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NCAA Football Big 10 FootballMichigan State Spartans

Michigan State’s Defense Proved It Deserves Top Ranking

Michigan State Football Defense

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

For much of the 2013 college football season, the Michigan State Spartans‘ defensive unit has held the position of the top ranked defense in the country.

The group has absolutely shutdown everyone they have faced with ease and helped carry the Spartans through many of the games, especially early in the season when the offense was struggling.

As it stands right now, the Spartans lead the nation in total defense, rush defense, yards given up per play and passing efficiency. Despite the incredible numbers the defense was putting up, many questioned how good the unit really was due to the weak schedule the Spartans had played all season long.

Those doubts were put to rest this past Saturday when the Spartans hosted hated rival Michigan and put on one of the best defensive performances in Michigan State history. The Spartans only allowed 168 yards of total offense on the day. They held Michigan to -48 yards of rushing, the lowest in the long history of the Michigan football program.

The Spartans defense caused havoc in the Wolverine backfield from start to finish and beat up quarterback Devin Gardner so badly he had to exit the game. The Spartans had a total of seven sacks on the day, making it impossible for the Wolverines to establish rhythm on offense.

This unit proved why it has been ranked so high in so many statical categories all season and did so in front of a national audience, making many skeptics around the country believers of what head coach Mark Dantonio and defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi have going.

Erik Sargent is a college football writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Erik_Sargent, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.