There are no secrets by the time teams reach bowl week and for Michigan State secondary coach Harlon Barnett he knows what his guys need to do against a tough TCU offense.
“They have a good scheme and they have good players,” said Barnett. “We have to play well with good eye control and execute all of our techniques. They (our players) will be just fine. Obviously TCU will make a few plays here and there, they are on scholarship as well, but we’re looking to make more plays. When you have a space game like this, you have to be able to get guys on the ground and get a chance to play another down, rather than give up big plays.”
As for the possibility of back-up players seeing more time against the Horned Frogs, Barnett focused on a couple fans could be seeing.
“Mitchell (White) has always been a guy who’s right there in the fourth quarter over the past couple of years,” said Barnett. “He has good feet, runs well, and has good ball skills.
“Trae (Waynes) is a guy who has come on strong. He has done some good things and continues to get better. This could be a chance to let him get his feet wet. It will be a good experience for him to get ready for next year as well.”
One thing that has helped many according to Barnett is the extra reps received from extra practice time as the Spartans got ready for their battle in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
“These guys got a lot of bowl practice and it really does help, rather than hearing about it all the time and not being able to get reps,” explained Barnett. “They’ve been able to get reps and get coached up, and they’ve gotten better because of it. I look forward to those guys taking advantage of their opportunity.”
According to Barnett there has been great help from one of the veterans with Waynes.
“Darqueze (Dennard) has been a big help to Trae,” said Barnett. “He gives him little tips here and there that he has picked up through his experiences as a player. He’s been a big help, and I’m sure Trae appreciates it.”