Oregon Heisman candidate Marcus Mariota completed 14 of 20 passes for 267 yards and three TD in Oregon's opening 62-13 win over South Dakota. (Ryan Kang / Associated Press)
East Lansing – With the matchup between Michigan State and Oregon still four days away, the hype is already kicking in to high gear.
ESPN will have its GameDay crew on site and analysts around the country are already breaking down what is likely the marquee matchup of the non-conference season in college football.
But Mark Dantonio doesn’t think for one second his team will be fazed by it. Oregon’s Autzen Stadium is not huge, with capacity at 54,000, but it can be very loud.
“I don’t think we’re going to go in there and be intimidated,” the Michigan State coach said at his weekly news conference on Tuesday. “We’ve played in big games, won in every stadium in this conference, won our last three bowl games. We’ve been on the big stage.”
That stage included a victory over Stanford in the Rose Bowl, the only Pac-12 team to have much recent success against the Ducks, winning the last two matchups.
Dantonio and the Spartans will head out west for the matchup on Thursday after practicing early in the day, and the coach added they will be taking steps to avoid any ill effects of the three-hour time change.
He also indicated guard Travis Jackson and receiver Macgarrett Kings will be ready to play on Saturday. Jackson left Friday’s game against Jacksonville State with what appeared to be a back injury while Kings hurt his ankle.
But both were back on the depth chart, though Dantonio wouldn’t elaborate on their status.
“Right now, I anticipate them practicing and playing,” he said.