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December 27, 2009

Transcript: Spartans arrive in San Antonio

The Michigan State football team arrived in San Antonio on Sunday in advance of their Jan. 2 matchup with Texas Tech in the 2010 Valero Alamo Bowl. Below are select quotes from Spartan head coach Mark Dantonio, offensive lineman Rocco Cironi and cornerback Ross Weaver released by the Alamo Bowl's Media Relations Department.

Head Coach Mark Dantonio

On being on San Antonio:
MD: "We are very very excited about being down here in San Antonio and representing the Big Ten Conference both on the field and off the field.

"Just recently we were sitting around talking about this game and all of the sudden we are at the bowl game and we are right back in it. The players are excited to be here and this is going to be a great opportunity here against Texas Tech.

"I have been very impressed with their defense which has a lot to do with their coordinator and of course I am impressed with their offense as well. They are very tight on special teams so this is going to be a challenge for us and we are looking forward to it."

On time between last game and the bowl game and practice:
MD: "One of the important things about this is that this is the last football game of the year so you can springboard this into spring practice and give us the opportunity to win a seventh game. This is going to be a challenge; there is no doubt about it.

"We have tried to be very fundamental during the early part of practice weeks and then the second-half of the practice week we have tried to concentrate on Texas Tech more and what they do."

On Texas Tech as a team:
MD: "When you look at them across the board they can do very many things very very well. They come to play and play with a lot of excitement. They are a good football team. There are a lot of good things that they have done and we are going to have to be ready.

"As much as Tech passes, they also have a good running game. We have got to stop the run and contain their perimeter game as well because of all of their screens to compliment their running game. It will start up front and we will need to control up front and we have to find a way to get off the field since they are very good on fourth down."

Offensive Tackle Rocco Cironi

On expectations of first day in San Antonio:
RC: "Relax and get acclimated a little bit. We have been working hard back home and practice tomorrow is going to tough and we need to work on some things."

On attitude toward the bowl game:
RC: "We came here to have a good time, but we still came here to play and win a game. As a senior I speak on behalf of the others that we want to go out with a win and send this program out on a good note for years to come."

On suspensions affecting practices:
RC: "We have had some guys step up and taken control of the position. They've made some changes here and there but nothing too big. They made changes that they hope give us a chance to win."

On slowing down Texas Tech's high powered offense:
RC: "We are going to have to run the ball. We're gonna have to control the clock and keep their offense off the field. So our role is going to be bigger this week as we'll need to create holes for the running backs and allow them a place to run."

On Texas A&M's success against Texas Tech:
RC: "They run a lot of formations like we do and they converted a lot of third downs. They were also pounding it in their so it was good to see another team do that (against Tech)."

Cornerback Ross Weaver

On Preparation for this week's game:
RW: "Based on our preparation this is like any other game, of course it's a bowl, it's a big game, but we've been working on the right path plays and getting used to the different path situations they have and different formations that they run."

On playing a Big 12 Opponent:
RW: "It's pretty tough, you go in it with a mind set that you have to play a hard game, it doesn't come down to what they did, it comes down to how we played. We gotta make sure we're prepared in everything, in every aspect of the game."

On playing corner against a Texas Tech:
RW: "You take that as an opportunity to step up, an opportunity to make plays, they are a big passing team, they're a big spread team, they have a lot of different passes out of their plays and out of their offense. This is an opportunity for you to step up and make plays when they need to be made and know what's coming at you."

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