Spring Game Central: Michigan State
The Michigan State football team held its annual spring game Saturday afternoon at Spartan Stadium. It was an entertaining and insightful day in East Lansing, Mich., as Mark Dantonio gave BTN an all-access pass to the scrimmage. Watch now as Lisa Byington was allowed into the Michigan State huddle, plus get interviews and highlights from Saturday’s 14-2 decision in this post. Also, see what BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart learned from the spring game and read some of the best tweets that were sent out during the action.
Here’s what Dienhart learned from the White beating the Green, 14-2:
- Backup quarterback Connor Cook had some good and bad moments, starting slowly but finishing better. He saw lots of action as projected starter Andrew Maxwell sat out the game with a sprained knee.
- The defense looks good. I guess that’s not a shock, as this could be Mark Dantonio’s best yet D yet with only linemen Jerel Worthy and Kevin Pickleman gone, along with safety Trenton Robinson. Fittingly, the first points of the day were tallied by the defense, as star end William Gholston notched a safety.
- A receiving corps that’s looking to replace the likes of B.J. Cunningham, Keith Nichol and Keshawn Martin may get a boost from a defensive player. Cornerback Johnny Adams was a standout receiver in high school and turned some heads today at wideout. Bennie Fowler wasn’t expected to play because of injury but saw some action. And Andre Sims Jr. caught a touchdown pass in the first half, as the diminutive Sims is quick and elusive with decent hands.
- The Green offensive line—which featured four starters–struggled early on, causing Connor Cook to struggle. The o-line is supposed to be a strength, right?
- Nick Hill got a lot of action at running back, as the staff knows what it has in starter Le’Veon Bell–who played sparingly. And backup Larry Caper got dinged up. Hill ran for a 32-yard touchdown and showed a burst. He makes this a deep collection of running backs for a team that may have to rely on running the ball often early on while the passing game develops.
- Massive Dion Sims looked good at tight end, a big position of need. Sims showed good hands and nimbleness. He could be a very valuable weapon on third downs and in the red zone in 2012.
- Kicker Dan Conroy missed a 27- and 46-yard field goals. Both pushed to the right—and weather wasn’t an issue. Not good. The snapper, holder and Conroy all are veterans.
Sparty lines up in the backfield, takes handoff:
Michigan State spring game highlights
Andrew Maxwell interview:
Jerel Worthy interview
Greg Jones interview:
Kirk Cousins calls in to talk about being drafted:
BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is on Twitter and Facebook, and all of his work is at btn.com/tomdienhart. Send questions to his weekly mailbag, subscribe to his RSS feed, and check out his video Q&A.