EAST LANSING – Outside of its stellar special teams, Western Michigan’s defense showed much improvement in its 26-13 loss Friday at Michigan State.
The Spartans lacked offensive threats, especially at quarterback, but WMU’s linebackers and secondary excelled all game.
Between MSU quarterbacks Andrew Maxwell and Connor Cook, WMU only allowed the Spartans to complete 17 of 37 passing attempts for 116 yards. Those are SEC numbers, and WMU coach P.J. Fleck knows it.
“I think we have one of the best secondaries in the country,” Fleck said. “I don’t think anybody’s believed me, and tonight I think you saw it.
“They’re a confident group, and they have a right to be confident because of how they work, not because of the result. What you saw was the result from all the work they put in from the last eight months, the sacrifices, the change, the discipline.”
Junior cornerback Donald Celiscar led WMU with 10 tackles and two pass breakups. Celiscar, along with a host of Broncos, did not allow a single MSU receiver to gain more than 34 yards. He attributed the effort to the team’s work ethic.
“We had comfort and communication and pursued the ball,” Celiscar said. “Everybody was doing their job, they were taking control of one gap, the defensive gaps, and I think the result turned out to be pretty good.
“It is a good statement.”
WMU’s Kyle Lark recorded nine tackles, followed by Justin Currie and Mike Jones (8), Rontavious Atkins (7), and Ronald Zamort (6).
“We just come out and play hard each and every day,” Celiscar added. “And each and every game we believe we are going to take care of business on the defensive end.”