EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio didn’t budge Monday on his decision not to elaborate on injuries, even when vaguely questioned about specific players.
“That would be an injury question,” he responded when asked if quarterback Damion Terry is healthy. “It must be the solar eclipse.”
But for the most part, Dantonio spoke openly about his program, the scrimmage last Friday and the approaching season opener against Bowling Green. Here are some highlights of his brief chat with the media before practice.
On the Friday night scrimmage: “I was very impressed last week with our scrimmage — just with the excitement, the enthusiasm, the effort and toughness that we showed. It was sort of back and forth if you walk through the scrimmage. We went about 120-plus plays. … The focus now is a little bit more on Bowling Green as we get ready for game week next week. We’ve got Fan Appreciation Day this week, and also we vote for our team captains and have a rehearsal scrimmage as well. We’ve got some things to do this week yet, but let’s keep it moving.”
On time off before the season: “They’ve got a little bit to look forward to this week because we give them a little bit of time off. They’re going to have a chance to go home and maybe watch their high school football game, things like that. We’ll give them off Friday and Saturday, so that’ll be a positive for them. So they can look forward to that and get their legs back, and then we’ll be back at it on Sunday a little bit in the afternoon, late afternoon. I think they can see the light at the end of the tunnel, so I think there’s a positive vibe out there. We’ve got good music.”
On the anticipation of the Sept. 2 opener: “Our first game has been a long time coming. I sense our excitement every day of practice, especially when we go against each other in scrimmage situations. There’s a good feeling about this football team, but even more importantly, I think we’re looking forward to the first game and that first opportunity.”
On the lack of a depth chart: “I think you guys know some of the guys who are going to play for sure. Really, when you look across it, we’ve got a lot of guys who are sort of competing for that second position. Is he a three or is he a two? Really, right now, when I look at our scout team, there’s a lot of guys who could go either way in that. It’s still being determined a little bit in that area, and I think we have a good sense of where we’re at, but that seems to be the going deal right now.”
On who improved his stock in the scrimmage: “We’ve got a lot of guys, probably too many to talk about. A lot of guys took a step forward.”
On the team’s health: “We’re pretty healthy, and I’ll go into injuries next week.”
On the negatives of the scrimmage: “We had a couple of holding penalties. And when you have a holding penalty and it’s first-and-10, it becomes first-and-20 or second-and-15 or whatever it is. So it sets you behind the sticks a little bit. We can’t allow that to happen.”
On redshirt freshman defensive end Mufi Hill-Hunt getting reps on offense: “Mufi is working a little bit of tight end. He can certainly play on the other side of the ball. We’re looking at him.”
On the fullback spot and how it’s shaping up: “Collin Lucas has been very solid there. Joe Palange’s a graduate transfer that we’re seeing catch up to speed a little bit. Max Rosenthal is a guy that’s a talented new guy that walked on, but he was big and physical, and he looks like he has a great future, so we’ll see how he progresses.”
On freshman Josiah Scott’s scrimmage presence: “We held Josiah out that scrimmage. He’ll be healthy and be ready for camp. He’s been impressive.”