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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Twice is Nice!

It's been so long since us Spartans won two-in-a-row over Michigan that many of us weren't even alive to witness the prior phenomenon. Duffy Daugherty was the coach of MSU back in the 60's, when the program last won, not only strings of victories against the Wolverines, but national titles as well. With that in mind, how did Mark Dantonio, in only his third season at the helm, get the Spartans to a point they haven't been to against their in-state rival in 42 years?

  • No Staff Turnover - When Mark Dantonio arrived in East Lansing, he brought a great crop of assistant coaches along with him. For instance, both offensive coordinator Don Treadwell, and defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, have been on Dantonio's staff since he arrived from Cincinnati and brought both coaches along with him. Former MSU quarterback Dan Enos has been particularly important in the recruiting realm.
  • Recruiting - Dantonio's recruiting emphasis has been within Michigan and Ohio, and it's paid off in spades. ranked the MSU 2009 recruiting class 17th in the nation, and the 2010 class is 28th as of this posting. In-state kids like William Gholston, who may have practically be conceded to Michigan under the John L. Smith regime, have been coveted since day one by Dantonio and his recruiting staff.
  • Emphasis - When it comes to the U-M game, Dantonio has made it a priority every season. The clock he had put up counting down to  the game didn't seem to make its intended point in 2007, but it's worked these last two years. Having been an MSU assistant under Nick Saban from 1995-1999, and then working as a defensive coordinator at Ohio State during their 2002 national championship season, Dantonio understands Spartan Nation's special disposition towards the Wolverines.

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