Mark Dantonio has spent the past month challenging his Michigan State football team on the practice field.

The Spartans head coach has now turned his attention to the Michigan State fan base.

"I want to see 50,000 at the Green and White game,'' Dantonio said. "I think that's where this program needs to go.''

The annual Green and White game takes place at 2 p.m. April 26 at Spartan Stadium.

A quick peek ahead at the extended weather forecast shows the temperature is expected to be 70 degrees and partly cloudy with a very small chance of precipitation.

Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis has mastered the art of basketball promotions in concert with future hall-of-fame coach Tom Izzo, but Hollis said weather is a factor as he tackles football promotion for this year's spring football game.

"I think there's so many variables that go into a spring game attendance,'' Hollis said. "I know the enthusiasm's there, I think that was reflected out in Pasadena (Calif.). But if it's pouring rain, I don't think we'll have 50,000, but we might.

"If it's sunny, I think we have the potential to exceed a number like that. It's an amazing campus and people have been cooped up in their homes for a long long time, so if we have the blessing of a great day, I think we'll achieve some very good numbers."

Last year, Michigan State fans could have been excused had they stayed away — it was below freezing, with snow on the ground at sunrise.

And yet, an estimated crowd of 22,500 showed up to see how the Spartans planned to improve on a 7-6 season.