Michigan State vs. Indiana
Spartan Stadium - East Lansing, Mich.
October 4, 2003
Michigan State Head Coach John L. Smith
"I'll tell you what. There is nothing like a homecoming win, right? It was a win! And it was one of those traditional wins that you all said we were supposed to lose, that we didn't lose! That goes to show you that we don't have to follow bad tradition, we only have to follow good tradition. That was good for our kids to get that (game) over with and it made them happy so I am proud of them. I am proud of our coaches and what they put together. We played as a football team today, more so than we have in a game yet, and that is good to see. I thought we came out in the second half and executed much better offensively and in our red zone defensively. Keeping them out of the endzone was much better than it had been, and overall, we are pleased with our effort. This is a good game to have behind us and now we can work tomorrow to get ready for Illinois."
On Jeff Smoker
"(He means) a lot (to this team), just as all of our kids do. In what we do, the one building block that we really need is that quarterback. He is starting to understand the offense and let it work for him. It has been good. Don't give him too much credit, don't give him a big head and don't let him think he is really neat because we are going to keep kicking him in the tail. Seriously, he is doing really well and he is getting better, as he showed today."
On Jason Randall
"Jason Randall had a big day. That kid works his tail off. He is putting in everything that we want on special teams, so he started today and he will probably continue to do so. He is playing well. In athletics, we try to tell our guys, you prove yourself daily. It is not something you prove once a week, you have to prove yourself on the practice field daily and (Randall) has been doing that. I think we, as coaches, and the fans and everybody has looked to him and expected so much, so soon. You have to understand that this kid is a freshman, he has been away from football for a year and it is going to take him a while. I think that we, as coaches, have a tendency to overlook that and I think that the fans do as well."
On continued Spartan success this season
"We worked on that all this week, we really did. I think we start over at practice every day. If it isn't going as we like, we want to make sure it is going right, that we don't overlook it when we don't do things the right way. We try to tell our guys that a win does not just happen on Saturday. Tuesday and Wednesday, those hard-work days out there, that is when you have to win the game."
Indiana Head Coach Gerry DiNardo
"I thought that in the first half the offense had the ball in midfield area there and didn't do anything with it, much like we haven't done all year. I thought that hurt us. Then we had that goal-line situation in the first half and came away with three points. So those two things continued to hurt us offensively. We didn't play very well. We took a step backwards. I was disappointed in our play, especially in the second half."
Spartan Player Quotes
QB Jeff Smoker
On MSU's second-half scoring
"We executed better. I think in the second half of couple of these first few games we thought we had it in the bag and got a little lackadaisical. We carried over what we did in the first half over to the second half."
On how MSU is playing now
"I think we are progressing well. I think we are where we should be now. There is always room for improvement. We have some tough games coming up in the second half of the season and we have to keep getting better, week-by-week. You never want to stay where you are. We are happy with where we are right now, but we aren't satisfied."
On what this week's win means
"Last week was not just a fluke. It wasn't just a 'Hey, we played well one week.' It shows we can have a little bit of consistency, which is what we need to do and we need to get ready to do the same thing next week."
TE Jason Randall
On his touchdown catch
"It was a big relief. It was the fifth game and I hadn't scored yet so I'm thinking I've got to get in the endzone this week. Last week they didn't come to me, so it was a big relief just to get the ball and then to score."
On spreading the ball around
"Our whole motivation this week was to get everyone involved one play at a time and not have a letdown. It was all over the papers that we play big in big games and let down in smaller ones. We really wanted to take this game as a big game and everybody did their job and Smoker was on target today."
OG Paul Harker
On MSU's second-half scoring
"I think the coaches did a great job of getting guys riled up in the lockerroom. They made it a point that we need to come out and not let a team hang around, we needed to go ahead and take care of business and put some points on the board. It was nice to see that we were able to do that."
LB Seth Mitchell
On holding Indiana to three points
"It feels really good. We are still not happy as a defense because we let them move the ball up and down the field. But we are all happy in one aspect of the game in that we didn't allow them to score in the red zone. So we stepped up our red-zone defense today, so we are happy about that."
On not having a let down versus Indiana
"We just focus on one game at a time. After today this game is over with and we are going to focus on Illinois. That has been our motto since the beginning of the season-'Take one game, one play at a time' and that is what we need to continue to do."