten Championship.

Safety Otis Wiley

On the difference of Georgia quarterback Matt Stafford in the first and second halves: Basically we needed to eliminate the big plays.

On the 96 yard drive we needed to get off the field and we had the chance to and didn't get it done. Stafford did make the big plays in the second half and if we eliminated those big plays then it's a different ball game.

We gave them a fight and our secondary shut them out in the first half. In the second half we had to answer and finish and we did half of that, even though we didn't eliminate the big plays.

On showing Georgia the Spartan speed and what he sees for his team's future:

I think they underestimated us because we came out in the first half and showed them a lot of intensity. With the more intensity that we showed we were flying around and swarming them and made them alert. In the second half, we maintained that.

I think we are going to have ridiculous speed in the future of our program. To leave like this, we wanted the win, but to go out in a New Year's Day bowl game is great and it's been a great journey that the seniors have went through and the underclassmen have too. The leaders coming up next year are going to lead strong and it's going to be a great program.

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