Michigan State vs Oregon: Grading the Spartans

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Sep 12, 2015; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans linebacker Riley Bullough (30) and safety Rj Williamson (26) defend Oregon Ducks wide receiver Byron Marshall (9) during the fourth quarter at Spartan Stadium. Spartans beat the Ducks 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Secondary/Linebackers: B-

Michigan State’s secondary needed some work after a week one win over Western Michigan in which it allowed over 350 passing yards to Zach Terrell who connected with Corey Davis basically whenever he wanted.

Related: MSU vs. Oregon: Best College GameDay signs

Against Oregon, the secondary wasn’t quite as porous, but some guys really struggled to stay in front of the receivers and the open-field tackling was horrendous.

I was impressed, once again, with the play of redshirt freshman corner Vayante Copeland who really stepped his game up for the second straight week. When you don’t hear a cornerbacks name often, it’s usually a good thing.

Montae Nicholson had an amazing interception in the first half in which he took the ball right from the receiver’s hands like a grown up stealing candy from a baby. Darian Hicks looked better while Arjen Colquhoun, in my opinion, struggled a bit.

The linebackers were also lacking in the open-field tackling department as many times it looked like the Ducks had oil on their jerseys seeing as the Spartans slipped right out of tackles left and right.

Darien Harris showed his speed on multiple occasions, but his tackling was suspect at times. Jon Reschke looked solid once again, finishing with 11 tackles. Chris Frey made some huge plays late in the game, recording four total tackles and a sack. Lastly, Riley Bullough was a star, recording 14 tackles and being named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.

Need to work on tackling as a whole, however.

Next: Special teams