Saturday night Michigan State will find itself in a hostile environment as they head to Piscataway, New Jersey to take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights who are being coached by interim head coach Norries Wilson.
Wilson expects the Scarlet Knights fan base to bring an extra dimension to the game.
“We’re very excited about getting the opportunity to play Michigan State here at our place on Saturday night,” said Wilson. Their 5-0 and ranked in the Top Five of the country. We’re going to have a blackout for the game. We have one a year and this year it just happens to be Michigan State this Saturday night. The last night game we had was exciting and since I’ve been here the last four years, it’s been an exciting atmosphere as our students come out and our fans come out and support the team and give us great energy.”
Wilson knows the Spartans may be sputtering on offense. But he knows the Spartans are still a defensive minded football program.
“They are sound offensively and defensively and do some good things in the kicking game,” he said. “We know we’re going to have some tests to stop their running game and get the ball moving against their defense.
“They’ve got two really good tailbacks. Both of them have great size. Marde London and L.J. Scott are interchangeable. They can get after you. The quarterback is good, their offensive line is physical and No. 12, R.J. Shelton, they run in on speed sweeps and he’s a legitimate threat down the field.
“The quarterback will stand in there and take a hit in the face. Connor Cook can fit the ball into tight spaces. Coach (Dave) Warner does a good job and it looks like they try to give you something new every week as they give you tackle over, all of a sudden their running read zone with Connor Cook and he’s not scared to run it. Their their running power and counter. So it’s a lot of things to prepare for once they put them on film for a defense.”
GETTING TO KNOW NORRIES WILSON
This will not be the first time Wilson coached against a Mark Dantonio team. In 2005 Wilson was the offensive coordinator for Connecticut and went against Dantonio’s 2005 Cincinnati squad in the Bearcats first season in the Big East Conference. Cincinnati defeated UConn 28-17 at home.
Wilson was a two-sport letterwinner at Minnesota as he qualified for the NCAA Championships as a heavyweight wrestler for the Golden Gophers and was a two-year starter along the defensive line in football.
Wilson was the head coach at Columbia University from 2006-2011 where he finished with an overall record of 17-43. The Michigan State game is the last of three games Wilson is expected to be the Scarlet Knights head coach as head coach Kyle Flood is scheduled to return finishing his three game suspension. The Scarlet Knights are 1-1 under Wilson.