michigan state spartans history
michigan state spartans history
Returning to the game after a ninth place finish the Big Ten standings last year, the off-season has been one of rebuilding for Michigan State. However, that doesn’t mean that fans aren’t rushing to get Michigan State Spartans tickets. Coming back for his third season with the team, head coach John L. Smith is confident that this year the Spartans will be back and better than ever.
Joining the team after a stint at Utah and some time in Louisville, last year’s trip to the Alamo bowl marked coach Smith’s seventh postseason game in a row. His addition to the coaching staff was a relief to the team in 2003. While his 2004 season there didn’t prove to be the greatest of accomplishments (finishing 5-7 overall and 4-4 in the Big Ten), fans kept in mind the adjustment the team was making with a load of new players and accepted the record as a renovation phase for the team. After their first four games in the 2005 season, onlookers were optimistic that the Spartans were on their way to a Big Ten title. However, while victories over Notre Dame and Illinois had the football community buzzing, the talk soon died down after consecutive losses to Michigan and Ohio State. As their last three weeks loomed ahead, the Spartans realized they desperately needed a win in order to get a shot at a bowl game. But try as they did, the team just couldn’t seem to make it happen. After a tight 28-21 game against Purdue, a crushing 41-18 game at Minnesota, and a final 31-22 game with Big Ten champs Penn State, the team saw a devastating end to their season. Now, what started out as enthusiasm for coach Smith’s arrival on staff is beginning to turn to doubt for Spartan fans. However, his staff remains supportive. "I've been with coach Smith a lot of years," Chris Smeland, the defensive coordinator for Michigan State told reporters. "We've had a lot of success. We'll put the pressure on ourselves to be better than we were."
In attempt to change things up in the off-season, coach Smith made the addition of several juniors to the roster. However, it’s not an entirely new line-up. Senior Drew Stanton will be returning this year in the position of quarterback. Offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin says his expectations for Stanton are high this season and that great things are predicted to be seen from the player. As far as running backs go, Michigan State has it all this year; speed, size, and talent. In the backfield, fans will see a rotation of junior Jehuu Caulcrick, sophomore Javin Ringer, freshman A.J. Jimmerson, and junior Brett Kahn. And while Smith’s biggest challenge this past spring has been filling the vacancies left in his offensive line, the coach feels that he has put together a line that will impress. Senior Kyle Cook, junior Mike Gyetvai, and junior John Masters will all be gracing the offensive end of the game this season. As far as defense goes, senior Clifton Ryan is the only returning starter, which leaves the defense open for some major maneuvering. With Ryan moved from end to tackle, junior Ogemdi Nwagbuo, known to his team as “OG,” will be filling in the spot.
With all of the changes made in the off-season, it’s very possible that Michigan State Spartans tickets will increase in value as the season progresses. If all goes according to coach Smith’s plan, the change is positions will prove to be just what the team needed to push them to the next level.