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The unsung leader of Michigan State’s defense, Joe Bachie could wreck Ohio State’s game plan

The next big thing at linebacker is here for the Spartans.

Joe Bachie
Mike Carter

The latest in a long line of great Michigan State linebackers, Joe Bachie has been everything the Spartans could’ve hoped for this year, and more.

Bachie is in the midst of a breakout season as a sophomore. He’s literally been all over the field as the team’s main man in the middle and is the primary reason why the Spartans defense ranks 12th in the FBS and third in the Big Ten, respectively, in total defense.

With three games remaining in the regular season, Bachie leads Michigan State in tackles (77) – fifth-best in the conference – and is second in tackles for a loss (7.5). He’s forced two fumbles, recorded three sacks and snagged a pair of interceptions.

So, when I say Bachie has been all over the field, he’s been all over the field.

Coach Mark Dantonio had high praise for his young linebacker back in October.

“I think Joe Bachie is on his way to being an outstanding Mike linebacker for us,” Dantonio said. “I said from day one, even talking about him last year, he’s an outstanding athlete. He can run and do the things that needs to be done at this level at that position… But I also think he prepares very, very hard. He plays hard, all those type of things. He’s got a very high ceiling.”

And when the Spartans need him the most, No. 35 doesn’t disappoint.

Few matchups carry more importance to Michigan State than their annual meeting with in-state rival Michigan. On the road in Ann Arbor facing the then-ranked No. 7 Wolverines, Bachie finished the night 10 tackles, a sack, forced fumble, and an interception.

Those turnovers helped the Spartans hold serve for nearly the entire game.

There’s little Bachie isn’t capable of on the field.

While he’s a true three-down, sideline-to-sideline linebacker, the Ohio native gets it done in coverage for Michigan State.

Last week against Penn State, he pulled in his second interception of the season off a high Trace McSorley throw.

Keep an eye on this Spartan, folks.

All Bachie does is make plays for Michigan State, and it’ll continue in Columbus with Ohio State next on the docket. He could really muddy the Buckeyes game plan on offense, which, based on their performance versus Iowa, isn’t too great a challenge.

Okay, maybe keep two eyes on Bachie.

He may very well decide the Big Ten East on Saturday.