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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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    Michigan State’s Cal Haladay makes difference in 2nd half vs. Rutgers

    PISCATAWAY, N.J. — The difference Cal Haladay made on Michigan State football’s defense was stark.

    The sophomore linebacker returned from a first-half targeting suspension to help the 11th-ranked Spartans shut out Rutgers after halftime in Saturday’s 31-13 victory at SHI Stadium.

    MSU GRADES:Fantastic offense covers for bad special teams vs. Rutgers

    Haladay, who finished with four tackles, had to sit out the first half after getting ejected in the fourth quarter of last Saturday’s win over Western Kentucky.

    “He plays hard, he knows the defense, he knows where he’s supposed to be. He can play fast, and he’s a tackler,” MSU coach Mel Tucker said. “It’s always good when we have productive players and they’re able to go out there and play.”

    Michigan transfer Ben VanSumeren started alongside Quavaris Crouch, then fellow senior Noah Harvey took over for the later part of the first half. Freshman Ma’a Gaoteote also got a few snaps.

    Oct 9, 2021; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights running back Kyle Monangai (23) is tackled by Michigan State Spartans defensive tackle Dashaun Mallory (94) as offensive lineman David Nwaogwugwu (58) and offensive lineman Cedrice Paillant (54) block during the second half at SHI Stadium.

    However, Haladay’s return jolted a defense that gave up 182 first-half yards. MSU held the Scarlet Knights without a first down on their first four possessions of the second half.

    RAINER SABIN:How MSU showed perfect offensive balance in 31-13 victory over Rutgers

    “It does matter who’s out there. At any position, on any team, on offense, defense and special teams, it does matter who you’re playing with,” Tucker said. “And fortunately, were able to play multiple guys. We have more depth than we had last year.”

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