2. Defensive Tackles
Much like the defensive end room, there is a lot of sack production coming back from the defensive tackle group.
Leading the way is redshirt junior Simeon Barrow Jr. who tallied four sacks last season. Other key contributors looking to have big seasons are Maverick Hansen, who led all defensive tackles with 41 tackles, redshirt sophomore Derrick Harmon (two sacks), and newcomers Jarrett Jackson coming from Florida State (6-foot-6, 300 pounds) and Dre Butler coming from Liberty (6-foot-5, 300 pounds).
Tackling the quarterback is great, but this group needs to get better at stopping the run.
We all know MSU’s shortcomings at stopping the pass, but the run defense isn’t much better, giving up a whopping 178.6 yards per game, good for third-to-last in the Big Ten. I’m sure a lot of that had to do with Jacob Slade being out (0-4 when Slade was out with an injury), but he is by no means a first-round pick that had that much influence on the game.
On paper, this group should be good enough to be the best position group on the field, but the game isn’t played on paper.