September 30, 2010
Jones believes MSU D can match brawn of Wisc.
EAST LANSING - Within an hour of their win over Northern Colorado last Saturday Michigan State players and coaches began to field questions on whether they where physical enough to measure up to a team like Wisconsin.
Those questions continued during Mark Dantonio's weekly press conference Tuesday and post-practice player interviews.
"They have always been big and powerful up front, there is no doubt about that." said Dantonio. "Where we are at, I guess we are going to find out on Saturday. I do think that as you look at us as a football team, we are a very strong football team physically when you look at the weights and different things. We can play a lot of people on the defensive front.
"I think when you look at them you are really look at them on the offensive side of the ball at this point. They have good players on defense, but their offensive side of the ball is big, powerful. John Clay is very good player, big, powerful. They run downhill. Paul Cryst, their offensive coordinator, does an outstanding job of getting players to the point of attack. And he always does it in a little bit different way each year. There will be some challenging adjustments. Where we are at, that is why we play the game."
Jones has a lot of respect for the Wisconsin offense. But the four-year starter takes exception when it is assumed that the Badgers are more physical on offense than the Spartans are on defense.
"I wouldn't say that they are more physical than us," Jones said. "They might be bigger, but I wouldn't say more physical. You have to be mentally ready in every game, if you are not, obviously you are going to lose. I wouldn't say they are more physical. I think them being bigger provides different challenges than we have seen early on this season, but I think we will be just as physical as they will be coming into this game. I don't think they will be more physical than us."
Jones is eager for his defense to prove that they can match the brawn of Wisconsin. The defending Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year relishes the opportunity to play against a powerful opponent with so much on the line for both teams.
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