5 Christmas Wishes For Spartan Football

5 Christmas Wishes For Spartan Football

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5 Christmas Wishes For Spartan Football

Michigan State, of course, finished 7-5 after a frustrating season that was preceded by the highest of expectations. For the Redbox Bowl against Oregon and for the 2019 season that’ll be here before we know it, what are five things we’re hoping for while Mark Dantonio works to right the ship?

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With the exception of a few seasons of greatness, the 1980s and 1990s were mostly known by Spartan fans as decades spent in the wilderness.

George Perles, Nick Saban, Bobby Williams – these guys led the football program to a whole slew of 6-5, 6-6, 5-6, and 7-5 seasons.

And within each of these seasons, so many of us Spartans spent winters pointing to two or three games that could have/should have gone a different way and could have/should have delivered Michigan State with 8- and 9-win seasons.

Stop and think about the season that just concluded for Mark Dantonio’s team.

Dantonio always talks about “finding the inches.”

If Michigan State scores from inside the 10-yard line and extends its lead over Arizona State from 3-0 to 10-0 instead of throwing an interception in the endzone, does that 16-13 loss end up with a different result?

Matt Coghlin had another sensational season so it’s not fair to put this on him but if he drills the 41-yard field goal attempt that he missed early in the second quarter against Nebraska and the Spartans take a 6-0 lead, does the 9-6 loss to the Huskers end with a different result?

To take the burden away from Coghlin in that same scenario – what if Michigan State is able to avoid committing an unnecessary unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the endzone after an incomplete pass and Coghlin’s attempt is a 26-yarder instead of a 41-yarder?

These plays represent the “inches” that Dantonio talks about.

Those examples might have been the difference between a frustrating 7-5 season and, perhaps, a pretty damn good 9-3 season.

Michigan State is preparing for what could be a redemptive Redbox Bowl against Oregon and is already thinking about how 2019 can be the season 2018 was supposed to be.

One of the big reasons why this season brought with it such optimism was the amount of returning players from 2017’s team that went 10-3.

The 2019 Spartans will have a boat-load of guys returning and the defense will be among the nation’s best.

All Spartans are keeping a close eye on Raequan Williams and Kenny Willekes as they contemplate their options as the two defensive warriors might enter the NFL Draft with Justin Layne.

But even if both Williams and Willekes leave (SpartansWire money says they’re staying), the defense will be more than solid.

So, with Christmas here, what are five things we can/should hope for as we think about the Spartans?

  • An improved offense from top to bottom.
  • An offense that plays better than it has over the majority of the last few seasons.
  • An offense that is capable of gaining more yards than it has for most of the last few seasons.
  • An offense that can score more points than it has over the course of the past few seasons.
  • A better offense.

It’s sort of a short list, I realize.

And the list focuses, primarily, on one element of the football team.

But one year – maybe when I was around 9 or 10 years old – I asked for one thing and one thing only for Christmas.

I put all of my eggs in one basket.

Atari.

I wanted Atari.

I wanted Atari badly.

I knew I was taking a risk by asking for the big whopper of a gift – but I was focused on that one whopper and I knew that if I got that one whopper, my Christmas (and the months that followed it) would be championship-esque thanks to the way so many dividends would be paid by that one, big whopper.

I got Atari.

Santa brought it for me.

It was wrapped in glorious wrapping paper.

It was the only gift I received that Christmas (except for the underwear, the socks, the radio-alarm clock, the baseball mitt, the brand new Cubs hat, tickets to two DePaul basketball games, a cassette tape of The Jackson 5’s Greatest Hits, a weird “Simon Says” game that was kind of cool, a book about Babe Ruth, and some candy).

I couldn’t have been happier.

The Atari provided months and years of fun.

I focused my Christmas wish efforts on one thing – Atari.

I got Atari.

In December of 2018, Atari has become an improved Michigan State offense.

It’s all that’s needed, people.

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