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That’s what he said: Mark Dantonio

Mark Dantonio met with the press yesterday and discussed his upcoming game with the Fighting Irish.

Here’s what he said:

On moving past last week’s loss:

I think it’s important that we move forward. Certainly, we need to focus on the solution here, what the problem was, critique the problems that we had, plan forward, practice towards the things we need to get accomplished, and really emotionally sort of regroup ourselves and move forward. I think our players are doing that. I feel good about our coaches. I feel very good about our players. The bottom line is we need to take strength from everyone and fortitude and push it forward. That’s what we’ll do. We’ll focus on the future. Right now, the focus is on Notre Dame.

On why Michigan State has Notre Dame’s number:

Well, I would say it comes down to specifics in terms of blocking and tackling. I’m sure there’s an emotional edge to both teams when you play in this game. So I can’t say it’s emotional totally.

Things have happened. I think we’ve played pretty fundamentally sound. Whenever I’ve gone down there in the past, we’ve played very fundamentally sound. We’ve not turned the ball over. We’ve done things that allow us to win.

On the winning streak:

I’m just happy to win. Whenever I’m on the winning side, that’s the only thing that really matters. I don’t really look at it as a streak. I think maybe alums do. But the players that are at Notre Dame, the players that are here, you can only really evaluate what has happened while they have played.

That streak goes back a number of years. So it’s really out of those people’s hands. It’s on the people that have played in the game. So it comes down to guys blocking, tackling, catching the football, playing the ball in the deep part of the field, mental errors, emotion, adversity, those types of things. And that’s really got to be carried by the people that are currently here.

I think the people that have been down there in the past share in 2007’s win, but beyond that I would say it’s a clean slate.

On the challenge of facing Notre Dame’s offensive weapons:

First of all, they have outstanding receivers, in Michael Floyd and Golden Tate. Duval Kamara is another guy, No. 18. Rudolph is an excellent tight end, and Clausen spreads the ball around. Clausen is in his third year now, so he’s an experienced quarterback. He knows where to go with the ball, and he gets rid of the ball quickly. They’re going to throw it deep.

Yeah, it presents problems. It presents a lot of different things for us, challenges I would say more than problems, but extreme challenges because any time the ball goes up in the air, you’ve got to play it. You’ve got to get up there and get it, climb up a ladder and grab it. That’s what we’ll do. We’ll focus on that. But just like everybody who is experienced, when the ball goes up in the air, you can look at it every Saturday, when the ball goes up in the air deep, somebody’s going to come up with it usually.

What Blair White means to the Spartans offense:

Obviously, Blair has been very, very productive. He’s been a big positive for us. He’s gone up and made the catch for the most part but nobody’s perfect. He’s proven to be is a very productive player. He’s a gamer and he’s tough. He’s going to do everything he can to win a football game, whether it’s on special teams, he had a big punt return in the game Saturday, or whether it’s catching the football, or whatever it is.

But there are things that everybody just needs to ask where they’re at and try and improve, and he’s one of them, and he’ll do that. But he’s an outstanding person and competitor. He’s a man of great character.