Sports: According to a Girl

It's Not Crazy, It's Sports.

Posts tagged Keshawn Martin

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Gotta love convos with guys who think they know more about sports than me

Guy:
What's up?
Me:
Just watching sports. Watched UM lose to OSU. ATL beat Seahawks and now hoping the Texans beat New England. LoL
Guy:
Both those games were actually really good and fun to watch. And hopefully the PATRIOTS win.
Me:
I am rooting for Texans because KESHAWN MARTIN is on the Texans, duuuuhhhh.
Guy Oh shit I forgot, Go Texans!
Me:
Exactly. Plus JJ Watt is a BEAST. However, I do like Gronkowski, but I can't root against an MSU alum.
Guy:
Yeah, damn. I can't believe I forgot. I don't think I've ever met a girl who can keep up with sports with me.
Me:
Oooh man. I can't keep up with you, but probably "out run" you when it comes to sports, is more like it. LoL
Guy:
Oh I see. You think you know more than me, don't you? Don't get too cocky. I know everything.
Me:
Obviously not... Hahaha
Guy:
There is no way you know more about sports than me.
Me:
Hahahahaha you clearly don't know me well then.
Guy:
It doesn't matter how much you know, sports are basically my life.
Me:
Like I said, you clearly don't know me. All I watch is ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU etc or Big Ten Network. I have more sports apps on my phone than anything else. I have a sports blogs. I am going to go to school for Sports Management and/or Athletic Training. I am on the Big Ten Network Fan Council. Shall I continue...?
Guy:
I still know more. Doesn't matter. But you have no idea how hot that is. The fact that you know so much.
Me:
Haha whatever you say, but I guarantee you are wrong.

Filed under Atlanta Falcons College Basketball Conversation Houston Texans J.J. Watt Keshawn Martin Michigan Wolverines NFL New England Patriots Ohio State Buckeyes Rob Gronkowski Seattle Seahawks Text Big Ten Network ESPN

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Ex-Spartan Keshawn Martin playing a key role with Texans MSU standout steps up as receiver, returner

Five years ago, Keshawn Martin was a teenager, a Lions fan and a long-overlooked receiver prospect who was finally starting to get some notice from major colleges.

"I was in high school, playing basketball, going to class," said Martin, a 2008 graduate of Westland Glenn. "And now I’m in the NFL."

And he’s not just in it, he’s making moves. The former Michigan State standout and Houston Texans rookie is coming off his first NFL touchdown — and a punt return that could have been his second — entering today’s Thanksgiving game at Ford Field.

"He’s been coming on," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said of Martin. "I think it’s something we’ve been seeing in practice. Those rookies hit a wall (in) Week 7 or 8. It’s a lot of football. After the bye, I’ve seen him come back a little fresher. He’s practiced well and makes a big play in the game (Sunday).”

Martin caught a 9-yard touchdown pass in a 43-37 overtime win over Jacksonville and took a punt back 71 yards before he was run down by the punter.

His friends in East Lansing were excited for him. They also took the opportunity to rib him, of course.

"He got caught by that punter, so there’s a lot of jokes that have been tweeted his way," MSU receivers coach Terry Samuel said.

MSU sophomore receiver Tony Lippett, one of Martin’s closest friends remaining on the team, had to call Martin and give him some guff for an awkward spike after his touchdown catch.

"I was like, ‘That was terrible,’ " Lippett said.

Martin figures to get the chance to outrun more punters and improve his end-zone celebrations. His role with the Texans is increasing now that he’s returning punts and kickoffs.

At MSU, Martin had two punt returns for touchdowns and one kick return for a touchdown. That was a big part of his appeal when the Texans picked him in the fourth round in April.

And his departure clearly has been part of the reason for MSU’s offensive struggles in 2012. In Martin and B.J. Cunningham, the Spartans had four-year playmakers.

