October 8, 2013

Strength vs. Strength

EAST LANSING - The 500th game played in Spartan Stadium will pit the nation's top-ranked defense against the Big Ten's top-ranked offense.

Indiana's tempo-based attack is averaging 535 yards and 44.4 points per game.

"I think what ends up happening is the rapid play calling and the execution by Indiana creates a situation where as a defensive football team you just can't sustain," said Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio. "So we need to work at that. So it's much like preparing for an option team. You work on the option, you work on responsibilities relative to the option. In this case I think you work on as best you can simulating that rapid situation."

Indiana travels to Michigan State fresh off a 44-24 victory over Penn State in Bloomington.

"Indiana is an improved football team, much improved from when they came here in the past, and offensively rapid fire, 11 seconds, 12 seconds, he'll snap the ball, obviously they'll have some times where they won't, they'll hang in there," said Dantonio. "But high scoring offense, do a lot of things very, very well, and then when you look at them defensively, an improved defense, playing some young players."

The Spartans faced a serious scare at Indiana a year ago. Michigan State trailed 17-0 after one quarter, before rallying for a 31-27 win.

"In that first quarter, because we watch it over and over right now, you just felt like that we were poorly coached, poorly executing, all of that was very evident," said Dantonio. "You know, we adjusted, which I think, again, it's an adjustment process out here, and you're going to see some of that probably this weekend. That's the challenge for us."

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