Lewis ejected for targeting

Spartans impacted by new rules for the first time when senior safety Isaiah Lewis was ejected in the first quarter Saturday at Northwestern. The Spartans talked about the call and how Lewis handled it after the game.

The new targeting rule in college football drew plenty of attention leading into the 2013 season, but it hadn't impacted Michigan State until Saturday.

During the first quarter of MSU's 30-6 win against Northwstern, senior safety Isaiah Lewis was sent to the locker room for his hit, which knocked Wildcats' quarterback Kain Colter out of the game.

The Spartans might not have agreed with the call made by the refs that ended Lewis' day early.

"I just saw a hit," coach Mark Dantonio said. "I looked up the screen and I saw a guy coming inside out and rolling up on his near leg and hitting a guy with his shoulders. That's what I saw. …

"That's how we've taught people to play the football game. Play hard. It's a game of contact."

On the play, Colter was lined up at wide receiver and quarterback Trevor Siemian looked his way on a quick slant, which Lewis jarred loose. It appeared that Colter dropped his head, causing Lewis to hit him higher.

"We felt like it was a bad call looking on the big screen," cornerback Darqueze Dennard said. "The guy caught the ball and turned up the field and he hit him low and hit him with his shoulder and didn't lead with his helmet. It was a great hit."

Linebacker Denicos Allen said Lewis handled the situation well, like a senior leader should.

"He was in the locker room in the first half," Allen said. "He was kind of upset, but he saw the score and he was there motivating us – doing what a senior does. He was there talking to us and telling us to play better as a senior would do.

"Credit to him for still sticking in there and being in the game mentally."

Sophomore R.J. Williamson, who started for Lewis when he was injured early in the season, took his spot at strong safety.

It also gave redshirt freshman Demetrius Cox a change to get more playing time in nickel sets.

"He's a great player," safety Kurtis Drummond said. "Anytime you can get actual game time experience, it's going to help. For him to be able in a big game and perform well for us, it just shows that the future is bright."

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