Green book: Smoker, Taplin Big 10 Players of Week

The accolades just keep coming in for the Michigan State Spartans. Quarterback Jeff Smoker was named Big Ten co-offensive player of the week while defensive end Greg Taplin was tabbed as defensive player of week. Also an updated injury report for the Illinois contest

(EAST LANSING) - The accolades keep piling up for the Michigan State Spartans football team. This week defensive end Greg Taplin was recognized as the defensive player of the week and quarterback Jeff Smoker was named co-Big Ten offensive player of the week.

Smoker completed 32-0f-40 passes for an 80% completion rate and 351 yards passing including two touchdowns. The senior from Mannheim, PA also added a rushing score to lead the Spartans to a victory over Indiana. This is the second time Smoker was named Big Ten Player of the Week and first since November 13, 2000, when he was a freshman. Smoker shares recognition with Minnesota wide receiver Jared Ellison.

Meanwhile defensive end Greg Taplin was named Big Ten defensive player of the week for his three sack performance in the MSU 31-3 win over Indiana. Taplin led the "Gang Green" defense with five tackles including four solo. His three sacks equals the number he had combined in the last three seasons.

The Spartans are also getting good news on the injury front with four players who were injured expected to be able to go in Saturday's contest vs. Illinois in Champagne. Running back Tyrell Dortch (sprained ankle), wide receiver Ziehl Kavanaght (knee), 'Mike' linebacker Ronald Stanley (hamstring) and 'Bandit' Monquiz Wedlow (leg contusion) are all probable against the Fighting Illini this weekend. Defensive tackle Brandon McKinney isn't expected to sit out two more weeks before being able to go.

Is MSU's Matt Trannon ready to become the go-to guy and the next great big receiver at MSU? That's the question on a lot of people's lips after Trannon's six catch, 89-yard performance against Indiana. Trannon long lean physique reminds a lot of people of former MSU stars Plaxico Burress and Charles Rogers. Spartan coach John L. Smith says not to expect too much from Trannon too soon.

"He's a freshman. He's been away from football for a year. It's going to take him awhile. We have a tendency as coaches to overlook that and I think the fans do as well. It was good to see him have a positive day. Hopefully, he's going to continue to do that and get better and gradually blossom."


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