Jeff Thorne on His Team and His Son’s

Jeff Thorne discusses his Cardinals’ dominance against Carroll and rooting on his son Payton at Michigan State.

Once again, after conceding a score on the opening drive of the game the Cardinals defense pitched a shutout the rest of the way. In their last three games, they have allowed zero combined points in the second, third and fourth quarters.

Thorne said that while opposing teams can study film and script early plays based on that research, the in game adjustments of the defense, coordinator Shae Dierking and defensive line coach Tim Janecek are what Thorne said make the difference. Particularly from Janecek’s unit, who recorded 5 sacks in the game.

On the offensive side, the dominance of the O-line was obvious and helped five different Cardinals score rushing touchdowns. Thorne, as he has previously, lauded the combination of youth and experience on display across the offensive front. He also credited the depth his team showed both on the offensive line and in the backfield with the strong offensive production in the 4th quarter.

While piling up points, touchdowns and personal accolades is all well and good, Thorne said he hopes that’s not the only thing the Cardinals are gaining from these games. As he put it, “excellence doesn’t have a finish line.” He hopes his players view themselves as an opponent in addition to the other team, constantly pushing themselves to be better.

This year, the Cardinals are not Thorne’s only focus on Saturdays. His son Payton, a graduate of Naperville Central High School, is the starting quarterback for the Michigan State Spartans. Thorne said it’s been a great experience, if often hectic with his family’s Saturdays now being busier than ever. Payton set a personal high last Saturday with 327 passing yards against Western Kentucky. The Spartans are currently 11th in the AP Top 25 rankings.

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