These nuggets are courtesy of the Detroit Free Press’ Michael Rosenberg:
“Their record does not show the type of talent and the type of players they have on that team at all — AT ALL,” (Michigan State running back Javon) Ringer said.
That sounds like something you would read on an Iowa message board. But Ringer meant it as a compliment.
“They play hard the entire game,” he said. “They hit, they gang-tackle. Iowa’s defense is amazing.”And … Coach Mark Dantonio called his team’s 16-13 victory over Iowa on Saturday “a program win,” possibly because he needed the whole program to get it. Center Joel Nitchman turned to quarterback Brian Hoyer afterward and said it was the most physical game of his career. Star running back Javon Ringer called it a “head-banger.”
It was all of that, and to the Spartans’ credit, they survived. Sometime soon, some Big Ten team will outplay Michigan State. Somebody will have more talent, and somebody will exploit the Spartans’ run defense even more than Iowa did on Saturday. But nobody is going to beat Michigan State on toughness, and the Spartans are not going to continually beat themselves. Not anymore.
The link to Rosenberg’s column: http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081004/COL22/81004048/1048/sports
This was written by Eric Lacy of the Detroit News in a notes package:
There might not be a better defensive tandem in the Big Ten than Iowa Es Matt Kroul and Mitch King. Kroul exceeded the 200 career tackle mark last week, while King sits at 193. They lead a group that is sixth nationally in red-zone defense (54.5 percent). If RB Javon Ringer has any hope to contend for the Heisman Trophy, he’ll have to be the best against the best.