"I see the progress," Samuel said of his receivers this season. "But still, we’ve got a long way to go. You appreciate what Keshawn and B.J. were at the end of their career. They made a lot of plays."

Martin has been able to watch every MSU game this season and has been just as dismayed as the Spartans and their fans.

"It’s been tough,” he said. “The games we lost have been close games. We just couldn’t finish those close games off. Next year I feel we’ll have a way better season.”

And a major area of growth, he said, should be the receiving corps. He talks to friends such as Lippett and Bennie Fowler and reminds them of how far he came in his MSU career.

"He just told me to just go out there and play freely," Lippett said. "Watch film and know the defense (but) basically go out there and have fun. Play like you were playing in high school, stuff like that. Don’t be afraid to make the play."

As a true freshman in 2008, Martin made plays despite knowing little about running routes. Like Lippett, he was a high school quarterback.

A year earlier, Martin got fall offers from MSU and Illinois, with Michigan making a late push. He didn’t attend camps like most prospects and managed to stay mostly off the grid until coaches started watching his senior film.

And now he’s a pro, set to play today in front of a large group of family and friends against the team he grew up supporting.

"I was," Martin said, admitting his Lions fandom. "That’s the home team. You’ve got to have a little love for the home team."

(Source: freep.com)

Filed under Michigan State Spartans NFL Houston Texans Keshawn Martin Gary Kubiak Terry Samuel Tony Lippett B.J. Cunningham Bennie Fowler Detroit Lions

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My thoughts on MSU loss to Michigan yesterday

1. Denard Robinson is a terrible quarterback. No matter how you look at it or try to spin it, you can’t convince me other wise. He only threw 14/30 (46.6%). That’s not good for a quarterback, let alone for a “Heisman” that people always seem to think he deserves. 

2. Andrew Maxwell IS an actual quarterback. He still isn’t Kirk Cousins, but he is getting closer. He threw 21/34 (61.8%). To be honest, I have bitching about MSU’s wide recevers all year, but the missed passes were Maxwells fault, not the WRs.

3. Speaking of MSU’s wide receivers, these young guys have improved so much this season. Aaron Burbridge (6 catches for 51 yards), where the hell did you come from? No he/they aren’t B.J. Cunningham, Keshawn Martin, Keith Nichol or Brian Linthicum, but I am happy with their improvement. However, Tony Lippett could be the next Keshawn Martin after that double reverse play in the 3rd quarter that led to a MSU touchdown. I can’t wait to see the chemistry between the WRs and Andrew Maxwell next season. 

4. Dan Roushar needs to move back to offensive line coach or just leave all-together. We need a new OC. Someone willing to taking more risks, make bigger plays, DO SOMETHING. I miss Don Treadwell. I guarantee the Mike Sadler punt fake was Dantonio’s call not Roushar’s. 

5. Thank god MSU linebackers exist, and are only juniors. Denicos Allen and Max Bullough were our #1 and #2 defensive players.
Denicos Allen had 11 tackles (8 solo, 3 assists) 3 tackles for a loss and a pass breakup
Max Bullough had 10 tackles (5 solo, 5 assists) 1 tackle for a loss and an INT

6. MSU’s defensive stopped Michigan in the redzone at least 2 times, holding them to ONLY field goals the whole game. 

7. The MSU boys need to learn how to hold onto the ball. There were at least MSU 2 fumbles that we were lucky to recover. 

8. I wish Dan Conroy would’ve made that 38 yard field goal in the 2nd quarter. However you can’t blame the kicker for losing a game, but you CAN give them all the credit when winning (MSU’s Brett Swenson in 2006 ?). The kicker is, and always should be, the last resort. I hope Conroy isn’t blaming himself for that loss. 

