Mark Dantonio: 'We're going to find out about people'

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Sunday September 08, 2013

On Friday, we mentioned that as many as six quarterbacks could play in the Michigan State-South Florida game. We were close, as five saw the field, including three from Michigan State.

Last season, MSU had one of the nation’s best defenses and one of the worst offenses. Despite five conference losses by a total of 13 points, the coaches praised the chemistry that kept the team from dividing.

Two games into 2013, the Spartans are in the same position. MSU is 2-0, but the offense has scored just two touchdowns, compared to four by the defense. While fans are booing, Mark Dantonio is emphasizing that the team is still sticking together.

"A win is important, we're 2-0,” he said. “This is a family, so you don't see any bickering. We've got great chemistry. We don't pit the offense against the defense and the quarterbacks against the quarterbacks. I think people are pretty selfless in the way they approach things.

“Just like any family, when one part of that family is struggling, that other aspect of that family is going to come to their support. We'll line up next week against Youngstown State, try to get squared away and move it from there.”

Is Dantonio concerned about the offense? The Spartans haven’t scored more than 26 points in any of their past nine games.

Of course I'm concerned,” he said. “How much? On a scale of one to 10, if you were the head coach I would say it's about eight. I'm concerned. We need explosive plays in our offense. We got a chance to go down the field. We got the ball too many times in possessions that I would consider a sudden change and we're not generating points. …. We're going to find out about people. I don't know any other way to do it other than to play it out. That's what we're going to do.

“You give people opportunities. I said earlier in the week that opportunity comes with opposition. When you have an opportunity to go in there, you have to move the ball if you're a quarterback and you've got to catch the ball if you're a wide out; plain and simple.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to