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Mark Dantonio demands more from Michigan State's special teams units

EAST LANSING – Offense? Not bad.

Defense? Looking good.

Special teams? That’s where Mark Dantonio wants Michigan State to improve.

It may appear as nitpicking, but the Spartans have work to do on their kicking, coverage and return games before they host Notre Dame on Sept. 23 (8 p.m./Fox).

“Statistically, offense and defense, I thought we were pretty dominant,” Dantonio said of wins over Bowling Green and Western Michigan. “Where we need to be better is on special teams. We need to continue to work.”

The knee-jerk reaction is to look at the 100-yard kickoff return from Darius Phillips last week the Spartans allowed in a 28-14 win over the Broncos.