Spartans Going For Win Number 10 Thursday
Michigan State trying to reach its sixth double-digit win season in the last eight years.
SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- The number 10 is a powerful number. It’s at the top of the counting ladder, the start of the double-digit numbers, the number of years in a decade, a singular, dominant letter X in roman numerals.
For Michigan State football, it represents a summit that the 2017 Spartans are climbing towards. Entering Thursday night’s Holiday Bowl game against No. 18 Washington State, 16th-ranked MSU has nine wins, going for win number 10. The Spartans are in position to record their sixth double-digit win season in the last eight years with a victory in the Holiday Bowl. It marks the 10th bowl bid in 11 seasons under Mark Dantonio.
Dantonio and his staff have the Spartans focused on tonight’s game and getting win number 10.
“I think every time you have an opportunity to play a football game you’ve got to be ready and you’ve got to be fresh and your mindset has to be correct, so we have to make sure that is in place. The opportunity to get 10, whether it is us or Washington State, puts us in a double digit-type win category, both football teams, and not too many football teams in the country can do that on a yearly basis. That’s our goal. That’s our goal as we came out here was to play our best football and move it forward,” Dantonio said Wednesday at the head coaches Holiday Bowl preview press conference, their last chance addressing the media before Thursday’s big game.
For Dantonio, a win Thursday night would be his 100th win as head coach at Michigan State. 100, 10 times 10. 100, another perch atop the counting table.
The fact that the Spartans have a chance to reach 10 wins and get Coach Dantonio’s milestone 100th win at Michigan State on the same night is something that is not lost on the team. Something that isn’t lost on them no matter if they’re a young or veteran Spartan.
“We want to get Coach Dantonio his 100th win and obviously we want to get our 10th win this season, which would put us in a pretty good spot going into next year since we have a lot of guys back from such a young team, so it’s exciting,” junior safety Khari Willis said. Willis has forced one of the 10 forced fumbles by the Spartan defense this season.
“It’s huge for us. There’s a lot of good things that would come from getting the 10th win. We’re just excited to get that and put this team on the right track for next year. It’s just something that we’re getting closer to and hope we can make it happen on Thursday,” senior Brian Allen said. Allen has the most games with 10 or more knockdowns this season.
Michigan State has 10 players that have caught a touchdown catch. Junior tight end Matt Sokol is one of those 10.
“That would such a great thing for us as a team to do for him, to be part of such a great accomplishment for him,” Sokol said. “Also for us to finish our season with our 10th win, that would be such a great way to go into the 2018 and propel us for next year.”
Junior wide receiver Felton Davis III’s next TD catch would be his 10th scoring reception of his career.
“That would be amazing to get our 10th win and Coach Dantonio’s 100th win, and send our seniors off on a high note and flip the script on last year. It would definitely take us into 2018 on a high note,” Davis said.
Before Coach Dantonio arrived on the banks of the Red Cedar, Spartan football had just two seasons of winning 10 games.
Now they have a chance to post six double-digit wins in the last eight years, further cementing that the Spartans are back to their dominant selves, back among college football elite.
Kickoff is slated for 9 p.m. EST between No. 16 Michigan State (9-3) and No. 18 Washington State (9-3). This marks the first-ever appearance for the Spartans in the Holiday Bowl. The game will be televised nationally on FS1.