This past Saturday marked one of the better and more hard-fought games between the Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State Spartans. That was before the wild play at the end of the game that sealed the shocking victory for MSU and made the game itself an instant classic.
Spartans head football coach Mark Dantonio has long had a history of having unique names for some of the craziest plays he has pulled off during his tenure in East Lansing. He’s dubbed plays from “Little Giants” to “Rocket,” and even things like “Mousetrap” and “Charlie Brown.” So, should we be surprised that Dantonio had another name up his sleeve for the final play against Michigan?
On Tuesday, Dantonio revealed that the play that went in their favor on Saturday afternoon at The Big House did not have its own special name, but the special teams group that was on the field had their own title – “Rangers.” The complete name for that group and the play, according to the head coach, is dubbed “Rangers: Mission 4:10.”
Here’s Dantonio’s explanation why he chose that name.
“We were saying all week that mental is to physical as four is to one; that you had to be four times mentally tougher than you were physically tough,” Dantonio said. “And inevitably, it was going to come down to a mental game. They were going to make some plays. We were going have to handle adversity, we were going to have to handle the crowd, weather a storm or be the storm, one of the two. We were going to have to be able to do that. So that was where the 4-1 came in.
“The 10 seconds obviously comes in at the back end, with the last 10 seconds of the game. But it also comes in on the front end because we sat on that bus for 10 extra seconds because I wanted to make sure our players understood the size of this game, the bigness of this particular game, the impact it will have not only on them at that point in time but on their entire lives. And so that’s where the 4-10 comes in.”
Can’t really argue with Dantonio and his crazy names and meanings behind them. He keeps coming up with them and they keep working.