Dec. 21, 1997

Spartans Continue Preparations for Bowl Game

HONOLULU - Michigan State head football coach Nick Saban sent his team through another two-hour workout in full pads Saturday in Aloha Stadium as the Spartans prepare for their Dec. 25 game against Washington in the Jeep Aloha Bowl.

Sunday's workout resembled a usual Wednesday practice for the Spartans. With three days of preparation remaining before Thursday's game, conditioning will take a backseat to fine-tuning execution from here on out.

"We have been working hard now here for three days," head coach Nick Saban said. "Now we have got to try to back off a bit and polish up for the game."

Senior quarterback Todd Schultz said that the Spartans' normal practice routine is in effect.

"Today was basically the same as a Wednesday practice back home," Schultz said. "We are working on some of the same things we have gone over the past few weeks and trying to minimize mistakes."

For the third-straight day, the Spartans practiced with temperatures in the low 80s but with the humidity near 80 percent. Under a noontime sun from 11:30am-1:30pm HST, the conditions were likely the hottest that Michigan State has encountered on the islands.

"Today was the hottest day we have had probably since we have been here," Saban said. "I think the players are doing a good job of trying to work through that."

"I think everyone is adjusting to the weather very well," Schultz said.

As the Spartans continue to polish the game plan, Schultz looks at offensive balance as a key for the Spartans' hopes against Washington Christmas Day.

"We are going to try to mix things up," Schultz said. "We want to keep them off balance."

The Spartan players and coaching staff attended a sunset dinner cruise on the Ali'l Kai Catamaran Sunday evening.

Michigan State will practice again Monday morning from 9-11am HST at Aloha Stadium.