Sunday, December 28th, 2014

Michigan State Puts in Busy Day Around North Texas

Photo By: Photo by Matthew Mitchell / MSU Athletic Communications

It was a busy day for No. 8 Michigan State as the Spartans began to hit their stride on their third day of preparations for the 79th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.

Following its morning defensive news conference in Dallas, MSU headed back to Arlington for another physical workout at AT&T Stadium. Head Coach Mark Dantonio took his squad through another intense session in full pads, which once again ran just over two and a half hours.

“You’ve got to get ready. You’ve got to have your legs but I think we never stopped conditioning a little bit because Baylor is a team that’s going to run it. They’re going to run a lot of plays. Their receivers are going to get vertical on you. Our whole system has to be conditioning, mental conditioning as much as anything,” said Dantonio.

MSU (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) is enjoying their first trip to the Cotton Bowl Classic in the program’s 118-year history. The Spartans were last bowling in the Lone Star State following the 2009 season, a 41-31 setback to Texas Tech in the Alamo Bowl on Jan. 2, 2010. Since that game, Michigan State has posted 10 wins or more in four of  five seasons and won three of four bowl games including its last three in a row.

“This is our sixth time playing in a New Year’s Day bowl out of the eight years,” added Dantonio. “So, usually your seniors have to have a great year to be able to accomplish that aspect and our seniors have done that. I think we’ve been able to handle adversity because of our senior leadership. That’s going to be a test this week as well. There’s going to be adversity on the field and we’ll have to rally.”

The team concluded its busy Sunday taking in some NBA action at the American Airlines Center between the hometown Dallas Mavericks squaring off against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

MSU is back at it on Monday for another packed slate of activities. The morning opens with the team’s offensive news conference at the Omni Dallas Hotel featuring co-offensive coordinators Dave Warner and Jim Bollman, C Jack Allen, QB Connor Cook, OL Travis Jackson, RB Jeremy Langford and WR Tony Lippett, followed by Dantonio and the players visiting Texas Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas. The Spartans get back to the practice field in the afternoon for their fourth Classic workout at AT&T Stadium. Practice is closed to the public and media, except for designated 15-minute open practice window for credentialed media representatives.

The Goodyear Cotton Bowl celebrates its 79th edition on New Year's Day and kicks off a new era as a member of the College Football Playoff. Airtime on ESPN is set for 11:30 a.m. CST with kickoff slated for 11:45 a.m. For the first year, The Classic joins ESPN’s bowl lineup with Dave Pasch and Brian Griese on the call from the booth with Tom Luginbill reporting from the sideline.

For the third consecutive year, ESPN Radio returns as the Classic's national radio partner. Brad Sham, the "Voice of the Dallas Cowboys," teams with Kelly Stoufer in the booth and Ian Fitzsimmons from the sideline to describe all the action from AT&T Stadium. This will be Sham's 18th straight year as the Classic's play-by-play man and his 22nd overall.

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