Spartans' prep for 'tough' Air Force began in spring

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News
Air Force wide receiver Garrett Brown (7) runs for a touchdown early in the first quarter against San Jose State.

East Lansing — Going from the high-paced, air-oriented attack of Oregon to the triple-option offense of Air Force in one week is certainly a challenge.

But for No. 4 Michigan State, the preparation began quite some time ago.

"You have to break them down and divide them," coach Mark Dantonio said Tuesday during his weekly news conference. "A whole different way of practicing against them. Really we started practicing against them last spring. It's a tough game, a tough draw for Michigan State. This is something we've not experienced here."

Figuring out how to stop a drastically different offense isn't the only challenge for the Spartans this week.

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Coming off an emotional win that came in prime time with the country watching, the Spartans must get up for a noon game many might not be watching. It will be a challenge for most weeks as Michigan State works toward the late-November showdown with Ohio State.

But Dantonio is confident his team can handle it.

"We've taken a mature outlook," he said. "We understand the bottom can fall out at whatever you're doing at any point in time. That's the way football is. You look across the country and you see that happening.

"We need to guard against those things and play to our utmost ability. That's all I care about. Play as hard as you can play, play the best you can play, come prepared. If you do that, things usually work out. If you don't, things usually don't. We just always want to be thought of as a program that's overachieving from within."

Dantonio added on Tuesday there was no decision yet on whether to redshirt junior running back Delton Williams or if there were any plans for a position change.

"I just know when the time comes, Delton will play," Dantonio said, "but I'm not going to play him just to play him and take his redshirt year."

mcharboneau@detroitnews.com

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