Filed under College Football Michigan State Spartans Michigan Wolverines Denard Robinson Andrew Maxwell Kirk Cousins Aaron Burbridge B.J. Cunningham Keshawn Martin Keith Nichol Brian Linthicum Tony Lippett Dan Roushar Don Treadwell Mike Sadler Mark Dantonio Denicos Allen Max Bullough Dan Conroy

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Why Michigan State Will Shock Big Ten in 2012

ARTICLE FROM HERE

It’s no surprise—Michigan State is a team on the rise in college football. 

Mark Dantonio has the Spartans at their best since Nick Saban was the head coach in East Lansing.

Dantonio has been called the savior of this team ever since he took over the head coaching job in 2006.  The team was in shambles at the time after John L. Smith seemingly sunk the team and left Spartan fans scratching their heads game after game.

John L. Smith made just one bowl game in four years as head coach and it was a loss.  Dantonio took over and brought the rebuilding squad to a bowl in his first year—their first bowl game since 2003.  He has since brought the Spartans to a bowl five times. He has never missed out on postseason play in his five years as head coach.

It’s a fact, this team has only gotten better in the past five years.  The momentum has definitely shifted in East Lansing since Dantonio took the reigns.

Last year, the Spartans earned their first bowl win since 2001 and beat a solid Georgia team from the SEC that was supposed to outrun the solid, but slightly slower, Spartan defense.

Michigan State is playing at their best level in over 10 years and they are still on the rise.  They are coming off two straight 11-win seasons and have been in Big Ten title contention the past few years.

Michigan State will not only shock the Big Ten this year, but they have the talent to shock the entire college football world.  For two straight years, the players thought they deserved a BCS bowl, but for the past two years, they have been left out in the cold.

Dantonio’s team won’t let that happen this year, and that is a promise.  Here are a few reasons why they will shock the Big Ten in 2012.

1. The New Quarterback

Andrew Maxwell was highly touted out of high school and could end up being better than the former star quarterback, Kirk Cousins.  Maxwell has spent enough time sitting on the bench and studying the X’s and O’s, inside and out, to realize what he needs to do to succeed.

He was mentored by one of the best quarterbacks in school history and one of the best leaders in college football last year.  A mentor like that can only help his skill set and teach him how to become a leader among guys his own age.

Maxwell is a great kid that is an off-the-field presence that Dantonio can be proud of.  On the field, he will be just as good.  Last year in limited play, Maxwell completed 18 of 26 passes for 171 yards and a touchdown.  Although this is a very small sample size, if he can put up numbers like that, but with more yards, game after game, the Spartans could be smelling roses soon enough.

2. The Defense

Defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi has Michigan State’s defense playing scary good.  Narduzzi had the defense at the top of almost every category in the conference ranks. 

The Spartans were one of only two Big Ten teams to allow less than 300 yards per game last season and topped the conference in that category.  They ranked sixth in the entire country in yards allowed per game with 277.4 yards.  They were also top 10 in scoring defense in 2011—somewhere they would have never found themselves before Dantonio.

The culture has changed in East Lansing.  The Spartans are no longer a soft team that will try to outscore their opponents in order to earn the victory, but they have a good enough defense to play with anyone in the country. 

They also have two projected top 20 picks for next year’s NFL Draft with defensive end and future superstar William Gholston, and also stud cornerback Johnny Adams.

Look out for this young defense that is returning most of the starters from 2011 to be the reasons that they make it to Pasadena in January.

3. The New Receivers and Veteran Running Backs

This is the final category that the Spartans will excel in next season that will earn them the coveted title of “Big Ten Champs”.

You may be scratching your head and wondering why I am putting receivers on this list.  It may be because of the potential of the young receivers, or it may be because there are so many of them that they are bound to have a couple players excel.

This is the youngest and most unproven position on the team, but it is also the one with the most potential. 

Tennessee transfer DeAnthony Arnett highlights the cast and could be a dominant down-the-field threat for Maxwell to throw to.  Bennie Fowler and Tony Lippett have been waiting for their turn while they saw receivers such as BJ Cunningham and Keshawn Martin develop NFL talent.

