EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The Michigan State University football team focused on chemistry and experience at Monday's media day in East Lansing.
The team returns 19 of 22 starters following a year where they were the second-youngest team in the nation, according to PhilSteele.com.
"Last year, we had 12 catches, that's guys who have caught 12 balls, returning," head coach Mark Dantonio said at the podium. " That's not the case this year."
The experienced Spartans won 10 games in 2017, quite the improvement from the 3-9 record in 2016.
"It's huge to have a bunch of seasoned guys," senior linebacker Andrew Dowell said. "That also turns into leadership."
While it may be too early to establish an identity for this season, the Spartans have already found a mantra: "heave."
The team held competitions on Fridays called Spartan Challenges. One of the competitions was tug-of-war.
"One team started saying heave and pulling the rope in unison," junior safety David Dowell said. "Everybody got hyped off of that and that team ended up winning."
"It's just everybody going in the same direction," senior running back LJ Scott said.
Michigan State opens the season Aug. 31 at home against Utah State.