LOS ANGELES — The 100th Rose Bowl is fast approaching. Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio and Stanford coach David Shaw addressed the media Monday morning at the LA Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Here are some news and notes from what the coaches said.
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- Dantonio remained mum on the Max Bullough situation. It looks like senior Kyler Elsworth will get the start at middle linebacker, with Darien Harris being worked into the mix as well. “We feel like we have a number of guys that can play different positions, so they’ll insert in different areas as we move through the process of the game,” Dantonio said.
- Dantonio tweeted out a link to a video yesterday, highlighting the team’s evolution since he became the head coach back in 2007 to where they are now. “I’ve always said that for us, and probably for a lot of people, people see the product, they don’t really see the process, and I wanted to take a step back and allow our players to see that. I thought that would be something to show to everybody out there who followed.
- Dantonio was asked about preparing to go up against Stanford’s outstanding special teams unit, including specialist Ty Montgomery, who averages over 31 yards per kickoff return and has taken two for touchdowns this season. “That’s a game plan type thing, but I’ll tell you this: We’re not going to shy away from contact.”
- The Spartans have had no problem keeping themselves busy since they arrived in Los Angeles on Christmas Day. They have visited Disneyland, ESPN GameZone, the famous Improv Comedy Club in Hollywood, and took place in the Lawry’s Beef Bowl. “It’s fun… Our players are excited to be here,” Dantonio said. “Sometimes it’s going slow and then all of a sudden it just speeds up for us, and the next thing you know, the day is over.”
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- Dantonio said that the Big Ten’s 0-2 start in bowl games and the recent lack of BCS wins for the conference hasn’t added any type of additional pressure on him or his team. He mentioned that while his team is going to play for Michigan State and will be representing the conference, that these games are played individually. “We represent the Big Ten, we carry the banner of the Big Ten in here, but in the end it’s going to be Michigan State wins or loses, period. That’s how it is. We’re going to have to stand alone on that one.
- Shaw mentioned that he was a fan of both Michigan and Michigan State growing up and used to watch them on a regular basis. “I was a rarity when I lived in Michigan – my dad was coaching for the Lions,” Shaw said. “I liked watching both teams play and have a lot of respect for both of their coaches. There were always great coaches at both places.
- Shaw said that he applauds Dantonio’s disciplinary decision on Max Bullough and that he had a similar situation last season with Stanford linebacker Shayne Skov, who was suspended for the entire 2012 off-season and for the first game of the regular season. “It doesn’t happen everywhere, and there are a lot of places where you get a slap on the wrist and they bench you for a practice and then play you in a game. But it’s a sign that Coach Dantonio gets it, and there’s still some really, really good disciplinary coaches in the country that believe in setting discipline for these college athletes, which is vital to your success as a team but even more vital to their success after football.”
|About Sean Merriman||BTN.com web editor Sean Merriman covers football and men’s basketball and provides original content for BTN.com. You can follow him on Twitter @BTNSean.|