The MSU players blamed their poor defensive effort on a number of factors, not the least of which was being too much emphasis on one football game.
"We just started focusing on the game too much," related SirDarean Adams. "We just forgot the basic things like alignment and assignment. We just basically lost that because it was a big game - that was my first big game, against Michigan, I was a little bit jittery," he admitted.
Adams said he feels that State will come out with a better effort against Ohio State because of the lessons learned against UM.
"I know we're going to be well prepared for this team. We're not going to do like we did against Michigan. We had a great week of practice but it seemed like Thursday (two days prior to the game), defensively, we lost it mentally. We're going to stay focused and just do our job and that's basically it."
Senior Brandon McKinney said MSU has to do one thing well. "I think the key is stopping the run and letting everything else take care of itself."
Adams was more pointed.
"Stop Troy Smith. Try to contain Troy Smith because he's an awesome athlete. He can throw the ball and run the ball. If you let him get in the open, he'll make you pay."
Adams said his experience playing high school quarterback in Bradenton, FL., taught him first hand how a mobile quarterback can really hurt a football team.
"It's a big problem," Adams said of facing a mobile quarterback.
"I played quarterback in high school so I kind of know what it means to be mobile back there. He can throw the ball, he has great weapons at receiver [and] a nice backfield. We have to contain him, do our job to contain him and everything will fall into place."
Surprisingly, Adams believes MSU matches up well with Ohio State in the speed department.
"We have speedsters [too]. They have Teddy Ginn, probably one of the fastest guys in college football today, Santonio Holmes, Troy Smith, their quarterback, [Antonio] Pittman at running back, they have a lot of team speed but we have a lot of team speed too. It's going to come down to who wants it the most and who comes to play football."