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Monday, December 29th, 2014

Spartans Take In Another Full Day Surrounding Their Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic Prep

Photo By: Photo by Bill Patterson, CBAA

No. 8 Michigan State soaked up another action-packed day, from talking with the media to touching lives to, of course, getting in some work on the practice field, at the 79th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.

The day began with the team’s offensive news conference at the Omni Dallas Hotel. Quickly after, the entire roster and head coach Mark Dantonio took a step away from football to spend quality time visiting children at the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. From there, the team regrouped at its headquarters hotel before making the trek back to Arlington for practice.

Dantonio put his Spartans (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) through a workout of just over two hours in shorts and shells at AT&T Stadium, once again working on all three phases as the showdown with No. 5 Baylor (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) looms.

“We’re just fitting up on things and try to get everything straight,” said Dantonio. “Our players have been thinking of Baylor for quite some time. We’ve had a lot of practices, a lot of reps. You hope you have everything squared away and your players are ready to play. I think our players will be ready to go.”

On hand to check out MSU at practice today were three former Michigan State greats who went on to careers in the NFL  -- Tony Banks (1994-95), Ray Hill (1995-97) and Renaldo Hill (1998-2000). In addition to the Spartan star power taking in practice, the team received an added bonus -- an invitation to experience Six Flags Over Texas. Shortly after practice, the players and coaches were treated to a tour and even enjoyed a few attractions at the 212-acre theme park located just a mile away from the stadium.

MSU gets back to business on Tuesday afternoon with its fifth practice at AT&T Stadium. Just prior to practice, Dantonio and selected players are set to be available for media interviews during the team’s official Media Day for the 79th Classic.

The Goodyear Cotton Bowl celebrates its 79th edition on New Year's Day and kicks off a new era as a member of the College Football Playoff. Airtime on ESPN is set for 11:30 a.m. CST with kickoff slated for 11:45 a.m. For the first year, The Classic joins ESPN’s bowl lineup with Dave Pasch and Brian Griese on the call from the booth with Tom Luginbill reporting from the sideline.

For the third consecutive year, ESPN Radio returns as the Classic's national radio partner. Brad Sham, the "Voice of the Dallas Cowboys," teams with Kelly Stoufer in the booth and Ian Fitzsimmons from the sideline to describe all the action from AT&T Stadium. This will be Sham's 18th straight year as the Classic's play-by-play man and his 22nd overall.

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