After having a 150-play scrimmage on Saturday, Coach Dantonio feels his team is making the strides needed to compete for the 2010 Big Ten Championship.
Here are the key points from todays teleconference.
The development of Kirk Cousins and also Andrew Maxwell has given the staff a chance to move Keith Nichol to wide receiver and into some other packages. While Nichol could still have a key role in the quarterback postion, it's the staff feelings the success of Cousins and his experience will give the Spartans a chance to close out games better than last season where four games came down to the wire.
Move To 3-4 Defense
This spring has seen the Spartans defensive staff working some 3-4 schemes into the playbook. While there is not plans of a full switch to the defensive scheme there are times when the staff could use the strength of the current linebackers on the team to give them a power of strength. Coach Dantonio labled the work as "dabbled" and has done so in the nickle. The overall goal is to get the best players on the field, or place more speed on the field. The move has not been installed due to the spread offense but just on the strengh the program has at linebacker.
Big Ten Expansion
Lots of talk about the Big Ten Conference expansion during the teleconference. Coach Dantonio said it's exciting but the decision must be made by people above him. Said it would be very exciting for the conference and also the nation. Said he feels expansion to one team would be the thing to be done but will listen to what those who are in control have to say about it.
Pressure To Win
The staff always has high expectations for each season. Feel they'll fight for a Big Ten title each year but knows there is room for improvement and the team will have to make plays at the end of the game to do so. Program is still building, but a solid foundation is now in place after good recruiting classes the past two years. Also the fact starting quarterback Kirk Cousins will have over eight college starts this fall should help them at crunch time much like Brian Hoyer did during the 2008 season.
Other MSU News
Wide receiver Fred Smith has been reinstated to the football team after serving four days in jail for his part in the November residence hall assaults.
Smith, a redshirt sophomore, is back with the team for spring practice after pleading guilty in Febuary to consipiracy to commit assault and batter.
Coach Dantonio stressed Oren Wilson will be transfering out of MSU and not returning to the program.