As you separate yourself from the emotion of a disappointing 2012 season you can see things more clearly. MSU had hopes much higher than 7-6 (their final record) but you also can see progress. A bad season before Mark Dantonio arrived was less than a handful of wins. Now it is a winning record that includes a bowl victory. Still doesn’t replace the emotion of last year, but it can temper it.

Mark Dantonio took to the platform yesterday to kick off essentially for the public the 2013 season. True to his direct no nonsense form he didn’t ignore the elephant in the room left over from 2012. He went right at it.

“The foundation has been set. I feel definitely that’s in place, expectations have continued to be raised around here, which they should, and really it’s now a time I believe to sort of fulfill our dreams as we move forward here with this next class. “ He went on to add, “We’ve tried to focus on working hard, rehab, critiquing what we’ve done in the past in terms of off the field, whether it’s particularly with our coaches, but just trying to sort of regather information and restructure things as we move forward.”

Dantonio went right at getting better saying, “The next phase begins now in spring practice, and that’s really our second phase of preparation as we look at 2013, the focus will be, again, on technique, fundamentals, gaining experience for some of our guys, especially at various positions. We’ve got to change some things up in terms of what we do and the way we do things as usual, experiment, got to execute better, find our best 11, 12, 13 players that are next best. Work on some penalties type things, so we continue to harp on those things, not beat ourselves, have to compete, and then obviously just based on last year, we’ve got to find the inches, and I think that’s very important that we be able to do that.”

He then went head on into exorcizing last year’s demons. “The goal always is to get 3 percent better as we go, and I think if we do that individually as well as a team, we’re going to get better and better as spring progresses. And really just in closing, and then I’ll let you go with questions, but I remember Kirk Cousins talking with me one time in 2009 preparing for the 2009 season, and he was in a quarterback battle, and he felt like he had just climbed up a mountain, and then there was another peak there. And I think that’s the way we are as a football team. I think that’s the way it’s always going to be.”

He put that into the prism of last season saying, “We’ve climbed some mountains here. Last year after a Big Ten Championship, Legends champion, we got up there and we thought we had arrived, but I think we found that there were bigger mountains and a whole range of them, for which we still have to go. I think you can never forget where we’ve come from, who we are, and most importantly, how difficult it was to get there and how difficult it is to stay there.”

So can Dantonio help the frustrations of last year fuel success in 2013? He thinks so. “I think the most important thing is we’ve got to gain confidence from our experiences. Both our successes and our failures, you need to bank those and then take those experiences and make them positive ones. The fact that you don’t have success in front of 100,000 people and a national audience, that should count for something, and that’s what we’re banking on.”

He went on to say, “Beyond that, what we do in practice is try and simulate those situations, but it’s very, very difficult to do that unless you’re competing for the position knowing that if you don’t perform you go down the depth chart, which I think those type of things will happen.”

He looked farther down the road than just starting spring ball. “Obviously the spring game when you put a lot of people in the stands, it provides another opportunity for those guys to do those things. But until you get to game time, 3rd and 6, tie game, down by two, whatever, and you’ve got to make the play, one way or the other on the defensive side of the ball or the offensive side of the ball, it’s a little bit of an unknown. But as soon as you start making those plays, I think there’s a great deal of confidence that comes with it. And I think a lot of our players have had the opportunity. We won some close games, as well, so I’d like to put a little gap in there. But it is what it is sometimes. It’s a very competitive league, and everybody is working extremely hard. I don’t care whether you’re here or down the road or someplace else.”

The Spartans have a much easier schedule in 2013. It also is a very anemic home schedule that brings in only Michigan as a marquee home game. Attendance will suffer from that schedule added to a disappointing 2012, but Dantonio can right the ship and he will.

To start that journey it begins in the fans mind when spring ball starts. That time is now.

About Hondo S. Carpenter Sr.

View all posts by Hondo S. Carpenter Sr.
Hondo S. Carpenter, Sr. is the founder and publisher of SpartanNation.com and all of the family of services. The idea was birthed when overseas he ran into a Spartan not native to the United States who was wearing his Green and White proudly. He is dedicated to bringing you the latest and greatest information about Michigan State and Detroit Sports News every day. He resides in the Mid Michigan area. Follow Hondo on twitter here: @hondocarpenter.


4 Responses to “Mark Dantonio Ready to Use 2012 Frustrations to Fuel Resurgence in 2013!” Subscribe

  1. Pete March 19, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    It takes more than frustration to fuel a resurgence, it takes talent and coaching. Have they improved the offensive line, wide receiver, and quarterback positions? Have they improved special team personnel so that we can actually cover better or have a threat to run back the football? Are we going to see more 5 yard completions (instead of 3 yard completions) on 3rd and 12 (to get that 3% improvement)? Evidently Hollis thought that the next best thing to winning big games at home is to win little games at home because the schedule isn’t what you’d expect from a college that says it wants to be recognized for its football program.

    Kids say the darndest things. Dantonio’s reason for naming Maxwell as the number one quarterback was that Maxwell deserved it because he (Maxwell) had been criticized in the media and been a nice guy about it. Hey, Mark, the reason the media criticized Maxwell is because he didn’t play well most of the time! I suppose this means that if Maxwell plays really bad all of the time, MD might put him up for all-B1G. And that comment about Bollman being close “like a brother”. I wonder where that left Warner on the likelihood of being able to call anything other than what MD wants.

    I won’t keep the eternally optimistic MSU fans from drinking the kool-aid because they don’t need tangible proof to make their assumptions (and everyone else is wrong or a “troll” for suggesting otherwise) but I’m personally feeling a lot of deja vu at this point. One thing’s for sure; if you want a national championship caliber football team, MD isn’t going to get you there. Not this year. Not next year. Not ever. But if you don’t care about stuff like that, hey, we’re good!

    • Jim H. March 19, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

      Pete….what makes you qualified to make a statement about Coach D like that? I would say it takes much more than the coach, it takes committment from everyone including the schools Administration. It takes money and do you think MSU spends the same as an SEC school? How about the same as um, osu, psu or neb??? I am very disappointed in last season, like most of us I drank the cool aide. I have been attending/watching Spartan football games since the mid 70′s and can say it is my opinion that Coach D has done the best long term coaching MSU football since Duffy. I am looking forward to the upcoming football season as I have confidence we will see improvement. Go Green

  2. Spartan Blood March 19, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    I still hope they send some of the Offensive Coaches around to study the best of the Running Game, like the Redskins, because that’s got to be a very top area to improve.

    If MSU can’t run it much better in 13 and beyond, how can you expect a Championship level result.

  3. Mike Wiegand March 19, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    Pete…I am becoming more and more convinced that you simply have a screw loose.