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Monday, December 29, 2008

The Spartans Speak

Michigan State took Monday off from practice, ostensibly as a reward for their hard work the past few weeks, but more likely because of a few illnesses in the locker room. Tackle Rocco Cironi admitted a case of the flu had made its way through the Spartans' roster during Monday's interview session. Here's a few other quotes from Michigan State's players and coaches...

Linebackers coach Mike Tressel

On Georgia quarterback Matt Stafford and how he eludes pressure

I think a lot of the credit should go to him. He does a good job of feeling pressure and stepping up in the pocket. He's not necessarily going to take off and run, but he can buy himself a couple more seconds on just about every play. I've been in a situation where the offensive line has only given up a few sacks, and they deserve a lot of credit, but the quarterback deserves a lot of that credit as well He can make the throw when he doesn't necessarily have the time to step up into it, when he's off-balance, when he's going one way and then sliding another way, he can make accurate throws in all of those situations.

Sophomore tight end Charlie Gantt

On having a day off

When Coach D told us, we all said, This can't be true.' But I think we needed a day off to recuperate, we've been practicing pretty hard since we've got here. We've been in full pads every practice.

On the Day for Kids held at Disney's Winter Summerland Miniature Golf

It was a great event. I remember when I was that age, I was amazed to go out and see some college football players. It felt real good to go out there and to do something for the kids.

On the Champs Sports Bowl last year vs. the Capital One Bowl this year

Last year was our first bowl game in a while. We didn't know what to expect. Now we know what to expect, and we're more relaxed down here. We're having a lot of fun.

Junior center Joel Nitchman

On the Day for Kids held at Disney's Winter Summerland Miniature Golf

To make somebody have a great day like that is really cool. And truth be hold, my partner, she got me really good at mini-golf. She had a great time, and all of the other kids did as well, so it was a real great day.

On getting a day off

Everyone has been flying around (at practice) the past few days. We've been focused on what we need to do since the season ended. The coaches have done a real great job of getting us the information we've needed. Today is going to be good, we're going to get rested, get our legs back a little bit, and get ready for tomorrow's practice.

Senior fullback Jeff McPherson

On his career and playing in his last game

It's been a long and very fun ride for me. From being a walk-on and earning a scholarship, I'm very, very grateful for that. This last game means everything to me. We just want to go out there and play the best game we've had all season. We want to put everything together and execute the game plan. It's going to be a lot of fun if we can go out there and come home with a win. That's definitely the No. 1 thing I'm thinking about right now.

On the senior class

I'm going to have to thank last year's seniors and their leadership. We learned a lot from watching them. We just wanted to reiterate all of the things they did. We take a lot of pride in everything we do every day. Also with the underclassmen that we have, we have a lot of leadership there. I'm sure in the future we're going to have a lot of strong leaders on this team.

On if the senior class has laid the groundwork for a championship

It could be next year, or in a couple of years, but we definitely know we're headed in the right direction. With Coach Dantonio and the whole staff in place, we feel very confident in the future of the program. That would be satisfying to look back and know you were a part of something very special at MSU.

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