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A college sports blog from The Oakland Press, dedicated to covering Michigan and Michigan State athletics as well as former Oakland County athletes at other schools.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Trip to Ohio State will be a homecoming for several Spartans

B.J. Cunningham remembers the frustration from the last time Michigan State played in Columbus. It wasn't only with the Spartans' loss that day, but also the fact that he had to watch the game from his friends house in Ohio. The Westernville, Ohio native was a redshirt freshman with the Spartans and did not travel with the team to road games. But he returned home to watch that game.
"I remember just sitting with my friends back home and seeing that atmosphere, what that stadium was like and all that on TV and just wished I was out there playing," Cunningham said after the Spartans' win over CMU Saturday. "I'm looking forward to going down there, no doubt. We know what it's going to be like. It's Ohio State. We just have got to come out ready."
Cunningham isn't the only Spartan looking to take a shot at their home state's team.
In total, the Spartans have 25 Ohio natives on their roster. Two other Ohioans looking to make an impact for MSU are on the Spartans' defense in linebacker Marcus Rush and defensive tackle Jerel Worthy.
Worthy is the incumbent leader of the MSU defense, filling in for the departed Greg Jones, and Rush has exploded on the scene recently as a pass-rushing linebacker.
"Marcus has been great. He's a tough kid and has that blue-collar Cincinnati attitude that we like. We've got to go back there and get a few more guys just like him," MSU defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi said.
Rush was not recruited by Ohio State coming out of high school and has made it clear it left a chip on his shoulder. Helping MSU beat Ohio State Saturday would be a nice "I told you so" to the state school of Ohio.


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