In front of 74,516 fans, the Michigan State Spartans would use the legs of L.J. Scott, the arm of Tyler O’Connor and the hands of Monty Madaris to defeat Furman 28-13 in their season opener.
For O’Connor the night meant his second career start as a Spartan and the fifth-year senior from Lima, Ohio went 13-of-18 for 190-yards, 3 TDs with only one interception.
O’Connor and his teammates know mistakes kept them from putting up the points many expected but overall the offense was solid as the Spartans offensive line showed signs of gelling allowing L.J. Scott to rush for 105-yards on 20 carries and one touchdown.
While O’Connor and Scott posted solid nights, it was the play of wide receiver Monty Madaris that should have Spartan fans excited.
The former Cincinnati (Ohio) Moeller standout has been slowed during his career but looks like he’s ready to be the next senior receiver to step forward and have a year to remember as pulling down five balls for 85 yards while also rushing one time for a 12 yard gain.
On defense sophomore linebacker Andrew Dowell helped seal the win with a one-handed interception following one of the Spartans mistakes and the Spartans never looked back.
Dantonio knows his young linebacker is a player that goes all out to make plays and came up with a key one in the win.
"Andrew is a 100-mile-an-hour guy," stressed Dantonio. "He does it in practice just like he plays. He is going to go hard on everything. He has great skills. He has great quickness. He is an athletic guy and has great hands. For him to make that play, I think we are going to see more of that. That guy is only a sophomore. I think we are going to see more of that as time goes on. So, it was exciting to see that and it was a huge play after they had just gotten the ball at about the 45 or so. The next play he makes that play and then we go down to score and close it out."
In the end the Spartans know they have things to work on as they made too many mental mistakes with 10 penalties for 120 yards and giving up 226-total yards of offense to Furman.
The Spartans will get a chance to work on their mistakes as they have an early bye week before heading to Notre Dame for what should be a big showdown between the Spartans and Irish.