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September 10, 2011

Putting FAU in perspective

MSU's one first down allowed against FAU tied the school record, set against Maryland in 1944. The 48 yards of offense allowed is the sixth-lowest total in school history and lowest since the Spartans gave up six yards to Michigan in 1951. No. 5 on the list was a 46-yard output from Iowa State in 1946. So we're going back to World War II.  But last week's caution -- don't overreact! -- works this week as well.

       Florida Atlantic's offense was, in a word, brutal. That said, it's still hard for any defense in the game today to shut down any offense like that.

    "To do that in 2011, (when) you have so many different concepts out there that an offense takes advantage of, is pretty incredible," Mark Dantonio said.

    MSU's defense had a bit more success against FAU than Florida did a week ago. So how about it, Florida Atlantic?

    "I don't know if Florida or Michigan State is better, but they've both improved and are very good," Howard Schnellenberger said.

    "I would say Florida's defense has more speed," FAU quarterback Graham Wilbert said, "but Michigan State to me is just more solid and fundamentally sound. They're not gonna beat themselves."

    It started today with the defensive line, which abused a bad FAU offensive line (without Tyler Hoover, who should be back soon according to Pat Narduzzi, but is uncertain for next week). Everyone played well and the Owls never had a chance.

    That's the kind of push MSU needs from White, Worthy and Pickelman, with everyone else making plays off that. This defense looked great. It could be pretty good. How good? Luckily, we only have to wait another week to find out.

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Joe Rexrode
MSU Sports Reporter
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