Thursday, September 14, 2006

Big plays are a big deal

It's hard to argue that Michigan State's Achilles heel over the past few seasons has been its defense - especially the secondary.

While it looks like the secondary is much improved this season with safeties Otis Wiley and Nehemiah Warrick leading the way with 20 and 15 tackles respectively. (Of course it is not a good thing to have your safeties leading the team in tackles, but we'll discuss that another day.)

As the Spartans head into Pittsburgh this weekend to battle the Panthers, the secondary will need to be on high alert.

In their two wins this season, Pitt has had scoring plays of 78-, 80- and 72-yards to their big receivers Derek Kinder (left) and Oderick Turner.

Behind quarterback Tyler Palko, the Panthers have thrown for an average of 275 yards per game so far this year, which is two more yards per game than MSU. MSU however, runs a more balanced attack by also running for 200+ yards per game compared to Pitt's 98.

For MSU to be successful on Saturday, Palko will have to be pressured and the secondary will have to come ready to play.

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