The Spartans kicked off their Big Ten season last Saturday night with a primetime matchup against the undefeated Nebraska Cornhuskers.
The first three quarters looked great for Michigan State, as they dominated in every facet of the game and held a 27-3 lead. However, Nebraska clawed their way back in the 4th fourth quarter before finally going down 27-22.
Head coach Mark Dantonio addressed media members on Tuesday to talk about the conference opener and looking ahead towards the Purdue game on Saturday.
Defensively, Michigan State was impressive. Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah was the nation’s leading rusher heading into last Saturday’s matchup, but the Spartans held him to just 45 rush yards on 24 carries.
“I think we understood what had to happen in that football game for us to be successful defensively, you had to shut down Abdullah,” Dantonio said.
That defensive effort was not without cost, as linebacker Mylan Hicks is likely to miss five weeks with a broken left arm. Dantonio spoke on the team’s depth and how they plan to replace Hicks.
“Well, Demetrious Cox and RJ Williamson can also play star and we can leave Montae [Nicholson] in there, but Demetrious Cox has been playing star a lot,” Dantonio said. “We also moved Jalyn Powell to an outside linebacker position whose been a very active safety, but we just haven’t gotten him on the field.”
The big story of the game was Michigan State’s inability to put the Huskers away. Here is what Dantonio had to say on his team giving up a late lead.
The Spartans go on the road to play Purdue next Saturday at 3:30. The game will be aired on ABC/ESPN2.
Dan Tyler is the host of Spartan Red Zone for Impact Sports
Photo: Bradley Allen/Impact Sports