Spartans' offensive burst sparks defense

MSU offense scores seven touchdowns in rout of Youngtown State, providing motivation for the defense in the process.

Michigan State's offense scored just twice in the Spartans' first two games, but the defense made up for it with a pair of defensive touchdowns in each game.

On Saturday against Youngstown State, it was a different story as the MSU offense had seven touchdowns in the 55-17 win. The offensive outburst wasn't just encouraging for the offense, but also for the MSU defense.

"It was fun, I'll put it that way," defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi said. "We had a good time up in the box. We were high fiving and I think (Jim) Bollman's shoulder is a little sore because I was smacking the hell out of him.

"It's fun to play defense when you're scoring points."

After registering times of possession of 33:14 and 30:39 against Western Michigan and South Florida, respectively, the MSU offense had the ball for 39:09 against Youngstown State.

Sophomore wide receiver MacGarrett Kings Jr. said it was important for the offense to give the defense a break.

"I know it took a lot off the defense with the defense being on the field so much," Kings said. "We had a chance to come out and get a break. We drove the ball. When the defense come back on the field they're 100 percent again."

Senior defensive tackle Tyler Hoover said the Spartans' early flurry of touchdowns sparked the defense, which allowed just 172 yards to YSU.

"That fast start gives us that spark and gives us that energy," Hoover said. "It gets us excited to go back on the field and get the ball back."

The defense did force one turnover to get the ball back to the offense and it was courtesy of Shilique Calhoun again. Calhoun recovered a fumble at the Youngstown State 24-yard line, setting up a touchdown pass from Connor Cook to Kings on the next play.

Calhoun said being on the sideline in a game with the offense putting up big numbers is a motivation for the defense.

"To see the offense come out and score 55 points, it just motivates you to come out and be like, ‘We gotta stop them and keep the train rolling,'" Calhoun said.

Safety R.J. Williamson, who made his first career start Saturday, said it wasn't a surprise to see the offense put it together.

"Those guys have been working all camp and all year," Williamson said. "It was only a matter of time before they started to put it together. Those guys came out and competed and we saw a lot of great things from a lot of great people (Saturday)."

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