“We still gave up 14 points, which I thought was way too much as well as everybody else on the defense,” he said.
The Spartans held the Eagles to just one yard in the first half with minus-14 rushing yards on nine attempts. It was much more characteristic of the defensive play that Michigan State has come to expect under Pat Narduzzi after allowing 47 points at Oregon.
”This ball club, those coaches have been six, four, two in the nation the previous three years,” Williamson said. ”I think we took it upon ourselves to step back and say this is not the Spartan way to play defense, so let’s go out (Saturday) and take care of business.”
Junior defensive end Shilique Calhoun said it was important that Michigan State come out and assert themselves defensively after not playing their best football at Oregon.
”It was only right that we came out and played as vicious and we usually do and definitely get back on our step getting to the nasty defense that we play,” he said. “That’s our legacy. People swarming, swarming green, nasty pursuit to the ball so we have to keep that going.”
With a bye week to wait through before getting back on the field, it left the Spartans antsy to get back on the field and make plays. Calhoun and Williamson said the week off had everyone ready to play another game and clear their palates come meeting Eastern Michigan.
“I think a lot of guys were flying around this week,” Williamson said. “When you’re practicing hard like that, it carries over to the game. When you’re putting money in the bank, you can take stuff out. When you’re not putting in anything, things don’t work your way and you have to work hard at all times no matter who it is and who is watching.
”You can’t just turn the lights on the big stage at game time. It’s behind closed doors with what really matters and I think we took care of business in practice this week.”
Eastern Michigan finished with 135 total yards with just 20 coming on the ground on 19 attempts. While it was a good bounceback performance for the Spartans, they indeed on keeping an edge to their game and setting out to prove their loss to Oregon was an aberration.
“I think we will keep that chip on our shoulder,” Williamson said. “We’ve gotta play like that.”