Green Out-Toughs White 23-21

Despite the loss of important personnel, one thing carried over into the spring for MSU football: toughness. The Green squad had one more roundhouse in their arsenal, squeaking out a hard-fought win with big plays late in the game. "It was real," Dantonio said afterward. "It wasn't a phony little scrimmage game."

EAST LANSING – The Green had one more smack in the mouth than the White.

That was the story on a sparkling spring day in Spartan Stadium where the Green defeated the White 23-21 in Michigan State's annual spring game.

"There was good hitting out here," coach Mark Dantonio said after the game. "Came down to a competitive situation at the end, that's what you want to see."

The knockout blow sprung from reserve wide receiver Blair White, who turned a routine catch into a 58-yard pass that took the Green, who trailed 21-20, from their own 30 to the White 12 with less than 2 minutes remaining in the game.

On third down, Andre Anderson, the most impressive of the running backs with 43 yards and a touchdown, moved the Green to the center of the field, setting up a game-winning 31-yard field goal off the foot of Matt Haughey with 1:18 to go.

Anderson also contributed 33 receiving yards and appears to have set himself apart in the battle to back up Javon Ringer.

But the defenses contained the running games for the most part and the passing games benefited.

Brian Hoyer threw for 208 yards and 3 touchdowns for the White while Kirk Cousins and Nick Foles rotated for the Green.

Both backups held their own with solid performances.

Cousins started for the Green and established a rapport with Mark Dell, who led all receivers with 120 yards, including a one-handed snag in tight coverage. Cousins went 12 of 19 for 196 yards and 1 touchdown.

Foles was nearly flawless for the Green hitting 9 of 12 for 96 yards. Although his opportunities were more limited than Cousins, Foles made an impression with a combination of pinpoint accuracy and boatloads of arm strength.

"I thought they both played pretty well," Dantonio said. He pointed to their solid performances as reason to consider both of them a legitimate back-up to Hoyer.

Wide receiver B.J. Cunningham joined Dell in the aerial display, breaking out for 97 yards on 6 catches. In the play of the game, Cunningham slipped past his defender up the sideline and hauled in a Hoyer 43-yard bomb in the endzone, putting the White ahead 14-10 in the second quarter, cementing the halftime score.

"Our wide receivers showed up today," Dantonio said. "Some guys took a step forward.

"I thought we caught the ball very well -- B.J. and Mark caught the ball in traffic, Blair did, C.D. Rucker did, Chris L. did, too."

As the Green and White prepare for the fall, Dantonio is confident his team will overcome the obstacles that kept the Spartans from greatness last season.

"The distance between winning and losing is small," Dantonio said. "I like our attitude."

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