Big Ten: Chuck Smith
October, 14, 2009
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Michigan State defensive end Trevor Anderson is the team's resident historian on defensive line play.
He's a YouTube junkie and often watches clips of his favorite NFL pass-rushers, trying to pick up things for his own game. He nearly went to Chuck Smith's training center for defensive linemen and linebackers this summer after researching the program on the Web. Anderson also is a sponge when it comes to advice, like the tip he received last summer from former Michigan State defensive tackle Ogemdi Nwagbuo, who now plays for the San Diego Chargers.
|Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images|
|Trevor Anderson and the Michigan State defense have turned up the heat the past two games.|
"He told me, 'Defeat the hands, defeat the man,'" Anderson said. "I tried to remember that."
The pointer has helped Anderson and his fellow lineman during their midseason renaissance. The Spartans have recorded 10 sacks and 18 tackles for loss in their previous two games, eclipsing their totals (8 sacks, 17 TFLs) from the previous four contests.
It's hardly a mystery why Michigan State has posted back-to-back wins after starting the season 1-3.
No one will confuse the Spartans' defensive line with the Minnesota Vikings' front, and there's no Williams Wall in East Lansing. Michigan State's four starters average 273.5 pounds; they're not petite, but they're not behemoths either.
Anderson is generously listed at 260 pounds, while fellow end Colin Neely checks in at 248.
"We're not the biggest defensive line," Anderson said, "so we've got to excel at rushing the passer. Being able to stop the run, that's a bonus, and we've been doing a pretty decent job there, but rushing the passer is where we've got to excel. We've got to give our [defensive backs] time to cover."
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
12:00 PM ET Purdue Illinois 12:00 PM ET 20 Ohio State Maryland 2:30 PM ET North Texas Indiana 3:30 PM ET 17 Wisconsin Northwestern 7:00 PM ET Michigan Rutgers 8:00 PM ET 19 Nebraska 10 Michigan State