Preview 2018: Michigan State Spartans

Preview 2018: Michigan State Spartans

2018 Preview

Preview 2018: Michigan State Spartans

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What You Need To Know About The Michigan State Defense

And there’s the Michigan State run defense again. It wasn’t bad in the down 2016 season, but it allowed 200 yards or more four times – losing all four games. Last year, the run D was ripped up by Ohio State, and that’s it – no one else hit the 200-yard mark. Expect this group to be just as strong.

Nine starters are back including the defensive tackle tandem of Mike Panasiuk and Raequan Williams. In all, ten of the top 11 tacklers are back – under four yards per carry allowed, and well under 200 yards per game, will be the norm.

– Will there be a pass rush? A total disaster in 2016, the Spartans came up with 11 sacks after Shilique Calhoun and company cranked up 37 in 2015. The 2017 defense generated production from several spots making 28 sacks, but it was a bit too inconsistent.

The 65 tackles for loss were way low, but with Kenny Willekes returning on the outside, and the ability of the tackles to get behind the line, shooting for the 80 TFL mark isn’t asking for the world.

– The secondary struggled a bit over the second half of last year. The Spartans gave up one touchdown pass over the first five games and four in the first seven – Minnesota, shockingly, threw three against MSU – and 12 in the final six games. The teams on the schedule that could throw, did, but it didn’t matter all that much.

Ball-hawking safety David Dowell is back after coming up with five picks, leading a secondary that returns all four starters. Now the pass rush has to help everyone out.

Biggest Key To The Michigan State Defense

Don’t give up 30 points. Michigan State is about keeping control of games, and while that might not lead to a scintillating brand of football, it keeps down the better offenses – usually.

Last season, the Spartans were 10-0 when they didn’t allow 30 points or more, and 0-3 when they did. To take this even further, the program has lost its last ten games when giving up 30 more more, with the last win coming in the 42-41 Cotton Bowl miracle over Baylor to end the 2014 season.

NEXT: Top Players, Final Prediction & What Will Happen

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