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September 13, 2009

Dantonio the day after

Mark Dantonio was asked Sunday night if, based on Saturday's events, he believes Kirk Cousins is the quarterback who can lead MSU to where it wants to go. "I think he can be the quarterback to take us where we want to go, yes I do," he said. "I think Keith Nichol is capable of doing the same. That's not a political answer..."

    So, no big surprise, Dantonio isn't tipping his hand on that situation. It would be a major surprise if Cousins doesn't start at Notre Dame. It would not be a major surprise if Nichol plays some.

    Other items from Dantonio, in brief:

    * Edwin Baker "has a sore knee a little bit, so we'll see how that goes," he said. Baker, who had knee surgery as a high school senior, didn't play Saturday, so that's apparently why. Don Treadwell, asked about Baker after the game, deferred to Dan Enos, who does the RB substitutions.

    * Dantonio said "it was tough to sleep last night" but that he's confident MSU's issues "can be fixed." He said he felt better after visiting with some of his players in the weight room Sunday.

    * Defense, he said, was the biggest problem. He said the MSU defense "got out of rhythm," and he said the bad tackling and mistakes reminded him of the Northwestern loss in 2007. Before the CMU loss, that game would have to qualify as the biggest upset -- and most fanbase-angering defeat -- of his tenure.

    * He said John Stipek "did a pretty good job" filling in for Joel Nitchman. No word on whether Nitchman and Mark Dell can play in South Bend.

    * Dantonio's reaction to a question on the personal foul penalties indicated that he wasn't entirely happy with all the calls (not that coaches ever are). The most-debated call in the press box was the Marcus Hyde late hit on Dan LeFevour that kept the drive alive that tied the game at 20-20. That one was definitely close, because it looked like the play may still have been alive when he hit LeFevour.

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Joe Rexrode
MSU Sports Reporter
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