September 7, 2011

Barnett expects improved tackling against FAU

EAST LANSING - Harlon Barnett was not disappointed with the way his defensive backs played against Youngstown State during the first week of the season.

"I think they graded out fairly well for the first game," said the fifth-year Spartan defensive backs coach on Wednesday afternoon. "We've got some things that we need to improve on but the guys played hard and they ran around and tried to hit people. That is a good thing, hopefully we can take it to another level this weekend."

But Barnett would like to see his defensive backs tackle better against FAU.

"It is something that we work on constantly and that back wasn't a bad little back either," explained Barnett. "Although we had some scrimmages and things like that, we try and stay up and what we call thud, wrap guys up in practice. (Youngstown State) was live tackling and hopefully that will really improve this coming week."

Crisp tackling could help the Michigan State defense avoid the lengthy drives that kept them on the field offense for nearly 20 minutes in the first half against Youngstown State.

"When we get to third down we want to get off the field," said Barnett, "and we need to make the plays that we need to make to assure that. We had some drives that were a little bit longer at times. We have to work to correct that. We don't want to be on the field longer than necessary and a lot of the times last week it was our own fault. We have to be able to tackle better and make the plays we need to make."

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