MSU interim HC Harlon Barnett weighs in on Michigan football team prior to rivalry game
On Monday, Michigan State interim head coach Harlon Barnett addressed the media in anticipation of this Saturday's highly awaited matchup between the Spartans and the Michigan Wolverines. The Spartans are looking to rebound after a disappointing loss to Rutgers and four consecutive losses under Barnett's leadership. Barnett shared his thoughts on the team's progress, the challenges presented by the Wolverines, and his perspective on the heated rivalry.
Barnett talks about importance of Michigan game
Coach Barnett acknowledged the immense importance of the upcoming game against Michigan and the heightened excitement among the players. He emphasized the significance of attention to detail and the need for the Spartans to start playing better and, more importantly, to finish games. For Barnett, it's all about being in attack mode and working toward a turnaround.
“Looking forward to this week’s game,” Barnett said. “As we all know, it’s a big game and our guys are locked in and already looking forward to it. It should be a great week.”
“You always are just trying to get better no matter what, rivalry game or not. Definitely it can bring some more focus to it though. We talked about having great attention to detail. As far as if it’s Michigan or not Michigan or what have you, we just need to start playing better. Now it’s about finishing, so that’s our next step. We’ve got to finish and we’re looking forward to doing that this weekend.”
Bouncing Back From a Gut Punch
Reflecting on the disheartening loss to Rutgers, Barnett admitted that it was a tough pill to swallow. Still, he sees it as a part of the journey and an opportunity for growth and learning. He stressed the need for leadership during challenging times, conveying the bigger picture to the players.
“I’m not going to lie, Saturday was a gut punch, that was a gut punch. But as a man, as a leader, you have to step up in those situations and try to just get an understanding of what it’s all about, the big picture, and then relay it to the young men.”
When discussing the Wolverines, Barnett acknowledged their strength. He commended their discipline on both offense and defense, highlighting their balanced play between passing and running.
“They’re very disciplined in what they do –offense, defense and special teams. They play hard, they have a good passing game as well as running game – they’ve got a good balance. And they just do a good job of coaching those guys up and putting them in a position to make plays. They’re a good football team.”
Bottom Line: Battling Back with Resolve
As the Spartans prepare to face the Wolverines, Barnett is leading his team with a focused and determined mindset. While acknowledging the challenges posed by Michigan, the Spartans are gearing up for a fierce showdown. This rivalry runs deep, and it's all set to unfold on the football field, where the only thing that matters is the game itself. With that being said, the Spartans have opened as a HUGE underdog against the Wolverines.