Not many teams in college football were as negatively impacted by the sudden changes as Michigan State. The Spartans were forced to make a late coaching change before spring practice in 2020, and Mel Tucker and his staff have had little time around their players.

Everyone is being forced to learn on the fly in East Lansing.

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With the B1G reinstating the season, though, coaches and players have been able to work in a more face-to-face setting for really the first time under the new regime. New defensive coordinator Scottie Hazelton says he’s been impressed by the maturity he’s seen at Michigan State.

“As a group, we’re more mature than some teams we’ve been around in the past,” Hazelton

Michigan State’s defense has been its strength over the past two seasons, but during a transition year, it would be understandable if there wasn’t the same cohesiveness among the team, especially given the circumstances. But that doesn’t sound like the case, according to Hazelton.

The new DC admits that he’s not quite sure what the defense will look like in 2020. From a schematic standpoint, what the Spartans will do depends on what guys are able to pick up on short notice.

“How that will look depends on how the guys learn,” Hazelton said, per Chris Solari of the Detroit Free Press.

Michigan State is set to open the 2020 season against Rutgers.