October 14, 2008

'Our window is open as wide as we want it to be'

EAST LANSING - Michigan State's defense has the dual task of limiting the rushing yards of star tailback Chris Wells and containing the big-play potential of Terrelle Pryor Saturday afternoon when No. 11 Ohio State visits Spartan Stadium in a clash Top 25 unbeaten through the first three weeks of Big Ten play.

It will take a strong effort from Michigan State's entire defense to upset the pre-season favorite to win the Big Ten. But much of the Spartans' success on defense or lack thereof will be determined by the ability of the Spartan defensive line to win one-on-one battles and to play stoutly at the point of attack.

Ohio State's offensive line ranks last in the Big Ten in sacks-allowed, a stat that would seem favorable to Michigan State. But Spartan defensive linemen had nothing but praise for an Ohio State offensive line that features a true freshman at center.

"A true freshman starting at Ohio State means he is better than a normal freshman," explained junior defensive end Trevor Anderson. "Bryant Browning is a sophomore out of Glenville High School and Alex Boone is the premier left tackle in the Big Ten conference. Steve Rehring.
"Hey, it says something when you know the name of two of three of them."

To win the line of scrimmage, the Spartans will need to have strong performances from all four of their starters on the defensive line. The performance of Ohioans Brandon Long and Justin Kershaw could play a significant role in whether Michigan State's front four succeed against a talented yet inconsistent Buckeye offensive line.

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