The Other Side: Scouting Michigan State

Spartan Digest publisher Mike Wilson stops by Scarlet Report with a scouting report on the 10th-ranking Michigan State Spartans. In our weekly five questions segment, we address impact players Jeremy Langford and Shilique Calhoun as well as the recent Michigan State loss to Ohio State.

1. Would you say Michigan State has successfully moved on from the Ohio State game? Did anything different happen defensively in that loss?

Mike Wilson -- I do think Michigan State has moved on, but I do think there also was a bit of a hangover last week against Maryland. Reality for the Spartans is their goal was the College Football Playoff and that loss took that goal off the table. What happened against Ohio State really game down to the Buckeyes just out-executing MSU -- something that has not happened often. Whether that came in J.T. Barrett begin on the money the entire game or the blocking of the offensive line, MSU's defense could not catch up. I think the difference was OSU got MSU out of its gaps and the Buckeyes hit big plays a lot.

2. What kind of back is Jeremy Langford? Do you find he gets overlooked because of some of the other big-time running backs in the Big Ten?

MW -- Langford is a pretty balanced back that does a lot of good things for MSU. He has good speed and does a good job following his blocks. He has been nothing short of consistent for MSU in his career. He now has 14 straight Big Ten games with more than 100 yards rushing, something that is overlooked to an extent because of guys like Tevin Coleman, Ameer Abdullah and Melvin Gordon. MSU doesn't mind that though as he has been key to their success for the past two seasons.

3. What is the perception on Rutgers among fans? Do people remember or care about Rutgers beating Michigan State the last time they played?

MW -- That game has been talked about among media a little bit this week, but I don't think many are thinking back to it much. It was a while ago and things are much different now with both teams in the Big Ten, which brings a more consistent presence to the matchup than was there in that home-and-home series.

4. Shilique Calhoun became a rock star after he picked Michigan State over Rutgers. What has he done well to get where he is now? Speaking of New Jersey, how is Gerald Owens doing?

MW -- I think Michigan State saw a freak athlete when they brought in Calhoun, but since he arrived he has bulked up and become much more of a crazy specimen in that. He also really has focused in on being a good player, but had natural talents and natural leadership on his side. Owens is redshirting this season, but is working at running back after he had an injury early in preseason camp.”

5. What are your keys to a Michigan State victory? Is there anything specific about Rutgers that should concern the Spartans from what you've heard from coaches and players?

MW -- I think the key for Michigan State is just being sound and playing smart, mistake-free football. But another key for MSU is to not start slow s they did last week against Maryland. As I alluded to earlier, I think the Spartans had a bit of a hangover from their loss to OSU, but came out well in the second half. They need to carry that performance over. The concern to me with Rutgers would be the fact that they have some solid weapons on the outside and MSU has been giving up some yards over the idle through the air, but secondly, MSU has not been strong on special teams this season. Rutgers seems to be solid in those areas.


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