Michigan State's defensive backs have been referring to themselves as the "No Fly Zone" since the season started and have backed it up to the tune of the top-ranked pass efficiency defense in the nation.
That didn't impress Ohio State wide receiver Corey Brown heading into Saturday's Big Ten title game, however, as the Buckeye took to Twitter to say "No fly what? We fly whenever we please" earlier in the week.
The Spartans made sure to have the last laugh on the field in Indianapolis, holding Ohio State to just 101 yards through the air as Braxton Miller was 8 of 21 passing.
"We had a great game and the guys came in and took the challenge of what Philly Brown, we saw it and we took the challenge to play well," senior cornerback Darqueze Dennard said.
Safety Kurtis Drummond said seeing the comments made the game personal to the Spartans' secondary.
"We started calling ourselves the No Fly Zone at the beginning of the year and for a player to mimic that and think that they can fly wherever, we just took it upon ourselves and our group to not let that happen," Drummond said. "For us to be able to all go out there and prove it, we really are the No Fly Zone means a lot."
Drummond and Dennard teamed up to provide the Spartans' defense with a boost in the third quarter with two pass breakups as the Buckeyes looked to put the game out of reach.
Drummond deflected and almost intercepted a pass in the end zone to Brown and said it was just being in the right place.
"Upfield shoulders is what Coach D always talks about," he said. "I put that on myself that I need to finish that play. Guys were saying it was a good PBU, but I expect more out of myself to catch that next time."
Dennard followed up two plays later batting a pass away from OSU wide receiver Devin Smith in the end zone to force an Ohio State punt.
"I think it was a very big play," he said. "It was a third-down stop and we made them punt. It was a great stop for us. They were rolling with momentum and that stop did a great job."
The Spartans had four pass breakups, with Dennard having two and senior safety Isaiah Lewis adding the fourth.