Everyone has seen the hit that South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney put on Michigan's Vincent Smith in last year's Outback Bowl, but under new rules, the hit could have resulted in an ejection from the game for Clowney.
With the NCAA focusing on potential ejections for targeting, which it describes as when a player intentionally hits a player above the shoulders – at the referees discretion.
The Michigan State players and coaches are aware of the changes, but don't necessarily think they all are reasonable.
"We heard a little bit," senior linebacker Max Bullough said. "To be honest, I think they have gone overboard with a lot of rules in college and the NFL. If you are playing football, you agree to the risks and you agree to the rewards."
Bullough expressed that there big hits happen and are a part of the game.
"Those situations don't happen on purpose, they happen on accident," he said. "If it happens, it's an accident and there is nothing you can do about it. If they are going to penalize players, then that's what they are going to do."
Head coach Mark Dantonio said he is concerned about the future of the game.
"It's changing," Dantonio said. "I have heard it said that we are at a tipping point. In terms of all these different things that are going on, I think you are going to see a lot of change in the game. I think we've already seen it."
Dantonio also finds the subjectivity of the rules is bothersome.
"It's very tough to ref – very tough to make those decisions," Dantonio said. "I think it could be unfair at times to a player, to be thrown out when it's unintentional."
"I don't know what Coach (Narduzzi) has to say about it, but that's a crazy rule," Dennard said. "I mean, how do they want us to play?"
Dantonio said there really isn't much he can do differently with the new rules.
"I can't (do anything differently)," Dantonio said. "We try and talk safety constantly. We talk cheap shots constantly, but you need to protect yourself.
"You've got play the game fast and hard otherwise you're going to get hurt."