In the current world of sports, society tends to focus on the negative side of things over the positive side. It makes sense, mainly because what someone did wrong, what someone said wrong or what a person or team isn’t doing creates more stories, headlines, etc.
This isn’t more prevalent anywhere else than on the Michigan State Spartan football team, as all the talk is about the weak play of the offense. Two weeks into the season, it’s a broken record with the offense that also struggled in 2012: can’t throw the ball, can’t complete third downs and can’t score.
While that is taking up all the headlines, what should be taking up all of the headlines is the outstanding play of the Spartan defense. Defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi has this unit playing at its highest level since he and head coach Mark Dantonio arrived in East Lansing.
Senior leaders Max Bullough, Denicos Allen, Darqueze Dennard and Isaiah Lewis are on their final rides as Spartans and are on an absolute mission to cause havoc in college football.
The Spartans currently rank third in the nation in total defense, giving up just 179.5 yards per game on the season. An even more impressive statistic for the Spartans is their yards allowed per play, which is at 2.64 and ranks first in the country.
The Spartans are playing absolute shutdown defense, which can be attributed to many things, such as great defensive coaching, outstanding senior leadership and a mix of veteran and young talent.
So far this season, while everyone is playing at a high level, the breakout player has been redshirt sophomore defensive end Shilique Calhoun. Calhoun is in his first year as a starter and has been all over the field in the first two games.
Through two games, Calhoun has a sack, two tackles for a loss, four quarterback hurries, two fumble recoveries for touchdowns and an interception for a touchdown. His three offensive touchdowns are more than any single offensive player.
So while everyone is focused on who is going to play quarterback or why the team can’t score points, expect this nasty defensive unit to quietly dominate the game of football and play at a national championship caliber.