FOLKS, we’re almost there.
Just 100 days until we are back cheering for our Spartans as they kickoff the season against Tulsa.
So, what exactly are we excited about for this football season? Here are a few examples:
1. The return of tailgating season in East Lansing. (Duh, had to make this the first one)
2. Zeke the Wonderdog!
3. Watching some poor fan flub the field goal kick before the fourth quarter.
4. Neon jerseys, if you’re into that.
5. Green and white jerseys for all the other games, if you’re into that (and you should be).
6. The patented George Blaha “Touchdown MSU!”
7. Jeans and sweatshirt season. (I’m basic. Don’t care)
8. The Spartan Marching Band campus walk and stadium entrance.
9. The Sparty entrance.
10. And, of course, the team entrance.
11. Mark Dantonio (107 wins) taking over as winningest coach at MSU once he passes Duffy Daugherty (109).
12. Dantonio could also move into the top ten for Big Ten wins. He sits in 12th place at 65 wins and has Murray Warmath (66 wins at Minnesota) and John Cooper (70 wins at Ohio State) in front of him.
13. And if things go really well, he could be the fifth Big Ten coach to achieve a 10-win season seven times. (Bo Schembechler, Jim Tressel, Urban Meyer and Joe Paterno).
14. Seeing the kickoff kids try to make it back to the sidelines without tripping over their XXXL jerseys.
15. The student section (Please go to the games. Please.)
16. High-fiving strangers in the stadium or bar or wherever after huge plays.
17. 1-2-3 FIRST DOWN (you know the word).
18. The drum line.
19. The seat cushions (there’s no bigger treat you can give yourself over those metal bleachers).
20. “You’ve been…THUNDERSTRUCK.”
21. The bathrooms in the south end zone (No, seriously. Never packed. Hot water. It’s how kings live.)
22. Go Green, Go White chants.
23. Fireball shots in the parking lot (I know that’s not just me).
24. Third down key shakin’.
25. Talking about the game after the game with family, friends, strangers, whoever.
26. Watching games from the comfort of your own home.
27. MSU Shadows.
30. Oh, and just more Panasiuk Bros. dominance in general.
31. Josh Butler just being Josh Butler.
32. More social media heat from the MSU accounts.
33. Kenny Willekes is back.
34. Joe Bachie is back.
35. Raequan Williams is back.
36. The number one rush defense in the nation is (mostly) back.
37. Kenny Willekes can realistically earn the tackles for loss record at MSU, which now sits at 48. Willekes is 9th all-time with 35, and coming off a season with 20.5 TFL, it’s right in his wheelhouse.
38. Seeing who takes over for Justin Layne.
39. We get to see more Josiah Scott!
40. Xavier Henderson will be getting more action in his sophomore season.
41. One more year of double Dowell brothers (shoutout to David and Michael).
42. Antjuan Simmons will be getting an increased roll with the departure of Andrew Dowell.
43. Will freshman JD Duplain have an instant impact on the defensive line?
44. And what other freshmen will make instant impacts? Will Julian Barnett, Devontae Dobbs, Luke Fulton or anyone else find the field consistently?
45. Seeing young backup linebackers like Chase Kline and Jeslord Boatang getting some playing time.
46. Night games at Spartan Stadium.
47. Night games on the road, leading to great get-togethers back home.
48. Brad Salem revamping the offense.
49. We get Healthy Brian Lewerke back.
50. Lewerke sits in 8th overall in MSU history in completions with 461. The top three is Connor Cook (673), Jeff Smoker (685) and Kirk Cousins (723). Could he make his way up there?
51. Lewerke (9th with 5,214 yards) could realistically move up to fourth in overall passing yards this season. Drew Stanton is currently fourth with 6,524 yards. Jeff Smoker sits in third with 8,932 yards, so that would be a stretch.
52. If Brian Lewerke can find his sophomore year self, he could threaten Connor Cook’s MSU record of 9,403 total offensive yards. Lewerke sits in fifth all time right now with 6,106 yards.
53. Seeing if there’s any shakeup at running back will be interesting to track.
54. And can freshman Anthony Williams be an immediate game-changer?
55. We get a tough road schedule…which means fun games to watch? Hopefully?
56. Is Rocky Lombardi used, and how does he look?
57. Can 6-foot-2, 260-pound fullback Max Rosenthal make an impact on the running game in year two?
58. Darrell Stewart will get even more focus.
59. Darrell Stewart can realistically put himself in the top five for most receptions at MSU. He sits at 101 right now, and Andre Rison sits at fifth with 146. Stewart has caught at least 48 balls the last two seasons.
60. Cody White and his bionic hand are BACK.
61. Cody White could be the best White? He’s at six touchdown receptions while Blair White finished his MSU career with 10.
62. Jalen Nailor’s blazing speed will make us all bow our heads to the sky and laugh.
63. Speaking of, it looks like Nailor will be the man for punt returns.
64. Finding out who gets that fourth receiving spot between CJ Hayes, Cam Chambers, Laress Nelson, Andre Welch and Brandon Sowards.
66. Matt Coghlin could continue to be the second kicker in MSU history to be perfect on extra points. John Goss (2004-05) is the only kicker to be perfect on PATs.
67. Hartbarger returns and, odds are, we won’t see four different punters again this season.
68. Returning most of the offensive line (David Beedle being the only key contributor gone) is already good news.
69. Matt Dotson, Noah Davis and Trenton Gillison give MSU a solid trio of tight ends to take over for Matt Sokol.
70. Brandon Bouyer-Randle is high on the list of players that could have breakout seasons, giving MSU solid depth at an already-solid position group.
71. NFL Draft Watch should be fun to track during the season.
72. Spartan Stadium’s giant screen is still sweet.
73. Maybe another walk-off win? It’s already happened eight times under Dantonio.
74. The rushing offense can’t get worse (almost) as it ranked 114th last year. That’s positive, right?
75. No way the injury bug can be as bad…right? 14 of 24 preseason depth chart starters last year missed time due to injury.
76. MSU going for 13-0 in home openers under Dantonio (knocks on wood).
77. Pregaming at your apartment or frat or whatever if you’re a student.
78. Probably no jet sweeps to the short side on 3rd down inside the red zone!
79. Honorary captains coming back home to East Lansing.
80. Golfing before tailgating for night games (it’s a long day, but seriously, try it).
81. Tailgating food.
82. Those ice cream cookie sandwiches at the games.
83. Sneaking into seats that certainly aren’t yours at games with thinner crowds.
84. The wave, if you’re into that.
85. The hand-flick thing we do after the opposing team gets penalized. That’s always fun.
86. Trick plays. Hopefully ones that include kickers running for touchdowns too.
87. Not having a bye week super early in the season, finally.
88. Those sponsor tents right outside of Spartan Stadium (I’m a sucker for useless free stuff).
89. #DISRESPEKT SEASON. You just have to embrace it.
90. Seeing whatever wins the student section T-shirt battle.
91. Ringing the bell after MSU scores.
92. Homecoming vs. Indiana.
93. MSU Twitter coming back to life.
94. Tailgate game season, like bag toss, ladder golf and Kan-Jam.
95. Seeing which bowl game MSU heads to (again, knocks on wood).
96. Heading back to your favorite East Lansing joint (RIP Menna’s).
97. The “ohhhhh-OH. GO STATE.” on kickoffs.
98. Walking around East Lansing before or after the game.
99. The team walk from the Kellogg Center to the stadium.
100. 50/50 raffles. Let’s get that bread.