These young receivers could be some of the best in the Big Ten, and even the incoming freshmen could make an immediate impact.

The running backs are solid and plentiful.  Le’Veon Bell is the clear starter because of Edwin Baker’s early departure to the NFL. Nevertheless, Bell would have started even with Baker still on the team.

Bell rushed for nearly 1,000 yards last season while only starting in half the games.  He also finished the season with 13 rushing touchdowns, which was good for fifth in the Big Ten.  He will surely be one of the top three running backs in the Big Ten this season, and he is also considered one of many preseason Heisman candidates.

Larry Caper and Nick Hill are great complimentary backs for the powerful and elusive Bell.  Larry Caper started five games as a freshman in 2009 and saw his playing time reduced drastically because of the solid play of Edwin Baker and then Le’Veon Bell.  He finds himself as the backup this year and could experience more playing time.

Nick Hill is the kickoff returner and he is one of the best in the Big Ten.  He finished the season with 999 return yards, good for second-most in MSU single-season history.  The quick, shifty running back is entering into his sophomore year and could improve on his return numbers this season. 

If he does, the Spartans won’t even need to play offense, because Hill could find himself in the end zone consistently.


The Spartans are a rising team, and for the recent successful seasons they’ve had, it shouldn’t be considered a shock when they do well.  This is the case, unfortunately, and the Spartans could be shocking the entire country next season, not just the Big Ten.

Filed under Michigan State Spartans Mark Dantonio Nick Saban John L. Smith Georgia Bulldogs Big Ten Conference Big Ten Andrew Maxwell Kirk Cousins Pat Narduzzi William Gholston Johnny Adams DeAnthony Arnett Bennie Fowler Tony Lippett B.J. Cunningham Keshawn Martin Le'Veon Bell Edwin Baker Larry Caper Nick Hill

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What MSU Fans Need to Watch During Spring Game

1. Passing Game
The quarterback (Andrew Maxwell vs Connor Cook) and wide receiver (Tony Lippett vs Bennie Fowler vs Keith Mumphery vs DeAnthony Arnett) positions are up for grabs, along with some tight end spots (Dion Sims vs Evan Jones vs Josiah Price. 

2. Offensive Line
As mentioned before, the offensive line should be stable this coming season. Most of the men return for another year, and each position is packed with talented backups. 

3. Running Game
Last season the running game was not very effective due to very few veterans on the offensive line. Now that the linemen have more experience, expect the running backs to carry the ball more often. LeVeon Bell had an excellent season last year with carries split between Edwin Baker and Larry Caper. Baker declaring early to the NFL will give Bell the bulk of the carries this coming season. Bell may have the nod, but the players below him could easily change that. Caper is due for some playing time along with fellow running backs Nick Hill and Jeremy Langford. All of these players will be fun to watch when the spring game begins.  

4. Defense
The whole defense will be something to watch this spring. After ranking in the top 20 in seven statistical categories and being the top defense in the Big Ten, this group is nothing but dominant. A majority of the defense returns this season, but there are some key spots that need replacing. The most critical area that needs to be addressed is the defensive tackle position (after Jerel Worthy declared himself for the NFL draft). 

5. Special Teams (Punt Return) 
The coaches are hoping Nick Hill will be the guy to replace Keshawn Martin. He has great field vision and releases quickly. He averaged 26.3 yards per gain on kick returns he attempted along with five punts returned last year. The most notable loss for MSU is the do-it-all receiver and punt returner Keshawn Martin. 

Filed under Michigan State Spartans College Football Andrew Maxwell Connor Cook Tony Lippett Bennie Fowler Keith Mumphery DeAnthony Arnett Dion Sims Josiah Price Le'Veon Bell Larry Caper Edwin Baker NFL Nick Hill Jeremy Langford Big Ten Jerel Worthy Keshawn Martin

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Michigan State Spartans Football: Why They Will Be Back in 2012

(Bleacher Report)

Following a very disappointing loss in the Big Ten championship game, the Spartans somewhat salvaged the season with a thrilling win against Georgia in the Outback Bowl.

