Offense Takes First Jersey Scrimmage

Michigan State took the field Saturday in their first jersey scrimmage of the preseason. When the final whistle blew the Spartans charted 149 plays with the offense coming out on top 67-63.

Saturday's first jersey scrimmage of the preseason answered a few questions on both sides of the ball. While everyone had a chance to log some time on film, the real work will now begin.

Who stood out in the offensive win?

Bragging rights after the first week of camp belong to Kirk Cousins and the offense. On Saturday, the senior captain posted 216 yards in the air going 17-of-28 with two touchdowns and one interception.

On the receiving ends of Cousins touchdown scores were Keshawn Martin (11 yards) and Dion Sims (10 yards).

Not to be left behind, backup signal caller Andrew Maxwell went 18-of-22 for 159 yards including a 10-yard touchdown toss to Bennie Fowler.

While the passing game looked to be solid the Spartans bread & butter was not too far behind. With Edwin Baker seeing limited action, redshirt freshman Nick Hill posted 72 yards on 14 carries. Le'Veon Bell (46 yards) and Larry Capper (34 yards) got their carries in with each adding a score.

On the receiving ends of Cousins and Maxwell's air attack was Fowler (6-58), B.J. Cunningham (5-55), Martin (3-53) Sims (3-29).

Defensively the Spartans were paced by William Gholston's 2.5 sacks and Trenton Robinson's interception. Isaiah Lewis was the top tackler with 8 total stops on the day.

Spartan head coach Mark Dantonio knows film from the day will tell the whole story on the positives of the day.

"It's tough to evaluate things overall because we haven't watched the film yet, but we did some very good things. We could have a very good football team, but when things get tough, we have to be able to reach down and find our identity.

"As a head coach, you really try to remain neutral, hoping that both sides play well. The biggest things I'd like to see are more emotion and more intensity. We went for awhile today (2:20), but we have to display more emotion and intensity. We'll have a good football team; I don't worry about that, but how good can we be? To reach our full potential, we must consistently play at a high level. The season opener is still almost three weeks away, and sometimes, a team finds its identity as it moves through the season.

"Everybody got a chance to play and that's the main thing we wanted to do today. The ones, twos and threes all got reps, so now we can evaluate everybody. We tried to put those different units in tough situations and see who could block, tackle, and make a play.

"The expectations of our football team are very high, so the expectations of its head coach internally are going to be very high. After eight practices, there's plenty of room for improvement."

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