Michigan State Star DE William Gholston Still Hungry and Wanting More After Boise Win

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Junior defensive end Will Gholston was the first to admit the Spartan defense needs to step it up after Friday’s game against Boise State, a game in which the star player had zero tackles.

“A couple of us guys, a couple of defensive leaders, feel like we didn’t play as good as we should’ve been able to play,” he said after the game.  “We didn’t meet our standards. I’m not saying we didn’t have a good game, I’m saying we want to play even better.”

He said the defense knew coming into the game that the Broncos not only had an explosive offense but that they would refuse to back down from
anyone. “We had the mentality that they’re a quick pass team and that we would need to get to them as fast as possible. I got to them once, but I feel like we’ll be able to do more of that once we go against a drop back team.”

Gholston also spoke about the personal foul he received for a late hit on Boise quarterback Joe Southwick. “You play until you hear a whistle.
That’s how you play from little league, and that’s what I did.

“I probably hit him late, but then I just had to play through it.”

What appeared to be an extremely physical game did not feel different from any other game to Gholston, who said, “That’s just the way we play. It’s regular!”

The outstanding performance of junior running back Le’Veon Bell, which has fans and commentators already moving him up their Heisman watch lists, did not surprise Gholston, either.  “He played like a Dawg; that’s what I expect from him every year. I expect that kind of performance. That’s my teammate, my brother. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him.”

And not just for Le’Veon, but for the Spartan offense as a whole. The defenders were seen cheering for their offensive counterparts throughout the game from the sidelines.  “That comes back to our chemistry. We know what our offense can do, and once they got the ball rolling, they did it. I appreciate having an offense who can do that and who can keep us off the field.”

MSU will have to play well on both sides of the ball if it wants to have another successful season, but at this point it is the defense which has people talking.  The Spartans were able to hold the Broncos to just 37 rushing yards on Friday, which seems pretty good to anyone watching from the outside. Gholston says, however, that the goal every play is to keep the opponent from gaining any yards. Period.  With this mindset, 37 yards is too many.

It is this anything-less-than-perfect-isn’t-good-enough mentality that has made the MSU defense so successful.  “Playing for the Big Ten, a power football conference,” Gholston explains, “means we’ve got to be able to step up and dominate, not let them get any yards on us. That’s how we practice. It doesn’t matter who we play.  “If we’re going to be championship contenders, we’ve got to step it up to another level. If we want to be a championship team, we need to play like a championship team.”

The path toward a championship season will continue when the Spartans travel to Mt. Pleasant this weekend to take on the Central Michigan Chippewas, a team coached by former MSU assistant Dan Enos.

Gholston refuses to take this MAC team lightly and says he will approach the game no differently than he approached Boise State.

“Every game means everything. We want to go undefeated. We want to be the best team in the county. We’re going to play (CMU) just
like we played Boise. No – we’re going to play them harder.”