Scottie Hazelton, Michigan State’s defensive coordinator, praised his unit for embracing the adversity in the win against Illinois this last weekend. After the Michigan game, the Spartans have dealt with several suspensions while the investigation of the alleged attack in the Ann Arbor tunnel is ongoing.

Per Matt Charboneau of the Detroit News:

A total of 8 players have been suspended indefinitely which includes numerous starters at critical positions. 4 defensive backs, 3 defensive ends and a linebacker have been ruled out for the foreseeable future.

Hazelton admitted that the team heard the noise and surrounding narratives before last week’s game against the Fighting Illini. Earlier this season, the Spartan’s defense was ranked as one of the worst in college football against the pass and the suspensions only added to the concerns.

Per Chris Solari of the Detroit Free Press:

Despite all the off-the-field issues, Hazelton and his Spartan’s defense were able to limit Illinois to just 15 points. Players like Cal Haladay and transfer Ameer Speed stepped up by making plays on critical downs.

The Michigan State defense will have to continue to find ways to replicate what they did last weekend while the investigation continues.