Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Michigan State, coach Mark Dantonio seek elusive bowl win

Mark Dantonio is 0-4 in bowl games as Michigan State’s coach.

Associated Press

Mark Dantonio is 0-4 in bowl games as Michigan State’s coach.

TAMPA — By the time Michigan State kicks off Monday against Georgia in the Outback Bowl, it will have gone 10 years without a bowl victory, including losses to end each of Mark Dantonio's first four seasons.

Overall, the program has lost five consecutive bowl games.

"We haven't talked about it much," Dantonio said Wednesday. I talked about it a little bit (Tuesday) just in terms of how you feel as a coach addressing your football team after a loss; when you look at your seniors and it's their last football game.

"They're taking off that uniform for the last time. They've sweated with each other, been through a lot of things with each other."

Michigan State has lost its past three bowl games by an average margin of 21 points, including 49-7 to Alabama in the January 2011 Capital One Bowl and 24-14 in the January 2009 Capital One Bowl to the same Georgia program it faces Monday.

Dantonio said his bowl losses have overshadowed the Spartans' regular-season success.

"I think we've played some outstanding football teams in that period of four years. You get to a game like this, you're going to play somebody good," he said. "That's a thing people need to recognize. It's always about the last game you played. You're evaluated on that last game. You finish on a high note, things look great. You finish on a low note. … We were 11-1 last year, played Alabama. All you heard about basically was, 'We didn't get it done, this and that,' It's about how you finish."

REUNION: Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and Dantonio know each other well, having both been assistants at Michigan State from 1996-98. Grantham coached the defensive line, Dantonio the secondary.

"He's a very good friend of mine, an excellent coach; obviously brings a lot of energy to the game, believes in aggressive play," Dantonio said. "He's a technician. He teaches very well. He's a great teacher, and you see that in Georgia's football team."

Georgia and Michigan State are ranked third and fifth, respectively, in Division I-A in total defense, both allowing fewer than 275 yards per game. That will create a challenge for two veteran quarterbacks in the Bulldogs' Aaron Murray and the Spartans' Kirk Cousins.

THIS AND THAT: Georgia coach Mark Richt said what he remembers most about the teams' meeting in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando was how many players from that game are in the NFL, most notably Lions QB Matt Stafford. … Georgia also is trying to bounce back from a bowl loss, its coming 10-6 to UCF in the Liberty. Richt said the biggest problem in that loss was intensity. "You talk about energy?" he said. "There wasn't a whole lot of it." … The last time Michigan State won a bowl game was the December 2001 Silicon Valley Classic, a game now defunct, when it beat Fresno State and quarterback (and future No. 1 overall pick) David Carr 44-35.

Greg Auman can be reached at

Michigan State, coach Mark Dantonio seek elusive bowl win 12/28/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 11:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. USF defense feeds on Temple offense to take NCAA interceptions lead


    TAMPA — Backed up in his end zone, Temple quarterback Logan Marchi scrambled, trying to elude a USF defensive end coming straight for him. Until then, Marchi hadn't had much luck hitting his receivers.

    South Florida Bulls safety Devin Abraham (20) sacks Temple Owls quarterback Logan Marchi (12) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, September 21, 2017.
  2. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated


    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humiliation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  3. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person



    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry crowd at Raymond James Stadium. Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.
  4. Former Ray Tim Beckham's over being traded, or is he?

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — As the Rays reunited Thursday with Tim Beckham for the first time since he was dealt July 31 to Baltimore, it became very clear that not everything in assessing the trade is as it appears.

    Tim Beckham, here in action Monday against the Red Sox, has hit .310, with 10 homers and 26 RBIs since going to the Orioles.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Thursday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    The Rays still talk about having a shot to make the playoffs. But recognizing and correcting mistakes will help them next year, such as Mallex Smith trying to steal third in the first. "Those are the little things we've got to find how to eliminate real quick," manager Kevin Cash said.