April 21, 2013

SPOTLIGHT ON OFFENSE: Beyond an Experiment

EAST LANSING - Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi supports a permanent move to running back for redshirt freshman Riley Bullough even though the switch would require the Spartans to find a new back-up for All-Big Ten linebacker Max Bullough.

"I think he can make an impact over there right now," said Narduzzi of younger Bullough's potential at tailback. "We've got a guy named Max playing our middle linebacker spot. Unless Max needs a blow, we are going to try and get our best players on offense and defense and it looks like he could help us out."

Bullough led Spartan tailbacks in rushing yards with 48 yards on 11 carries (4.2 avg.) in spring game. More importantly, the converted linebacker gave Michigan State some of the physicality in the backfield that was lost when All-Big Ten running back Le'Veon Bell opted to enter the 2013 NFL draft as a junior.

"He gives us a powerful punch," said Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio. "You need to be able to counter that punch with a Nick Hill or a Jeremy Langford, too, or an R.J. Shelton. I felt like he has something to him. He's used to carrying the football and I thought maybe there were some possibilities there. It just depends on how they come in. It's a little bit of an unsettled position, but I think we've got some guys that can make some plays."

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