Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Michigan State Gets Another Crack at Oregon

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Michigan State Gets Another Crack at Oregon

Article excerpt

EAST LANSING, Mich. * Forget all that talk about Oregon's offense against Michigan State's defense. If the Spartans have to score points in bunches to keep up with the Ducks, they feel they can do it.

"Sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do," coach Mark Dantonio said. "Bottom line at the end of the game is do you win or do you lose? So whether we win 10-9 or 40-39 really makes no difference."

The fifth-ranked Spartans host seventh-ranked Oregon on Saturday night in one of the most anticipated nonconference games of the year. It's the first time in nearly a half-century that two AP top 10 teams will play at Spartan Stadium, and it's a chance for Michigan State to avenge a 46-27 loss at Oregon last year.

The Spartans led in the third quarter of that game before the Ducks outscored them 28-0 the rest of the way.

"This is a huge game," Oregon quarterback Vernon Adams said. "They're the No. 5 team in the nation, they're trying to get revenge from last year's team, they're playing at home."

Oregon (1-0) is trying to get back to the national title game after losing to Ohio State a season ago. The Ducks and Buckeyes were the only two teams to beat Michigan State last year.

By now, the Spartans (1-0) should have a good idea of what to expect from Oregon and its fast-paced offense. Not only did Michigan State face the Ducks last year, the Spartans also finished the season with a 42-41 win over Baylor in the Cotton Bowl.

The Michigan State defense, so dominant in 2013 when the Spartans won the Big Ten, looked a bit more ordinary against Oregon and Baylor, but Dantonio's team feels more at home in high-scoring games now. The transformation began in the middle of the 2013 season, after Connor Cook established himself as the team's quarterback.

"Since then I think we've had enough firepower to be able to do those type of things, and defensively we've been pretty solid," Dantonio said. …

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