The win sent perhaps the greatest senior class in Michigan State history out with a win and gave head coach Mark Dantonio his first bowl victory.

However, with the departure of three-year captain and senior quarterback Kirk Cousins, many people think the Spartans will have a letdown year next year.

This simply is not true.  

Surely, Cousins’ leadership will be missed by the Spartans. However, they reload the quarterback position with former four-star recruit Andrew Maxwell. Maxwell will be heading into his junior year next year and has very high expectations for both himself and the team.  

In addition to Cousins, the Spartans lose the majority of their receiving core, including wide receivers BJ Cunningham, Keith Nicol, Keshawn Martin and tight end Brian Linthicum.  

Michigan State will fill these holes with sophomore Bennie Fowler and freshman Tony Lippet. In addition to these two, the Spartans signed the No. 1 wide receiver in the state of Michigan, four-star Aaron Burbridge.  

Furthermore, former Tennessee wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett transferred to State just yesterday. The addition of the former Under Armour All-American, Arnett, will surely go a long way in Michigan State’s passing game.  

"Maxwell to Arnett…touchdown MSU!" is a phrase we will hear a lot of in the coming years.

The Spartans only lose one player off last year’s offensive line, senior captain Joel Foreman. The last player lost from the offense is senior fullback Todd Anderson. This hole will hopefully be filled by former Catholic Central back Niko Palazeti.  

The dual-threat run game of Le’Veon Bell and Edwin Baker will return next year. With their talents, the Spartans hope to have one of the best run games in the Big Ten. (Edwin Baker is leaving for the NFL Draft.)

The Michigan State defense finished the year in the Top 10 of total defense. The scary part is, the Spartans return nine out of the 11 starters from that defense; that is, if defensive tackle Jerel Worthy declares for the NFL draft as he is expected to. (He did declare for the NFL.)

The defense will be led by juniors Max Bullough and William Gholston up front. The secondary loses free safety Trenton Robinson, but it should be okay returning corners Darqueze Dennard and Johnny Adams and safety Isaiah Lewis.

 Michigan State looks to again have one of the best defenses not only in the Big Ten, but in the entire nation.  

These certainly are exciting days in East Lansing.  

Mark Dantonio has put together a program that will compete for Big Ten championships for years to come. Defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi has turned down a few offers already and appears to be staying on board Dantonio’s staff.  

The sky is the limit for next year’s Michigan State Spartans.

Filed under Michigan State Spartans College Football Big Ten Championship Georgia Bulldogs Outback Bowl Mark Dantonio Kirk Cousins Andrew Maxwell B.J. Cunningham Keith Nichol Keshawn Martin Brian Linthicum Bennie Fowler Tony Lippet Aaron Burbridge Tennessee Volunteers DeAnthony Arnett Joel Foreman Todd Anderson Niko Palazeti Le'Veon Bell Edwin Baker NFL Draft Jerel Worthy Max Bullough William Gholston Trenton Robinson Darqueze Dennard Johnny Adams Isaiah Lewis

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Spartans make life unnecessarily rough on rival Wolverines — again

Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi couldn’t get too mad about the six 15-yard penalties called on the Spartans for some form of unnecessary roughness Saturday. “That’s what we try to do,” Narduzzi said after Michigan State’s 28-14 win against Michigan. “Sixty minutes of unnecessary roughness. I’m just happy it didn’t get called on every snap.”

Narduzzi drew a distinction between close calls for untapped aggression and stupid penalties such as the ones called on safety Isaiah Lewis (a late hit out of bounds) and defensive end William Gholston (throwing a punch at a Michigan offensive lineman), but Narduzzi made no apologies for the way the Spartans hit the Wolverines between each whistle. He won’t do much yelling in film sessions, because he doesn’t want to weigh down his players with worries about penalties. They play faster when they’re unburdened.

