EAST LANSING — Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio might add another chapter in his history of solid defenses if the first two weeks of the season have shown the true Spartan defense.
The Michigan State defense has only surrendered 19 total points through their first two victories over Western Michigan and South Florida, and they’ve scored four of the Spartans six touchdowns on the season. Currently, the defense ranks third in the nation in total defense, tied for fourth in sacks (8), and tied for 10th in interceptions (4).
Dantonio, the defensive coordinator for Ohio State when they won the BCS National Championship in 2002, loves what he is seeing from his defense thus far, so much so that he believes this group could be one of the best he’s ever coached.
“Well I think…You have to look at things at the end of the year and not at the beginning, but on the onset, you would certainly say that it’s right up there with the top one,” Dantonio said about where his this defense ranks during his time as a collegiate coach. “Which would be the 2002 (Ohio State) and probably the 2011 football team here, I would say. Just because of the turnovers and the scores and things of that nature. Not just statistically. Last year we had great statistics.”
While the players are the one’s performing on the field, it’s the defense as a collective — coaches and players — that has allowed the defense to garner this much success and swagger through this point in the season.
“I think the thing that we see here defensively is that we have a system in place, our players understand the system, we have a staff in place that understands how to correct the system if it breaks down, and it can be fixed game-time,” Dantonio said. “It’s so much easier to play this game when you have confidence, and our confidence is at a very high level. I think we see that. “