Boise State vs. Michigan State: Spartan Defense Proves to Be Champion Caliber

Shawn Brubaker@@63brubakerContributor IISeptember 1, 2012

EAST LANSING, MI - AUGUST 31: D.J. Harper #7 of the Boise State Broncos is tackled during a third quarter run by Max Bullough #40, Johnny Adams #5, Denicos Allen #28 and William Gholston #2 of the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium on August, 2010 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The main stories from last night's big win for Michigan State will mainly be the emergence of Le'Veon Bell as a premier back and Boise State's offensive struggles. Make no mistake, though, the Michigan State defense is just as worthy of headlines.

Boise State's offense will undoubtedly get back on track eventually, which will prove just how dynamic this Spartan defense really is.

Seemingly every play the Broncos ran was completely blown up by the Spartan defense. Case in point: The Broncos ran an attempted wide receiver pass, but BSU receiver Kirby Moore never had time to even look downfield. Moore was simply washed away in a sea of green, managing to get off an incomplete pass.

Though the Spartans didn't record a single sack, they were constantly in BSU quarterback Joe Southwick's face, keeping him from ever getting comfortable in the pocket.

The real key to the night for this defense, though, was its ability to completely shut down the BSU running game. The Broncos were forced to pass on nearly every down by virtue of their inability to run the football at all. Top running back D.J. Harper was held to a mere eight yards on 15 carries, and the team as a whole was held to just 37 yards on 24 carries.

While Le'Veon Bell made the defense's job easier, the offense's four turnovers occasionally made things difficult for the Spartan defense. But even when turnovers gave the Broncos the ball in Spartan territory, the defense held firm, holding the Broncos to field goals every time. In fact, the only Boise State touchdown came off an interception return.

As Boise State's offense develops and the Spartans continue to shut down top-tier teams, people will realize just how good this defense really is.

With talent at every level, this Spartans defense is special. It may just be special enough to carry the team to a Big Ten championship.

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