Michigan State Athletic Director Mark Hollis: Changes Coming to Spartan Stadium Student Section
Michigan State's fan base has clamored for more meaningful night games at Spartan Stadium for years.
So why then was its student section embarrassingly empty late Saturday night when the the Spartans hosted Nebraska in a Top 20 Big Ten opener?
That question is on MSU athletic director Mark Hollis' mind. He issued a series of tweets Sunday evening, vowing to take action to, ostensibly, prevent such future embarrassments on national TV.
Saturday's near-freezing temperatures and rainy conditions surely had a hand in the student section's attendance. And so did the results on the field: Michigan State built up a 27-3 lead in the third quarter. With Nebraska virtually unable to move the ball on the Spartan defense, thousands headed for the exit confident the game was no longer in doubt.
But they were wrong.
Nebraska mounted a valiant comeback, chipping away at MSU's lead throughout the final 15 minutes of play. The Spartans had a chance to add an exclamation point on their punishing performance, but a would-be pick 6 went through safety Kurtis Drummond's hands and turned into a big play for the Cornhuskers.
Later, with a chance to bolster their lead to eight with just minutes remaining, kicker Michael Geiger missed a field goal when his attempt ricocheted off one of the uprights. Nebraska took over with plenty of time and a chance to pull off the improbable comeback and win with a touchdown, but Trae Waynes ended that with an interception to close the game.
Afterward, coach Mark Dantonio admonished Spartan fans who left early, expressing his disappointment and saying "that's just not right."
So what's the recourse? Perhaps downsizing MSU's robust student section and using those seats to sell more general admission tickets? Or something else?