Spartans Looking Forward To Facing No.9 Wisconsin

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Mark Dantonio's Michigan State Spartans don't have to go back to training camp, but in a way they're starting over at Wisconsin.
Dantonio and his veteran players know it's easy to be fooled by nonconference wins. And they are as likely to say their record is 0-0 as 4-0 as they prepare for their Big Ten opener Saturday against the No. 9 Badgers (4-0, 1-0).
"We've addressed that from Day One," Dantonio said Monday. "My way of doing things is to be very goal-specific in a short time, to look long-term but keep your goals in front of you. Every week, we set our goals, not just about football but other things, too."
That focus has led to victories at home over UAB, Bowling Green and Pittsburgh and in an emotional environment at Notre Dame. But MSU has been there before with 4-0 and 3-0 starts the past two seasons, only to wind up with losing records and a new coaching staff.
"We Quarterback Brian Hoyer spoke of a growing trust with each step up a ladder of success. When that ladder collapsed the last two years, painful lessons were learned.
"It Running back Jehuu Caulcrick said this week is a statement game for a first-year program and fans with four decades of disappointment.
"We know that," Caulcrick said. "We The Spartans lead the nation in sacks with 5.25 per game and have five more sacks in September than they did in 12 games last year. But they know it will take more than that to impress the Badgers and quiet the crowd at Camp Randall Stadium.
"Penn State, Ohio State and Wisconsin are the three loudest stadiums I A moon over Madison wouldn't bother the Spartans in the slightest if their new approach produces an upset and makes the program 5-0 for the first time since 1999, when Dantonio was a Nick Saban assistant in a 10-2 season.


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