The sophomore cornerback has shown flashes of potential all season, but finally made a couple big plays for Michigan State against Minnesota. He had a pair of picks in a game that MSU needed to have some turnovers go in its way as it turned the ball over more than usual (twice … yes, more than usual).
There is a reason the talk before the season was Johnny Adams wouldn't be missed a lot despite being a good player in his own right. Waynes has a bright future in East Lansing.
Scarpinato and Damon Knox are primed to step into starting roles next season, but have been making their presence felt throughout this season. Scarpinato was at his best against the Gophers.
The biggest play came on a third-and-goal as Scarpinato came free up the middle and got his hands up to knock down Philip Nelson's pass and force a field-goal attempt. He also had a sack with Denicos Allen on third down before Minnesota missed a field goal later in the game.
Called for a roughing the passer penalty in the fourth quarter, Rush responded in a big way on the rest of the drive. As Minnesota was wearing down the MSU defense a bit, Rush came up with two sacks in four plays to back the Gophers up. The drive later stalled when Tyler Hoover forced a fumble, but Rush was huge in hindering the late attempt from the Gophers to get back in the game.
Fonoti had a bit of a rough time for the second time in three games. He was beaten badly around the edge by Minnesota's Theirien Cockran, who forced Cook to fumble in the third quarter.
Cook, who has been steadily rising for about the past month and a half, struggled against Minnesota. He missed some targets pretty badly, but the worst was when he didn't see a wide open Keith Mumphery streaking down field open for a gimme touchdown. He has to be better than that -- and he has been much better than that. Spartans fans have come to expect more from the confident sophomore.