Monday Rutgers Report: Scarlet Knights Shift Focus to Michigan State

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Norries Wilson coaches his final game as interim head coach on Saturday against Michigan State. The associate head coach and running backs coach broke down the game and preparation for the tough Michigan State game.

The Headline – The aggressive Michigan State defense got the better of Rutgers in last year’s contest, and remains a conversation point as the third-ranked Spartans visit Piscataway this weekend.

“I see guys that come up and try to strip the ball, guys not scared to stick their nose in the box and tackle,” said Norries Wilson, who coaches his final game as interim coach Saturday against Michigan State. “They're not scared to press and play one-on-one, and you have to be confident as a coordinator to allow your defensive backs to press and play one-on-one. They've got athletic kids and our kids on the edges are going to be challenged and we expect our kids to step up and meet the challenge.”

Middletown (N.J.) North’s Shilique Calhoun remains one of the Spartans’ impact players while the Michigan State defense remains strong after last year’s coordinator, Pat Narduzzi, took the head job at Pittsburgh.

“What's it about him? He's sudden, and when I say sudden, he's got a good get-off,” Wilson said. “He's long. He can keep the offensive linemen off of him. He uses his hands well, he can get his hips away. He's got speed and he can turn the corner fast.”

Worth Noting  -- Walk-on Brian Verbitski climbed into the two-deep this week following an upper-body injury to true freshman Jarius Adams at cornerback.

Quote of the Day – “There's nothing like a good high school football game or going to see a football practice. I saw a couple kids practicing. I just marveled at some of the drills that I thought didn't exist anymore that are still out.” – Norries Wilson on bye week recruiting.

Around the Big Ten – Michigan State recently saw starting quarterback Connor Cook become the school’s all-time wins leader. For more on the story, click here.


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