Jones "solid" in debut in the middle

Michigan State senior linebacker felt no pressure and felt comfortable running the defense for the first time.

Life without Max Bullough began for Michigan State on Friday night and everything went smoothly with Taiwan Jones running the show.

”You know what, I think he showed pretty solid,” Narduzzi said. “I will see the tape, but I guess I would give him a B right now. Maybe he gets an A when I watch the tape, maybe he gets a C, but it wasn’t a D.”

The senior linebacker moved inside this spring after playing his first three years at the STAR spot. With the most starts (17) and experience of the linebacker corps, the move was important for the Spartans defense and he said it went well.

”I felt no pressure,” he said. “I felt pretty comfortable and I think that comes from me studying that all summer and me having all fall camp with the defense.”

While his stat line was slight with just two tackles – a half-tackle for loss – the impact he had on the defense was apparent. He was running around, being vocal and commanding the defense.

“He did a great job,” sophomore linebacker Riley Bullough said. “Most importantly, he led the defense really well. Schematically he did what we wanted to do coming in, making the checks.”

His work was equally appreciate by the players in front of him on the defensive line.

”Taiwan got us lined up,” defensive end Shilique Calhoun said. “He was prepared and he made a lot of big plays also. It showed it stepped up into that leadership role.”

All in all, Jones said he felt comfortable and feels like he is ready to not only run the show for the defense, but lead it as well.

”If we have a bad play or if we face adversity, I feel like I can get everybody calmed down,” he said.

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