Michigan State Football: 3 realistic goals for Mel Tucker’s first season

Elijah Collins, Michigan State football (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
Elijah Collins, Michigan State football (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /
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Michigan State football
Shakur Brown and Xavier Henderson, Michigan State football (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

2. Top 40 defense

You know how I said that we should expect MSU’s offense to improve with coaching changes? Yeah, unfortunately, it’ll probably be the exact opposite situation on defense.

Say what you want about Mark Dantonio, but he knew how to put together a defensive staff and it showed. There hasn’t been been a single year with an ineffective unit since Dantonio was around, but that might just change in the coming seasons.

I’m confident that Scottie Hazelton will do a respectable job taking over this defensive unit, but in year one with a depleted roster, he might struggle out of the gate. Some staples from this team the past few seasons that are gone include Joe Bachie, Kenny Willekes, Josiah Scott, David Dowell and Mike Panasiuk.

The Spartans will have Harlon Barnett back after a short absence to coach defensive backs, so we might even see a slight bump in the secondary, but expect this unit takes a step back from 2019.

There are plenty of players on this squad who have been waiting for their chance to shine, so the defense should play with energy. Plus the offense will help get the defense off of the field a little more than hit has in past seasons. The goal for this unit should be to have a top-40 defense.