Spartans Continue Holiday Bowl Practice on Sunday Afternoon
MSU has second day of practice in San Diego.
SAN DIEGO, Calif – The Michigan State football team was back on the practice field Sunday afternoon for its second workout of the weekend at Mesa College as the No. 16 Spartans continued to prepare for the 40th annual San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl against No. 18 Washington State.
For the second straight day the Spartans practiced in near-perfect conditions, with sunny skies and temperatures in the high 60s for the two-hour plus workout.
“I thought we worked hard and got a lot done today,” said MSU head coach Mark Dantonio. “As much as anything, it’s the way you go about your work. Our attitude has been good and we’re getting ourselves ready to play.
“I sort of felt we needed to go hard for a couple of days, and then we need to taper off and give them enough time to refresh themselves. You need to be able to play fast in this (Holiday Bowl) game; really in any football game, you have to be able to play fast.
“We’ll practice later in the day (tomorrow on Christmas Day). They will have the morning off and will be able to spend some time with their families if they’re here. I want to wish a very Merry Christmas to all of the Spartans out there.”
Following practice, a few Spartans met with reporters at the team hotel to talk about the trip in San Diego thus far and also about the challenge of facing the Cougars, who are the nation’s No. 2-ranked passing offense and also rank No. 15 in total defense.
“There was a lot of energy,” said junior safety Khari Willis. “I feel that everybody was getting their feet under us, we’re hitting pretty well, moving around well and getting our schemes down and communicating with each other. We’re just really flying around and having fun.”
“I’ve never imagined that I’d be here in San Diego on Christmas,” junior tight end Matt Sokol said. “It’s a blessing, really. I’ve never been to California before, so it’s a really cool deal to be out here playing football. It feels a little weird because this is my first warm Christmas ever, and near a beach and the ocean and everything. It really something and I’m just very thankful for the opportunity.”
In the evening, the Spartans attended a team dinner at the Manchester Grand Hyatt hosted by the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl.
On Christmas Day, Michigan State coaches, staff and players will spend a few hours in the afternoon at the San Diego Zoo before holding an evening practice at Mesa College.
Michigan State (9-3) will meet No. 18 Washington State (9-3) in the 40th annual San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 28 at 9 p.m. EST at SDCCU Stadium. The game will be televised on FS1.