So while they may call Michigan State a dirty team from their ivory towers 65 miles southeast in Ann Arbor, Narduzzi isn’t worried. Michigan Men can call the Spartans dirty all they want. But they can’t call them losers. “I know we’re 4-0 against them in the past four years,” Narduzzi said.

Indeed, Michigan State completed its first four-game sweep of Michigan since 1959-62, and everyone in green basked in the glow. The student section chanted “Little Sisters” at the Wolverines, and senior guard Jared McGaha carried the Paul Bunyan Trophy off the field Saturday while fellow senior guard Joel Foreman held up four fingers. The Spartans — who bravely played on even after Nike accidentally delivered them a crate containing Colorado State’s uniforms — didn’t have to call Michigan soft. The Wolverines did that themselves. “They were definitely more physical,” Michigan safety Jordan Kovacs said. “They pounded us. They beat us up.”

While Michigan continued to try and reconcile former coach Rich Rodriguez’s spread personnel with first-year coach Brady Hoke’s stated desire to run a power offense, Michigan State suffered no such identity crisis. The Spartans, with guards Foreman and Chris McDonald paving the way, averaged 5.5 yards a rush. When Michigan State absolutely needed a throw, quarterback Kirk Cousins stood in against an array of Michigan blitzes and delivered strikes. Cousins dropped back to throw four times on third down in Saturday’s second half. On three of those, Cousins completed a pass to keep the drive alive. The first was a touchdown pass to Keshawn Martin on third-and-goal from the 10 that put Michigan State up 14-7. The second and third allowed Michigan State to drive for another Martin score that gave the Spartans a 21-7 lead.

Still, Michigan made it exciting. The critics of Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson can register a myriad of complaints about his passing ability, but they can never call him boring. With Robinson’s passes — which aren’t normally Scud missiles anyway — fluttering in a vicious wind, Michigan State seemed quite in control of the air space around Spartan Stadium. But because Robinson’s team is somehow never out of chances, the junior, who completed only nine of 24 passes, naturally fired a rocket to Roy Roundtree early in the fourth quarter. Roundtree grabbed the pass and sprinted away from stunned Michigan State defenders for a 34-yard touchdown.

After Kovacs recovered a J.T. Floyd fumble on the Spartans’ next play, Michigan had the ball at the Michigan State’s 32. On third-and-11, Robinson hit Jeremy Gallon for a 10-yard gain to the Spartans’ nine-yard line. All the Wolverines needed was to figure out was who would carry the ball a yard on fourth-and-1. “You sneak it. You run the power play. Multiple things you could do,” Hoke said with a twinge of regret. Instead, Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges called a play action pass. Hoke said that particular play-action pass has served his teams well in the past. And it might have worked, but Narduzzi had sent cornerback Johnny Adams screaming in from the outside. Some Spartans bit on the fake handoff, but Adams grabbed Robinson and rode him down for a 10-yard loss.

The next time Robinson dropped back to throw, he threw directly to Michigan State’s Lewis, who intercepted and returned it 39 yards for the clinching score. Teammates hoisted Lewis onto their shoulders. Still holding the ball, he hopped down and ran to the sideline to celebrate. As Lewis ran by, a Michigan manager stripped the safety of the ball, which is property of the University of Michigan. It was the best defensive play someone in maize and blue made all day.

Robinson ended the game on the bench after a late hit — one Narduzzi wasn’t entirely sure was late — from Michigan State defensive end/linebacker Marcus Rush. Hoke didn’t divulge any specifics about Robinson’s injury. “He got beat up a little bit,” Hoke said.

