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Player Analysis: Eastern Michigan Week
 
 
 
Mark Dell had 202 receiving yards in the season opener at Cal, the fifth-highest single-game mark in school history.
 
Mark Dell had 202 receiving yards in the season opener at Cal, the fifth-highest single-game mark in school history.
 
 

Sept. 3, 2008

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Mark Dell | B.J. Cunningham | Jesse Johnson

Tuesday Player Interviews

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Members of the Michigan State football team met with the media after Tuesday's practice to talk about the home opener vs. Eastern Michigan. The Spartans and Eagles meet at 12 p.m. ET in Spartan Stadium. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.

Running Back Javon Ringer
On the first game of the season...
We hit a little bump pretty early. Usually we wouldn't start off the season with an opponent like Cal, we probably wouldn't get that strong test until late in the season, but I'm glad we hit that test so we could make adjustments.

On playing in front of a home crowd on Saturday...
Usually, in the years that I've been here we have been at home first and that's something that I miss. I'm looking forward to playing in front of friends and family and representing Michigan State on our own turf.

On losing...
Even though we lost, we really beat ourselves in a lot of aspects of the game. Even with the mistakes that we made we only lost by a touchdown, and that's something that could have been changed if we didn't make the mistake on the punt.

On being a team player...
I will take the ball as many times as they give it to me. I'm not the one to say `OK coach, you can give the ball to someone else.'

Quarterback Brian Hoyer

On lessons learned from last week's game...
It's important now to know what you're doing and play with full speed. You just can't hurt yourselves, you can't go out and make stupid penalties, not block the right guy. You can't do things like that when it comes to game time, especially when playing against a school like Cal. You're going to dig yourself into a hole you can't get out of.

On looking forward...
We're obviously frustrated and we're just looking forward to come out on our home field and play our first game.

On the Mark Dell and B.J. Cunningham...
They will have great careers; hopefully it starts this year. They are both tall rangy guys, fast, can get away from defenders and they both go up and catch the ball.

On EMU's strengths...
Eastern Michigan is a much improved team over the years. I remember playing them three years ago and they were tough then. They definitely present a challenge and we just got to come prepared.

Wide Receiver Mark Dell

On the wide receivers...
I just feel like I could do better as a receiver. I know I have to go out myself and try a little bit harder. As a team we're going to have to come together and realize what we have to do to do well, and do things a lot better than we did. But we came out and played a good game and it was a close one.

On feeling more comfortable playing the game...
I was a little nervous, but I kind of felt weird because I wasn't as nervous as I was coming in as a freshman. I just felt really comfortable and I knew that last year really helped me out a lot.

On teammate Brian Hoyer...
Hoyer is a great guy, a great quarterback too, and he is definitely a leader on this team. He just goes out there as does his best for the team.

On becoming a better receiver...
That's where I just need to clean up on the job. I had some passes out there that I knew I could've made; I'm definitely working on that.

On being compared to Devin Thomas...
Devin Thomas was a great receiver; I don't think that any of our receivers are trying to live up to what Devin did. Devin was Devin. He went out and made plays. But as a receiving core we all come out and just try to put ourselves in the best position to make plays for all of us as a whole. Like I said, we have a lot of receivers that can do a lot of different things and we don't have just one receiver that can go out and make plays. We have a lot of them and I think that is going to benefit us.

On the motivation caused by criticisms over the receiving corps...
It's definitely motivation. I think coming in our receiving corps wasn't really surprised that a lot of people didn't rank our receivers too high because they don't have any understanding of what our receivers can do. We're want to go out and prove a lot of people wrong, and we started on Saturday.

On looking forward to the next game and playing Eastern Michigan...
We're just looking to getting a win. I think we all were pretty disappointed about the loss. We just can't think about the loss, you can't delve on the past. We're just going to come out here and work on Eastern and try and get a win on Saturday.

On playing for Michigan State instead of Miami (Fla.)...
It was a late decision, but I knew all along where I was going. Michigan State is like home for me. I've been up here since I was at the end of my sophomore year in high school and I just always felt like I was at home. Even with the coaching change, Michigan State felt like home. Coach Staten was my recruiting coordinator for MSU, kept in contact with me a little bit, and voiced his opinion on what I should do about the Miami thing, but he knew I wanted to come here.

Safety Otis Wiley

On taking advantage of strong second halves and winning close games...
I know we have the team that has what it takes to do that. I mean, we just made a couple of mistakes. We went through a hard, long summer and we are a stronger team than what we showcased on Saturday. It's in the past and we've looked at it and corrected it and we look forward to playing Eastern Michigan.

On learning from losses early in the season...
It's been a long time since we lost the first one. It's a test and this is how we are going to handle it. It'll show how strong our team is.

On teammate Chris L. Rucker...
He has improved from last year to this year. Going through his eye surgery and battling back and coming to the bowl game, he was kind of out of sync. But now he's a solid corner.

On returning punts...
I just look up straight in the sky and don't really know who is in front of me. Being the first time as a punt returner, it was a hard time.

On his interception for a touchdown...
I don't even remember what the coverage was. I just looked at the quarterback, he launched it and it was low, and I picked it. I'm glad I caught it and scored and put some points on the board for the team, and the momentum changed and it helped us out. Of course we didn't come out on top, but we learned from it.

On the responsibilities of being a senior member of the secondary...
I don't put them on my shoulders. I think about it but I feel like I have to be encouraging too. I have to be able to play a solid game for everyone to catch on. We have to play ball, and hopefully we'll be able to capitalize on Saturday.

 

 

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