More Scenes from a Scrimmage

"This game is a game of emotion. We have to remember we have to stay emotional, we have to stay enthusiastic on the field. I thought the defense, after that first series, they lost a little bit of that emotion. And we gotta get that back. That's why it's a team game. We'll provide that on the sidelines." -- Head Coach Mark Dantonio

EAST LANSING -- In the spring version of the Green & White scrimmage, the defense dominated. Yesterday at Spartan stadium the Michigan State defense got a taste of its own medicine.

It was not a complete blowout though, and the defense made the final 66-64 score look closer than the actual scrimmage.

"This game is a game of emotion," said head coach Mark Dantonio. "We have to remember we have to stay emotional, we have to stay enthusiastic on the field. I thought the defense, after that first series, they lost a little bit of that emotion. And we gotta get that back. That's why it's a team game. We'll provide that on the sidelines."

The linebacking corps appeared as speedy as advertised with Jonathan Misch and Eric Gordon flying around the field, disrupting numerous plays. Kaleb Thornhill, like Javon Ringer on offense, played relatively little for precautionary reasons.

SirDarean Adams played briefly with the first team, but still appears relegated to the second unit as Adam Decker and Josh Rouse logged much of the time at the MIKE position with Thornhill sitting out. Freshman Greg Jones made a splash with the second team LBs, finishing tackles and showing a good combination of speed and field awareness.

The secondary was led by cornerback Nehemiah Warrick, who broke up passes and made a couple of tackles for loss. Safety Dan Fortener excelled with the second unit, delivering big hits consistently and intercepting a pass early on..

Defensive end Ervin Baldwin found his motor as well and, along with tackle Justin Kershaw, made life a little more difficult for the offensive line.

With a spotty day punting the ball, Dantonio might be emphasizing special teams more than he usually does in the ensuing weeks.

"(The punting) needs to be consistent. A couple of those times we had our ranger team out there and they got the job done. But, you know, it needs to be more consistent at times," Dantonio said. "I think Ed Wagner is doing a nice job and Aaron Bates is doing a nice job as well—it just depends on which day your looking at them."

On Saturday, neither punter appeared at the top of his game, but of the two, Bates had the better day with more consistent downfield punts.

Special teams units struggled in other areas as well. Warrick fumbled a kick return and a punt was blocked in the endzone.

One bright spot appears to be kicker Todd Boleski, who booted the pigskin well into the end zone, an important skill as the kickoff moves back to the 30-yard line this season. Boleski could man the kickoff duties while Swenson manages field goals.

Besides Warrick, Kendell Davis-Clark and Devin Thomas also returned kickoffs. Carl Grimes and Chris L. Rucker fielded punts.

This free story is just an example of the great content you'll receive everyday when you become a GSN insider. Why not sign up for a free 7-day trial right now?


Spartan Digest Top Stories