MSU makes key defensive adjustments

Spartans allows just 118 yards in final three quarters Saturday at Northwestern.

Michigan State's top-ranked defense looked like there might be a chink in its armor after Nebraska put up almost 400 yards on the Spartans in Lincoln.

As Northwestern came out early with 121 yards in the first quarter, it looked like another team was going to have some success against MSU.

The Spartans bounced back quickly, though, and only allowed 118 yards the rest of the game and just one first down in the fourth quarter on its way to a 30-6 win.

"They came out in the first half and they were doing this we didn't really practice," linebacker Denicos Allen said. "Credit to our coaches making great adjustments in the second half and credit to our players actually executing and learning. I think that's what's good about our defense.

"We can make adjustments and learn like that."

Allen said the adjustments were minimal with coverages and how to respond to certain formations the Wildcats presented early.

The result was a fourth time in five games the Spartans haven't allowed a touchdown to an opponent.

Cornerback Darqueze Dennard, who had one of the Spartans' three interceptions in the second half, said the credit went to defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi and defensive backs coach Harlon Barnett.

"They do a great job giving us adjustments and finding out what they're doing and what did they do to beat us and finding out how to stop it," he said. "It was a great job by the coaching staff and us as players know what our coaches can do and we just gotta play like they say."

Safety Kurtis Drummond, who had the other two interceptions, also pointed to the coaches, but the attitude of players, too.

"The adjustments worked for us," he said. "Guys were just more relentless."

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