Fortunately, Michigan has an off week to heal any injuries or any wounded pride. This was the first of Hoke’s countdown games. When he took over, he installed clocks in the football facility counting the seconds until the Michigan State and Ohio State games. A win against the Buckeyes is still possible, but the Wolverines now find themselves in the same position as 2009 and 2010. After a hot start, Michigan State provided a painful reality check. But Michigan players said this time feels different. They won’t slide into the abyss after this loss, they said. Defensive tackle Mike Martin said he couldn’t explain it, but he just knew Hoke’s Wolverines would bounce back even though Rodriguez’s didn’t. Kovacs agreed. “It’s easy to say this is the same Michigan team,” Kovacs said. “But I have no doubt in my mind that we’re not.”

Here’s a better question. Is this the same Michigan State team? The Spartans now must prepare for a visit from Wisconsin, which looks less like the team Michigan State beat last year in East Lansing and more like the Alabama team that annihilated the Spartans in the Capital One Bowl. If the Spartans want to prove something to the nation, they’ll have to do it against the Badgers.

Because beating Michigan has just gotten too easy for Michigan State.

ARTICLE HERE

Filed under Michigan State Spartans Michigan Wolverines Wisconsin Badgers Pat Narduzzi Isaiah Lewis William Gholston Jared McGaha Joel Foreman Jordan Kovacs Rich Rodriguez Brady Hoke Chris McDonald Kirk Cousins Keshawn Martin Denard Robinson J.T. Floyd

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MSU Spring Football. Defense Wins the First Battle.

sportsfromaspartan:

EAST LANSING, Mich. –

 Under overcast skies and temperatures in the low-50s, fifth-year Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio sent his team through a 115-play “controlled” scrimmage in Spartan Stadium on Friday, April 8, as the Spartans completed their sixth of 15 allotted spring practices. Utilizing a modified scoring system, the defense claimed the Green (home) jerseys by winning the first spring scrimmage, 55-45.

The scrimmage format provided the defense with 18 different scoring opportunities, while the offense had 11 ways to put points on the scoreboard, including the traditional touchdown and field goal.

The Spartan first- and second-team defense dominated the early action, as the offense failed to record a first down on its first five series of the 2-hour scrimmage. The defense came up with stops on the first 13 possessions en route to building a commanding 48-29 lead, while recording three sacks, two interceptions and four quarterback pressures.

“The defense played well – tackled effectively, pressured the quarterback and came away with some turnovers,” Dantonio said. “The defense gave up only two touchdowns this afternoon and both came while playing in the red zone. We ran 115 plays this afternoon, so really it was a light day for us. 

“When standing here watching the scrimmage, you never feel like you’re winning because you’re rooting for both sides to do well. There were very few penalties in the scrimmage and that’s a positive. Offensively, we had some dropped passes that killed drives, and we simply can’t have that happen. We also have a number of young guys playing along the offensive line, so if there’s a breakdown up there, things simply don’t work.”

Defensive ends Tyler Hoover (6-7, 274, Jr.) and William Gholston (6-7, 265, So.) combined to record nine tackles, including three for losses (7 yards). Hoover registered five tackles, with two resulting in losses including a 5-yard sack, while Gholston contributed four stops, including one for a loss, and a pass break-up. Linebacker Max Bullough (6-3, 240, So.) also posted five tackles for the first-team defense.

“The front seven played well,” Dantonio said. “At 6-7, 265-270 pounds, both Tyler Hoover and William Gholston can be very good defensive ends. Tyler has been in the program for four years, so he has a good understanding of our system. William has a lot of talent, and he’s really benefitted greatly by playing last season as a true freshman.”

The offense staged a late rally, scoring 10 points on back-to-back possessions during the “red zone” period and adding a touchdown in the “goal-line” period.

The first series of the “red zone” period resulted in a 41-yard field goal by back-up placekicker Kevin Muma (6-0, 189, So.). On the next possession with the first team facing a second-and-13, Edwin Baker (5-9, 208, Jr.) scored on a 22-yard run up the middle. On the first snap of the “goal-line” period, Le’Veon Bell (6-2, 237, So.) raced 6 yards around left end for a TD, utilizing a stiff-arm to break cornerback Johnny Adams’ (5-11, 170, Jr.) attempted tackle.

