MSU, Langford to face stiff run defense

Penn State brings in nation's top-ranked run defense to Saturday's game, having allowed just one player to break the 100-yard mark this season

Just once in 16 games against Big Ten opponents has Michigan State running back Jeremy Langford been held to less than 100 yards rushing.

His run of consecutive games with more than 100 now stands at 15, but Saturday might be the toughest test to date to continue that streak.

Just one player – Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott – has posted more than 100 yards in a game this season and only four teams have done so as Penn State has assembled the nation’s top-ranked run defense.

“I’m not really worried about the streak,” Langford said. “I’m just more worried about playing the No. 1 rushing defense.”

The Nittany Lions come in allowing just 81.7 yards rushing per game and 2.53 yards per attempt in James Franklin’s first year at the helm. The Spartans will come in averaging 245.5 yards per game – good for No. 20 in the nation.

Sophomore running back Delton Williams, a native of Pennsylvania, said the Spartans still are going to focus on running the ball and will try to play their game.

“We do what we do on our side of the ball so we just gotta compete,” Williams said. “We heard that they are a good defense and they play good football. The rank No. 1 or No. 2 in a lot of areas, but we aren’t going to let that get to us.

”We are just going to take it forward and play against them like we play against anyone else. It’s just another game and we are just trying to achieve our goals.”

Williams said the key to the success of the Penn State front seven is in their knowledge and execution.

”They know what they are doing up front and then they play downhill,” he said.

Langford said it a credit to how the group plays together.

“They flow to the ball good as a team,” he said. “I watched some film and they do. They are a great team tackling.”

But for Langford, he has the chance to close out his Big Ten career with another 100-yard game – even if he is not focused on that.

I’m more excited about playing the No. 1 defense and excited for the offensive line to show the nation what we can do,” he said.


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