Dantonio’s Young Spartan Team Needs a Comeback Season

The Michigan State Spartans need a comeback season this fall after a grueling 3-9 record in 2016.  Mark Danonio, head coach, is positive that his young team can do it.

2016 Season

Fans of the Michigan State Spartans football team had their first real disappointing season in some time during the 2016 season. Head Coach Mark Dantonio and his Spartans had very little go their way on the way to a 3-9 overall record. After reaching the College Football Playoffs just the year before, the bottom fell out on MSU. After winning their first two games of the season, they finished just 1-9 the rest of the way.

Those nine losses featured a home loss to rival Michigan (32-23) as well as a close (17-16) defeat to the Ohio State Buckeyes, also at Spartan Stadium. They closed the season out by getting soundly beaten (45-12) at Penn State.

2017 Football Season

But Dantonio prefers to move forward, put the past behind him and focus on the coming season. Offensively, the Spartans would like to get back to being a strong running team. They’ll be led by Junior Tailback LJ Scott who ran for close to 1,000 yards in 2016 and scored 6 touchdowns. At 6’1” and 230 lbs, Scott is a powerful back who is tough to bring down and could possibly have his sights set on the NFL with a great season in 2017.

Brian Lewerke photoAt Quarterback, Brian Lewerke seems to have the inside track to start under center. The sophomore played a couple of games around mid-season last year as a freshman before being lost to a broken leg. However, the mobile quarterback looks healthy and ready to run the Spartans offense this year.

The Spartans always seem to boast a talented offensive line and this year looks no different led by Center Brian Allen and Tackle Cole Chewins. Senior running-back Gerald Holmes returns with his career numbers of 1,015 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns.

However, it’s defensively where the Spartans will need to prove themselves in order to be truly competitive in the Big Ten. The team has some talent, but much of it is young and unproven. On the defensive line, they’ll be counting on sophomores Raequan Williams and Mike Panasiuk to squash the run game and need Demetrius Cooper to bring some pressure from the end.

At linebacker, look for Chris Frey and Joe Bachie to pile up the tackles in front of a young, talented but unproven secondary. The corners will be young and speed is a concern at the safety position.

Some of the early season publications feel that Dantonio could be on the hot seat entering his 11th season in East Lansing. But one thing is for sure, he’s a fighter and loves challenges, so you can be sure he’ll has his team motivated and ready to play when the whistle blows. The only question is how much progress his young players make as the season progresses.

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