Tough off-season ahead for MSU football

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EAST LANSING, MI (WILX) -- The Spartans has a successful end to a tough football season when they beat Wake Forest in the Pinstripe Bowl, but now Coach Mark Dantonio has to deal with losing some of his team's best players.

The MSU Spartans have defeated Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the Pinstripe Bowl Friday 27 to 21. (Source: WILX)

The Spartans have made it clear that a 7-6 season is the bare minimum for what is accepted at Michigan State, but the road to improvement next season is a tough one.

The Michigan State football team will have a lot of holes to fill next season from quarterback Brian Lewerke, to wide-receiver Darrel Stewart, or on the defensive line with Kenny Willekes, Raequan Williams and Mike Panasiuk.

In addition to that, Michigan State's secondary is losing a lot of talent too. Defensive backs David Dowell and Josh Butler will be gone along with Josiah Scott, who announced he was declaring for the NFL draft and leaving school early.

As the seniors leave East Lansing, they are happy to have left on a high note.

"It's incredible to get a win, finish the season out strong, and for the guys coming back, to have a strong point for them," Lewerke said.

"It was just a great time. We got to be on top of the stage, hold the big, that trophy was real heavy by the way, hold the trophy up. All the seniors got to celebrate in the locker room, you know, it was just one, one good way to go out, go out with a bang with our Spartan dogs, there's no other way to put it. It was a great experience," Butler said.

Coach Dantonio said he believes the Pinstripe Bowl win can help propel the program forward, but there are a lot of holes to fill before kickoff next August.

The good news for MSU fans is next year's home schedule should be a lot better. Michigan, Ohio State and the Miami Hurricanes are all scheduled to come to Spartan Stadium.

Michigan State's season opener is Sept. 5 at home against Northwestern.

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