It was a different type of atmosphere at Spartan Stadium. No more paper bag heads and no more fire John L. chants among the crowd. Fans were generally upbeat and looking toward the future.
"I think it's kind of a fresh start, a chance to wipe the slate clean," Spartan fan Nick Leffler said.
Leffler was among the thousands of fans who turned out to watch the Spartans take on the Purdue Boilermakers in Joh L. Smith's first game on the sidelines since being fired on Wednesday.
Some fans think the firing with give Smith an extra incentive to finish strong.
"I think he wants to go out on a high note," MSU Senior Kaelyn Thompson said. "I think he wants to show everyone they were wrong to let him go and that we'll go to a bowl game. I think we'll see a more enthusiastic team out there."
John L. Smith will make his final appearance at Spartan Stadium next weekend with MSU hosts Minnesota.