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October 01, 2009

Tread strongly

It sounds like freshman defensive tackle Blake Treadwell may lose the redshirt and gain some playing time Saturday. "He might be a little bit closer than he was last week," Pat Narduzzi said Thursday.

    "When it's time to play, it's time to play ... If he 's ready to play and he can help us, coach Dantonio and coach Treadwell feel good about it," Narduzzi continued. "What I like about him (is) he's sound, he's got a great motor and he'll be where you want him to be. And there's a lot to that. We can trust that he's gonna be in his gap, and again, he's got a great motor."

    Narduzzi also said the reserves on the interior (Ishmyl Johnson, Michael Jordan, Antonio Jeremiah) are "just not getting the job done." MSU went with a three-man rotation at Wisconsin (Oren Wilson, Jerel Worthy, Kevin Pickelman). All of them are playing well, but Pickelman is banged up.

      Also from Narduzzi:

    * He was asked whether he's getting any suggestions or complaints from fans on his defense.

    "I'll get an e-mail and I'll look and I'll read the first line and it says, 'Dear coach,' and I'll be like -- delete. Nobody has an idea what goes on in a football program. Everybody has their ideas of what you should do. And you've got to play fundamentals, you've got to play your base defense. You don't change your defense in the middle of the year, you play your defense and you do it the right way.

     "And that's always been our philosophy. I've run the same defense for 20 years, and if it's played properly, it's effective. And if you have one guy -- it only takes one guy -- and what you guys sometimes don't look at when you're watching the film, sometimes it's one guy but that's all it takes. Defense is reaction football and if you have one guy out of place, you're gonna have a problem. And it seems like there's one guy here and then the next play he does a great job and another guy messes up. And that's gonna cause you problems."

    * Johnny Adams may get into the CB rotation. Narduzzi said Marcus Hyde has playing through a back injury, and safety is still up in the air. Trenton Robinson will play some, he said, and Dan Fortener has had a "great week of practice." But he said Rod Jenrette had a good day at Wisconsin, so Jenrette/Hyde sounds like the most likely starting combo.

    As for Chris L. Rucker, Narduzzi said: "Rucker's probably our best corner. I'll say that until I'm blue in the face. And he is and I expect he'll play like that."

    MSU running backs coach Dan Enos also spoke with reporters. Enos and Harlon Barnett, both players here under George Perles, spoke to the team this week about the U-M rivalry. As for the RB position, it sounds like it's Winston/Caper moving forward.

    Winston was the best back last week, showing some of the vision and feel that I hadn't seen yet from him in games. Combine that with his explosion and he's a weapon. Someone asked Enos if he compares at all to Earl Campbell.

    "That's high praise, one of the best running backs ever," Enos said with a laugh. "He's got a lot of potential, I will say that. He's got a lot of potential."

    Don't forget, Caper was the best back at Notre Dame. Enos compared his mental grasp of the game to Javon Ringer.

    "He's been amazing," Enos said. "He's been of the charts (for) a true freshman."

    I don't know what Narduzzi's defense will get done against Michigan, but if that offensive line has a healthy Cironi-Foreman-Nitchman-Moss-Young look to it, I think MSU could have its best rushing day of the season on Saturday. That might be MSU's best defense.




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Joe Rexrode
MSU Sports Reporter

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