No. 8 Michigan St readies defense for opener

Mark Dantonio cares more about how Michigan State plays than how many plays Jacksonville State can run with its fast-tempo offense in Friday's season opener for both teams.

The Spartans coach said Tuesday he likes what he sees in a retooled defense after a 13-1 season that included Big Ten and Rose Bowl championships.

No. 8 Michigan State has won 15 straight home openers and has its highest preseason ranking since 1967.

But with six new starters on defense, seven with the move of Taiwan Jones from outside linebacker to the middle, the Spartans will have to pay attention against the Ohio Valley Conference favorite. The Gamecocks return 18 starters from an 11-4 team that set 49 school records.