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ORLANDO, FL - Michigan State offensive game plan for Friday's Champs Sports Bowl includes accounting for Boston College safety James Silva. The Spartans, one of the nation's top rushing teams, will face in Boston College, the nation's top defensive team against the run.
The Spartans don't intend to yield to the #1 Eagles run defense and know what Silva brings to the table. Silva is one of the nation's top tacklers with 115 tackles (75 solo) from his strong safety position.
"I think they're a very well coached defense," said head coach Mark Dantonio. "They have a lot of different looks. They pressure the quarterback as well. They're very, very disciplined. They have a big play guy at safety in (James) Silva who gets down and makes a ton of tackles. They also have good linebackers. They're a good football team."
Dantonio has noticed during film study that part of BC's success against the run is due to walking an extra man into the box in what they perceive as a run formation.
"They're going to use Silva various ways down in the box. They bring him down in that front seven a lot. He also does a great job in terms of reading things in run-pass (situations)."
Don't expect the Spartans to deviate any from what they do because of Boston College.
"We're going to do our normal (game plan)," insisted Dantonio.
"We're going to be balanced. I think we've had great balance this year. We rushed for about 2,500 yards (2,404), we've passed for about 2,700 yards (2,711), we have 19 touchdown passes and we have about 30 rushing touchdowns (29), so we've maintained balance and that's what we need to do."
"We need to run the football and throw it. Even if we get off track a little bit in the first half, or second half, or one quarter or the other, we always need to return to what's got us here, and that's been being balanced. We want guys to know that if they come to Michigan State, they're going to have an opportunity to catch the ball, throw the ball and run the ball."