Baker and Bell, who shared split snaps with the first team, combined to rush 14 times for 50 yards and two scores. Nick Hill (5-7, 182, R-Fr.) paced the second team with eight carries for 36 yards, while Jeremy Langford (5-11, 199, R-Fr.) added 25 yards on seven attempts.

“When the offense got the ball in the red zone, it scored,” Dantonio said. “Edwin Baker had a big run up the middle for a score and Le’Veon Bell had a nice TD run. Both Nick Hill and Jeremy Langford ran pretty well with the twos, so that’s very encouraging.”  

Veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins (6-3, 202, Sr.-5), who was victimized by three dropped passes, completed 6-of-16 tosses for 41 yards and an interception, while back-up Andrew Maxwell (6-3, 208, So.) connected on 15-of-26 throws for 118 yards and an interception.

On his third series, Maxwell managed a 16-play, 76-yard drive that started at the Green 3. He opened the drive by completing his first seven passes for 79 yards, including a 43-yard bomb to Keith Mumphery (6-0, 205, R-Fr.). Facing a third-and-10 from the White 21, Maxwell was intercepted by linebacker TyQuan Hammock (6-0, 227, So.).

“Andrew Maxwell did a nice job managing a 16-play drive by the twos, coming off the 3-yard line,” Dantonio said, “but unfortunately, it ended in a turnover.”

Twelve different receivers caught at least one pass, including Chris D. Rucker (5-9, 175, Sr.-5), who had a scrimmage-best four receptions for 26 yards. Tony Lippett (6-2, 185, R-Fr.) had three catches for 15 yards, while Mumphery and Keshawn Martin (5-11, 185, Sr.) each caught two passes for 49 and 24 yards, respectively.

The Spartans have four practices scheduled for next week: Tuesday, April 12; Thursday, April 14; Friday, April 15; and the second jersey scrimmage on Saturday, April 16.

“We’re really pleased with where the team is after two weeks of spring practice,” Dantonio said. “The players have a great attitude and guys are providing great leadership. We’re getting a lot of work done every single day. We’ve had a limited number of injuries thus far and that’s another positive.”

Michigan State concludes its 15 spring practices with the Green-White intrasquad game on Saturday, April 30 at 1:30 p.m. EDT in Spartan Stadium. Parking is free (in Lots T-79, S-56, P-39/40 and Ramp 5), and the stadium gates (Gates B, C, J and K) open at 12 p.m. Admission is free.

MSU’s spring game will be streamed live on www.bigtennetwork.com and replayed Saturday, April 30 at 8 p.m. EDT on the Big Ten Network, with Will Tieman and Jason Strayhorn calling the action.

I am really excited about how well our defense played. We only have 6 returning starters on our defense, so that puts my worries slightly at ease. 

I am very worried about Kirk Cousins passing efficiency percentage at 37.5%. If the 3 passes weren’t dropped it would’ve been at 56%. Last year he ended the season at 66.68%. But maybe they ran more rushing plays than passing plays. I guess I’ll just have to wait until the spring game to really make a decision.

I am also wondering why B.J. Cunningham didn’t have any catches. Did he not play? Is his broken ankle still an issue? < That wasn’t mentioned in the spring depth chart injury list. 

I am really excited to go to the spring game! I haven’t been to one since I moved to East Lansing. I will definitely take pictures and post about it afterwards.

Filed under Michigan State Spartans College Football Mark Dantonio Spartan Stadium Tyler Hoover William Gholston Max Bullough Kevin Muma Edwin Baker Le'Veon Bell Johnny Adams Nick Hill Jeremy Langford Kirk Cousins Andrew Maxwell Keith Mumphery TyQuan Hammock Chris D. Rucker Tony Lippett Keshawn Martin B.J. Cunningham