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23.05.2018 14:59
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EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Mark Dantonio closed the door of his spacious office and took a seat.Thats my go-to chair, he said, gesturing to another piece of brown, leather furniture.It might be a good week for him to switch things up at Michigan State.The Spartans (2-5, 0-4 Big Ten) have lost five straight games for the first time since 1991. No. 2 Michigan (7-0, 4-0) is up next and the rival is favored to win by more than three touchdowns Saturday at Spartan Stadium.Dantonio, though, is used to being doubted.No one thought he, or any coach, could turn a mediocre program into one of the best in college football as he did in recent years despite the nearby presence of traditional powers: Michigan, Ohio State and Notre Dame.Few, if anyone, predicted Michigan State could ever dominate the Wolverines as it has under Dantonio with three straight wins and seven in an eight-year stretch for the first time.And when Michigan was punting with 10 seconds left last season and a two-point lead at the Big House, the usually stoic coach was confident his players would find a way to win. They did, swarming around punter Blake ONeill after he bobbled a slightly low snap and returning the football 38 yards for a game-ending, game-winning play for the ages.A huge picture of Jalen Watts-Jacksons return hangs outside Dantonios office, just to the right of his door in a cant-miss spot for any visitor.What jumps out to Dantonio when he sees the picture or thinks about the improbable play?I guess you always have a chance, Dantonio said in an interview with The Associated Press. I would say the chance of that happening relative to the chance of us winning on Saturday, I would say we got a better chance of us winning on Saturday.If Dantonio can help his team extend its streak in the series, it would be the biggest upset in the rivalry since unranked Michigan State stunned the top-ranked Wolverines 28-27 in 1990. Back then, Michigan went for the win on a 2-point conversion with 6 seconds left and Desmond Howard couldnt control the football as he hit the turf after he appeared to get tripped by Eddie Brown.In the same corner of the same end zone 15 years later, Watts-Jackson lay with a broken hip after scoring a touchdown that validated the feeling Dantonio insisted he felt just before it happened.When I looked out there, I saw confident faces when I went out there, he said.These days, Dantonio and his players acknowledge confidence is lacking after following up a 36-win, three-year stretch with as many losses as they had from 2013 through 2015.What does Dantonio see when he looks at his players faces this week?Theyve got to answer that on Saturday, he said quietly.Dantonio often has to answer Jim Harbaugh-related questions, but insisted Michigans coach does not consume his thoughts or provide an obstacle he cant overcome in recruiting.Im consumed by too many things. I cant control that, Dantonio said. What I can control, to some extent, is what is going on here. I think hes a great coach.The feeling is mutual.Hes done a great job, Harbaugh said. One of the best college football coaching jobs in the history of the game.Thats not a stretch.After Michigan State was a national power in the mid-1960s under Duffy Daugherty, the Spartans went to only one Rose Bowl and won eight games or more in consecutive seasons just once before Dantonio was hired to replace the fired John L. Smith for the 2007 season.Dantonio took the program back to the Rose Bowl three years ago -- for the first time since the 1987 season -- won a school-record 13 games two years ago and became the first Big Ten coach to have at least 11 victories five times in a six-year span. He won 12 games and a school-record third Big Ten title last year.Coach Dantonio is one of the greatest coaches in the country and has proven that over the last nine years, athletic director Mark Hollis said this week.Dantonios accomplishments and support hes getting, however, are not helping him rest easy. His offense is sputtering with a freshman quarterback behind a banged-up offensive line. His injury-depleted defense is looking overmatched, which is unusual. His mind races, trying to process problems and come up with solutions, day and night and he cant stop it even when his head hits the pillow.It doesnt get turned off. Thats a problem, Dantonio said. Ive always slept really good. Lately, not so good. I talk to my wife and we talk about things. We make sure I laugh. We pray. I dont read too much right now. I should say I should probably read to get my mind off things.---Online: AP college football website: and Larry Lage at and follow his work at Air Max 270 Noir . Laudrup revealed Thursday he was notified of his dismissal in "the briefest of letters which gave no reasons why such hasty and final action was deemed necessary. Nike Hyperdunk 2017 Rouge . -- Hunter Smith scored the winner with just 12 seconds remaining in the third period as the Oshawa Generals edged the host Sarnia Sting 5-4 on Friday in Ontario Hockey League action. .C. -- Kemba Walker and the Charlotte Bobcats got off to a fast start, and the Sacramento Kings were never quite able to catch up. Nike Air Max 97 Ultra 17 . -- When the Florida Panthers fell behind by two goals in the first period to the top team in the NHL, it appeared they were on their way to yet another loss. Air Max 2018 Pas Cher .ca looks back at the stories and moments that made the year memorable. Andy Murray moved a step closer to overtaking Novak Djokovic as world No. 1 by winning his third successive title at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna.The Scot defeated Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 7-6 (6) in the final to add to the titles he won in Beijing and Shanghai earlier this month.Murray can top the rankings for the first time in his career as early as November 7 if he wins next weeks Masters event in Paris and Djokovic fails to reach the final.It has been a remarkable last six months for Murray, who has now won seven titles, the most in a season in his career, and lost just three matches since the French Open in June.His 15th win in a row did not look in any doubt for a set and a half.dddddddddddd Tsonga, who had won only two of 15 previous meetings with Murray, was broken in his opening service game and made far too many errors to trouble the world No. 2.The Frenchman was staring at a heavy defeat at 1-3 and 0-40 down in the second set but played some fine points to hold serve.That proved the catalyst for a revival from Tsonga, who recovered the break and forced a tie-break.But it was Murray who prevailed, the 29-year-old clinching victory with his fifth ace on his second match point. 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