Scottie Hazelton proud of response from Michigan State's defense in Week 10 upset of Illinois
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:
MSU DC Scottie Hazelton crediting his defense for embracing the adversity at Illinois. "It was great to see how the guys responded."
— Matt Charboneau (@mattcharboneau) November 8, 2022
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:
Hazelton said "you really try not to" pay attention to the noise from earlier in the season about him and his defense. "Sure, you hear it. … The truth is never about that."
— Chris Solari (@chrissolari) November 8, 2022
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.