Cox has been getting more and more looks at cornerback recently and has been solid. Michigan State seemed set with Darian Hicks, but Cox had been working at corner for about the past month now and has been playing it in the past couple games. He is important now as a player, but his importance will only increase more next season with the departure of Kurtis Drummond and the possible departure of Trae Waynes.
Kruse had a one-yard run, but that was hardly what made him key for MSU on Saturday. The starting right guard made the move to left guard after the first drive when Travis Jackson went out with an injury. The offensive line never missed a beat as they paved the way for more than 200 yards rushing and kept Connor Cook protected.
Bullough recorded his first career interception when he made a diving catch off a deflected pass by R.J. Williamson. He almost recorded a second one later in the game when he jumped a route near the sideline, but got there a half-step late and instead just broke up the pass. Bullough has been playing well the past two games for the Spartans and also worked as the No. 2 MIKE linebacker later in the game – a sign that he could be in the mix there next year as he and Jon Reschke look to start.
Shelton had three catches for 39 yards and a touchdown. His key two came on the final touchdown drive late in the second quarter. He took a quick wide receiver screen 16 yards down the seven before catching his second touchdown reception of the season two plays later.
Hicks had solid coverage on a pair of plays against Rutgers, but is the fact he did not start that says a lot. Not only did he not start, but Tony Lippett was slated to get the start for MSU. Demetrious Cox ultimately started and played plenty. MSU coaches remain confident in Hicks, but he played less of a role Saturday and that sounds like it could continue next week against Penn State.
While Jeremy Langford and Nick Hill had big senior days, Williams could not get much going. His final line was six carries for just one yard. Williams has been a reliable back and has gained big chunks of yards in most of his action this year. Rutgers had him bottled up well.