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Mistakes overshadow strong game from defense

October 17, 2005

Columbus, Ohio — Despite allowing 28 points, MSU head coach John L. Smith said a good defensive performance was wasted in the Spartans' 35-24 loss to Ohio State on Saturday.

The Spartans forced six fumbles, recovering four of them. But they also allowed touchdown strikes of 51, 57 and 46 yards.

"That's the thing that's a shame there — our defense played well at times, but we were yo-yoing," Smith said.

Missed tackles by sophomore linebacker Kaleb Thornhill and senior cornerback Jaren Hayes led to two of the touchdowns. Junior cornerback Demond Williams had the coverage on two of the scores.

Smith took the heat on himself for the first touchdown.

"We were actually going to bring pressure and one guy didn't come and the other guy goofed up the coverage so it was a blunder on our part and again, that comes back to us as coaches," Smith said.

Making good?

Junior punter Brandon Fields made good on the game plan to keep the ball out of the hands of Ohio State's Ted Ginn Jr.

Ginn touched the ball just once on a punt return, which he fumbled. It was recovered by MSU.

Fields kicked the ball out of bounds repeatedly to keep it away from Ginn and Santonio Holmes.

"I worked on that a lot this week," Fields said.

Fields punted seven times with a 39-yard average and three punts inside the 20-yard line.

Use your legs

Stanton was sacked 12 times and was credited with 24 rushing attempts for four yards.

"There were more designed runs in the game plan," Stanton said. "I was doing more running than I anticipated. There also came certain points in time where I was trying to make a play with my feet a little bit because they were so soft in coverage."

Ohio State's pass rush was aided by the loss of senior offensive tackle Stefon Wheeler, who injured his ribs in the second quarter.


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