What Wins Games? Defense! Spartans manage to fend off #11 Oklahoma despite offensive barrage. Coming off of a huge season-opening win over Alabama, the eighth-ranked Michigan State Spartans got no scheduling break this week as MSU welcomed #11 Oklahoma to East Lansing for another big non-conference showdown. The Spartans survived the spread attack, making big stops when they needed to en route to a 27-10 victory. The Spartans jumped out to an early 7-0 lead when David Williams hooked up with Brian Wilson out of the backfield for the game’s opening score. But, the Wilson first quarter TD turned out to be the only real success for the star running back all game. After stopping Oklahoma on fourth down in Spartan territory, MSU took to the field again. But, two plays into the drive, MSU’s hopes to win took a huge hit, as quarterback David Williams was knocked out of the game. Luckily, for the Spartans backup QB Daniel Davis came in and executed well for MSU connecting with Anthony Anderson for a long 78-yard touchdown pass to give the Spartans a 13-0 (failed PAT) lead at the break. Good news came with the start of the second half, as David Williams was able to suck up the strained shoulder he suffered in the second quarter and re-entered the game. But, with the Spartans having to rely on the passing game to move the ball, MSU got nothing going on the opening drive of the second half, and quickly punted the ball away. The Sooners still were unable to really threaten, despite moving the ball into Spartan territory on nearly all of their possessions. And it took David Williams’ second and third interceptions (the first from inside the Oklahoma 5 in the first half) for Oklahoma to finally get on the board in the third quarter. Despite outstanding man-to-man coverage on the Sooners’ first score, WR M Nelson managed to catch a tipped C Roberson pass for a 35-yard touchdown. Spartan Stadium began to get restless, as on the next drive Williams threw his third interception, and Oklahoma cut the Spartan lead to just three, as the game headed to the final frame. But, the fourth quarter was the one that put the Spartans on top for good as MSU tacked on two touchdowns while continuing to stop Oklahoma when they needed to and ran away with the 27-10 victory. Despite a very slow offensive day on the ground (33 rushes, 59 yards) and a mix-and-match day through the air (Three TDs, Three INTs), the Spartan defense stepped up and made the plays that MSU needed. The Sooners tossed a barrage at the Spartans, but the defense stepped up in the clutch as the Sooners went 0-9 on third down and 0-5 on fourth down. Things don’t get any easier for the Spartans next week as MSU travels to South Bend to take on #2 Notre Dame in the Game of the Week.