Mark Dantonio talks about the big win against Michigan and this week's opponent, Indiana.
East Lansing — As Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio began to steer his program’s focus toward Saturday’s matchup against Indiana, it was difficult to put what happened last weekend against Michigan to rest.
The game’s hero, redshirt freshman safety Jalen Watts-Jackson, is back on campus but still hasn’t spoken to the media after having surgery on his dislocated hip. He did reunite with most of his teammates on Monday evening, Dantonio said.
“The man, the legend,” Dantonio said at his weekly news conference Tuesday, “He is back.”
Moving on won’t include Watts-Jackson, at least for the rest of this season.
Freshmen Khari Willis and Grayson Miller got their first starts last week at safety, and it appears they’ll be joined in the secondary this week by another true freshman — possibly two.
Junior Demetrious Cox and fifth-year senior Arjen Colquhoun will start at cornerback, but with junior Darian Hicks (concussion) questionable, the chances of needing more help against an up-tempo Indiana offense is likely.
That’s why Dantonio said the plan is for Tyson Smith to see his first action of the season on Saturday.
“We'll probably take the redshirt off Tyson Smith this week,” Dantonio said. “I think that's a for sure. He's been very, very good. He would have been the next corner in the game (last week). We just didn't need to use him, but we're going to play him this week and that's going to happen based on how fast (Indiana) moves and the rapid deployment of their plays.”
Freshman Josh Butler has been close to playing all season, and while Smith is a near certainty to play this week, Butler isn’t far behind.
“He's the No. 2 and I think Tyson is probably maybe a little bit ahead of him, but Josh could play, as well,” Dantonio said. “Both of them are working as No. 2 corners and they are both very good players.
The offensive backfield is starting to get crowded again with four players — LJ Scott, Delton Williams, Gerald Holmes and Madre London — all listed on the depth chart.
Williams played for the first time two weeks ago at Rutgers after London was hurt. London (leg) was the only one who did not play against Michigan, but he’s close to returning.
“We'll probably get the fourth one back,” Dantonio said. “We really just don't know until we know how the week has shaped out, and really, how they are performing in the game and who's hot. But I think all those guys are very capable running backs.”
MSU basketball coach Tom Izzo talks about Midnight Madness and the football team's win over Michigan on Saturday.
"It's never over ..."
Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo was on the Spartans sidelines at Michigan Stadium with his son, Steven, and he admitted he was headed up the tunnel when the final play took place.
“Didn’t actually see the exact play, believe it or not,” Izzo said. “Ran back down and … no, I didn’t give up on them, I was worried about my own safety and my son’s.
“But hey, I’m telling you, I’ve never seen a play like that. I watched the (Stanford) band play, too, and I still think this was as good as anything I’ve ever seen. It does teach you a lesson about it’s never over until it’s over. … I just think it was the greatest play that all the years of football I’ve watched.”