It was a tough, tough loss for Michigan State in South Bend, Indiana against Notre Dame over a week ago, but on Monday, one of the Spartans' top players and team leaders stated the fact that it was time to move on.
After a long bye week, in which Michigan State players and head coach Mark Dantonio had plenty of time to wallow in sorrow and think about just how differently things could have gone, the locker room let out a collective and defiant sigh and began to look to the future.
Senior MSU middle linebacker Max Bullough certainly had a lot to be upset about, seeing as how it would be the last time he'd battle on the gridiron with the Fighting Irish, but he was also one of the first to help refocus his team. Asked by reporters what was next for the team, Bullough was as clear as he's ever been.
"What has to happen now? We've got to get over it and get into the Big Ten season,'' Bullough said. "Everything we're worried about is still in front of us. Winning or losing to Notre Dame is purely a pride thing, it has nothing to do with where we want to go at the end of the year.
"We just have to get over it. Fortunately we have a couple of extra days to get over it, and I'm looking forward to Iowa to be honest with you, we lost a gut-wrenching game to them, probably more gut-wrenching than Notre Dame here last year.''
This Saturday, the Spartans will head down to Iowa City for a match up with the always spirited Iowa Hawkeyes. Over their last few meetings, Michigan State and Iowa have produced some of the most-interesting games in recent Big Ten Conference memory, and the first to recall many of those memories is none other than Max Bullough himself.
His gameplan to help the Spartans walk away with a win this weekend after a tough loss and long bye week?
"Run the ball, zone scheme, inside zone, outside zone, play-action pass — they do what they do, and they do it really well,'' Bullough said. "Their offensive line has been doing it since they were 18 years old, coming into the program, running the same plays, same two, three, four running plays, and they are big guys up front and in the backfield this year.
"I think Iowa is a team that wants to try to out-physical you, and we're a defense that wants to out-physical you, so it's always a good battle between us and Iowa, and I think they would admit that too.''
You can follow MSU writer, Michael Ferro, at twitter.com/MichaelFerro.