It’s no shock that the Michigan State football defense has to improve in order for this team to win more games.
While injuries played a big part of that, looking at the stats, there’s a few areas where if they only get marginally better, it could translate to a successful season in the eyes of Spartan fans.
3. Top four in sacks
I mentioned before that 41 percent of the Spartans’ sacks came in the first two games of the season. When they don’t get to the quarterback, they lose. Three games with zero sacks, two games with one.
Other than quarterback, edge rusher may be the most important position on the field. Whether it’s actually tackling the quarterback with the ball in his hand in the backfield or even just putting pressure on him, the entire passing offense can be disrupted with a good pass rush.
I did some extensive research and I found that MSU’s passing defense stunk the last two years and a lot of that is on the defensive backs and coaches, but giving opposing quarterbacks too much time with no pressure from the edge rushers aren’t helping them in the slightest. Even getting the quarterback to take a few steps right or left can leave a throw off balanced and next thing you know, it’s under thrown and it’s an incomplete or, god forbid, an interception.
For people who have had to watch the Spartans last year, an interception is when a defensive player catches the throw from the quarterback. The Spartans had two all season. That’s good for dead last in all of college football. Second-to-last was Central Michigan which had four all season.
Pressure the quarterback and this team will win games and with the addition of Tunmise Adeleye and newcomers Bai Jobe and Andrew Depaepe, I expect a much better output from the defensive end position.