Central Michigan vs Michigan State: 5 players who need to step up

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Nov 29, 2014; University Park, PA, USA; Michigan State Spartans linebacker Shane Jones (49) and defensive end Shilique Calhoun (89) react following the completion of the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium. Michigan State defeated Penn State 34-10. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O

4. Shane Jones

Kind of odd to put a player that will be making his first start and it will only be for a half in the “step up” slide show. However, Central Michigan does possess a potent offense and it will be the responsibility of Jones to make sure the Michigan State defense is in the right position to make plays.

Must Read: Air Force vs Michigan State: 5 takeaways from the Spartans’ win

The sophomore is being handed the keys to the defense and although it’s only for the first half, he has large shoes to fill in suspended Mike linebacker Riley Bullough who has recorded 39 tackles and 3.0 sacks this season as a junior.

Bullough has been a terror on the field making plays everywhere but he has also been a general on the field, putting each Spartan defender in the best place to be successful, this now lies on Jones’ shoulders.

Jones’ career high in tackles occurred in last week’s game against Air Force, that number will change by the end of the first quarter. He needs to insert himself early and gain the trust of his teammates so the Spartans can ensure that the Chippewas do not gain any early confidence of their own and attempt to make this a game.

Next: 3. Arjen Colquhoun