SAN DIEGO, Cali. (WILX) -- Michigan State’s turnaround season was almost complete when it went nine and three in the regular season, and finished second in the Big Ten East.
The Spartans dominating win over the Washington State Cougars Thursday night in the Holiday Bowl was just the icing on the cake.
News 10's Zach Berridge talked with Spartan Head Coach Mark Dantonio and his players about the program's impressive revival after the game.
“What a long way this team has come,” Zach said. There was uncertainty still in August, but four months later, following a Holiday Bowl win over WSU, there's no question the Spartans have recovered.
Mark Hollis, Michigan State’s Athletic Director said, “To be able to recover from last year, 3 wins and now with 10. It tells the story of life. That's how we look at this. Turn it around, a positive way to finish.”
Quarterback Brian Lewerke said, “We proved it. I saw articles saying the max wins we could get is 6. We believed in ourselves. We knew what we had and we'd be good.”
Zach added that MSU wanted ten wins this season and not many thought that could happen.
Chris Frey answered, “Yeah nobody believed it. Nobody knew who would fill the spots the seniors left behind. I'm blessed to play for this program. To play for coach D. It's an honor.” Frey was named the defensive MVP of the game.
Running back Gerald Holmes told Zach, “It took sweat and tears. Grinding. A lot of belief. We take pride in focusing on ourselves. And that got us here.”
The Spartans will return to East Lansing with a 10-3 record, having added 7 wins from its previous season.
Mark Dantonio returns with 100 career MSU coaching wins, and maybe the best part is that the majority of this team returns in 2018 ready for more.
Dantonio said, “I'd like to say we're back. But 2018 is around the corner so we have to prove ourselves all over again. But this is as great of a season I've had as a coach because of where we came from and what we were able to accomplish.”
After the game Coach Dantonio told the green and white faithful that the Spartan football program is just getting started.
Team coverage continued in San Diego with Chelsea Snyder talking with fans after the game about Dantonio’s promise.
Fan – “He's a great coach; this team has come a long way. We had some tough losses like earlier against Norte Dame but we had some great wins like against Michigan. Coach Dantonio is just a great coach and it's looking very promising going forward with high hopes going into next season. “
Also after the game, Spartan junior running back LJ Scott announced during the FS1 post-game show that he's holding off on the NFL, he said he will return to East Lansing for his senior year. Scott is one of 18 Spartans in school history to have 2000 career rushing yards.