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Win or Go Home

Nov 23, 2012 Jim Miller | View Comments

The ole saying goes “Better late than never”. Well it is time for Michigan State to put it all together against the Minnesota Gophers this weekend in what Mark Dantonio already has declared a “Program Game”. It’s been a rough season for the Spartans (5-6) who had aspirations that their “Program Game” would be played in Pasadena, representing the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl start the year. But five close, tough, losses by a total of 13 points have everyone wondering what went wrong - Everyone except Mark Dantonio, who did everything in his weekly press conference other than call Gopher head coach Jerry Kill to guarantee a win for Michigan State.

I’ve written before that all of Michigan State’s answers are on the Gridiron. A field that is 100 yards long and 53 yards wide is their sanctuary. Every time players step between the white lines it provides the opportunity to get better. It also allows the Spartans to take a year of frustration out on the Gophers, which seems to be the approach of Mark Dantonio. He expects a win, challenging the players to show him what they're made of. Dantonio knows the Spartans have played hard and tough during close losses, but he also knows they have not played a complete game.

The players understand their coach’s message. They must play a complete game to get a win or their nightmare season will continue to haunt them well into the off-season if they lose.