The mood was light but the focus remained sharp as No. 8 Michigan State got its last taste of AT&T Stadium before its Jan. 1 showdown with No. 5 Baylor in the 79th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.
MSU (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) captured its official bowl memory with a team photo prior to a light walk-through. Spending nearly 45 minutes in t-shirts and shorts, the team was meticulous in putting the final touches on its preparations for the program’s 25th all-time bowl appearance.
“We just wanted to move around for a little bit,” said head coach Mark Dantonio.
Baylor completed its final on-field piece of preparation for the 79th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic by conducting a walk-through at AT&T Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
The No. 5 Bears (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) spent about an hour doing light work for their New Year’s Day game against No. 8 Michigan State (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) before heading back to the team hotel for final meetings.
“It has been a great week and it is show time,” Baylor Head Coach Art Briles said earlier in the day.
Two college football programs that have ranked among the nation’s best in recent seasons meet in the 79th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic with a chance to add to their credentials.
For No. 5 Baylor (11-1, 8-1 Big 12), the New Year’s Day game at AT&T Stadium is an opportunity to collect its first victory in a major bowl in more than 50 years and register its first 12-win season.
For No. 8 Michigan State (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten), a victory would be its first over a top-10 team this season and would extend its bowl win streak to four.
With most of its Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic preparations in the books, No. 8 Michigan State took to the turf on Tuesday afternoon for a final all-out practice at AT&T Stadium.
MSU did not slack off in their fifth Classic workout, conducting a spirited session in shorts and shells that lasted more than two hours. Continuing a program tradition, head coach Mark Dantonio concluded practice with a video tribute to the senior class followed by every senior walking down a receiving line to share final goodbyes with other teammates, coaches and support staff.
Competing in a major bowl game is no longer new to Baylor. Now the Bears want to experience winning one.
That was the predominant storyline Tuesday as players went through media day for the 79th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic after a light practice at AT&T Stadium.
Baylor was heavily favored but lost to UCF in last year’s Fiesta Bowl. So it’s easy to understand the primary motivation for the No. 5 Bears (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) as they prepare to meet No. 8 Michigan State (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) on Thursday.
Baylor Head Coach Art Briles, along with his coaching staff and entire football team, visited Children’s Health/Children’s Medical Center Dallas, to spread some laughter.
“This is a big thrill for us,” said Briles. “Our kids are very giving and very sharing and we know that today these children are going to bring smiles to our faces as we do to theirs.”
Children under the hospital’s care sat at tables inside the Butterfly Atrium as they welcomed the team in joining them in arts and crafts including paper football fields, make your own pennants, paint-a-bear and more.
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.
Head Coach Mark Dantonio and the entire Spartan squad started their Monday morning by visiting at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. Patients, staff members and supporters of the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic gathered around the hospital’s cafeteria and welcomed the team along with their coaching staff in grand fashion.
President and CEO of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, Bob Walker, started the event thanking the Spartans for visiting with them, followed by Head Coach Mark Dantonio’s remarks.
Baylor remained squarely focused on Michigan State on Monday but didn’t mind getting good news for the 2015 season, too.
All-Big 12 defensive end Shawn Oakman announced that he would return for his senior season during a morning news conference for the 79th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.
“I would classify it as great news,” Bears Head Coach Art Briles said. “Any time you have two guys the caliber of Oakman and Spencer Drango come back and help maintain your program and escalate it, hopefully, to even higher levels, because we still have some mountains to climb, it certainly gives us a better opportunity [to compete for a national championship] when you come out of the gates with guys that have been there.
It was a busy day for No. 8 Michigan State as the Spartans began to hit their stride on their third day of preparations for the 79th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.
Following its morning defensive news conference in Dallas, MSU headed back to Arlington for another physical workout at AT&T Stadium. Head Coach Mark Dantonio took his squad through another intense session in full pads, which once again ran just over two and a half hours.
“You’ve got to get ready.
Keeping your game-week routine intact is challenging during a bowl, but Baylor has stuck pretty close to its usual script.
The Bears (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) practiced for about one hour and 45 minutes Sunday at AT&T Stadium in preparation for the 79th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic on Thursday.
Getting on the field at 9 a.m. is different than the usual afternoon practices during the regular season. But the practice structure remains the same against Michigan State (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) as if it were for a Big 12 opponent.
No. 8 Michigan State put in serious work with a two-and-a-half hour practice in full pads at AT&T Stadium in preparation for its Jan. 1 matchup with No. 5 Baylor in the 79th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.
“(It was a) good practice, just getting our legs back underneath us,” said head coach Mark Dantonio. “It was a long practice, which we’re going to need to play well in the game on Thursday.”
The Spartans (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) got back at it on the heels of assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi being named head coach at Pittsburgh a day earlier.
Baylor returned to its home away from home Saturday, going through its first AT&T Stadium practice for the 79th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.
The Bears (11-1, 8-1 Big 12), who have played in AT&T Stadium five consecutive seasons, worked for one hour and 45 minutes in preparation for their game Friday against Michigan State (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten).
Head Coach Art Briles said the team’s energy was “pretty good.”
“I thought our focus was good,” Briles said.
No. 8 Michigan State made the trek from the friendly confines of East Lansing to the unfamiliar territory of North Texas on Friday for the 79th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.
The MSU contingent of players, coaches, support staff, athletic administrators and their families were welcomed to their Classic week home by a small but excited crowd of Spartan fans, the Townview Big “D” Band and Cotton Bowl Athletic Association officials.
"To have Michigan State down here being part of this venue is very exciting for us,” said head coach Mark Dantonio.
GRAPEVINE, Texas – Baylor arrived Friday and wasted little time resuming preparation for the 79th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.
The Bears (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) reported ahead of their 2 p.m. scheduled arrival time at their team hotel and were to conduct their first practice later in the afternoon at an off-site location. They had been preparing for their game against Michigan State (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) on campus in Waco, Texas.
“We’re extremely excited to be here to represent Baylor,” Baylor Head Coach Art Briles said.