In Defeat, Spartans Find Offensive Line

If you're looking for a silver lining in what turn out to be a crushing defeat for Michigan State on the road at Notre Dame, take a look at the Spartans offensive line. The Spartans revamped offensive front sprung freshman Larry Caper for 51 yards on 12 carries and two TDs.

If you're looking for a silver lining in what turn out to be a crushing defeat for Michigan State on the road at Notre Dame, take a look at the Spartans offensive line.

Redshirt freshman Ethan Ruhland moved into the center position and teamed with guard Brendan Moss and walk-on D.J. Young to not only solidify the right side but give them a go to side in the run game.

Tackle Rocco Cironi "I think we came out there and both offensive line and running backs played extremely hard. The running backs were hitting their holes and we were making them and you couldn't have asked for a better running day from our offense."

That gave MSU a look of Cironi (LT), Stipek (LG) Ruhland, Moss and Young. The unit seemed to mesh and gel quickly and MSU was able to run the ball effectively, noted MSU head coach Mark Dantonio.

"I thought Caper ran the ball very well. He had 12 carries for 51 yards as I look at the stats. He hit it hard, he slid off, two touchdowns," said Dantonio.

"I think the (offensive) line and the running game really clicked today. I would have loved to give them the ball more and let them run the ball right down the field. We're going to have to be ready, we don't have a choice. We've got to be ready to go now," said quarterback Kirk Cousins.

The new offensive line and the running attack that it yields will be welcome when the Spartans travel to Madison to take on the Badgers this Saturday.

While Wisconsin is 3-0, they've defeated a less than stellar group of opponents including Northern Illinois, Fresno State and Wofford (both 1-2).

The Badgers also ranks 9th of 11 Big Ten teams in run defense and 93rd in the nation giving up an average of 171.3 yards per game.


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