In what was a surprisingly defensive affair, Kirk Cousins led the Green team over Greg Jones' White team 17-10. Here's a review of the action, in bulleted form:
THE BEST 6-YARD RUN. EVER. In the second quarter, 360-lb. Antonio Jeremiah lined up at fullback, took the hand-off from Cousins, and rumbled through the line for six yards before being tackled by what had to be a stunned Jon Misch. I don't expect this to be a goal-line play for MSU this season as the handoff was slow to develop, but I believe there's no higher form of entertainment than watching an offensive lineman rumbling down the field with the ball, leaving the crushed bodies of safeties and cornerbacks in his wake.
Denicos Allen, future playmaker. A linebacker from Hamilton, Ohio, Allen was redshirted for his first year at Michigan State. Yesterday Allen was the most dynamic defensive player for the Green side, tallying seven tackles with 2.5 sacks and a pass break-up. Even though there's a glut at the linebacker position this year, Greg Jones and Eric Gordon will leave in 2010, and Allen looks to be one of MSU's linebackers of the future along with Chris Norman, and recruits William Gholston and Lawrence Thomas.
We've got good wide receivers and tight ends, but you already knew that. It looks like the suspensions didn't slow down Mark Dell and B.J. Cunningham much; especially Dell, who caught a 58-yard pass from Cousins off a fake reverse and and broke a couple tackles from a screen pass to get a 44-yard gain. Keith Nichol seems to have cured the case of the dropsies that plagued him at the Alamo Bowl, and Keshawn Martin had over 100 yards receiving. That's not even mentioning the tight ends, as Charlie Gantt had four receptions for 68 yards for the White team, and Dion Sims had three catches for 53 yards for the Green team.
The special team will be less special then they were last year. Dan Conroy was 1-for-2 on his field goals, missing one from 35 yards and making one from 31 yards. Kevin Muma made a 19-yarder, and if you're looking for a stat to separate the two, Muma had the longer kickoffs, averaging 59.8 yards to Conroy's 50. Regardless, don't expect Dantonio to name a starter until August at the earliest. Aaron Bates had a couple of good punts, but there were also a couple of line drives that could have been returned if that had been allowed.
- Kirk Cousins, still a good quarterback. 10-15, 254 yards, 1 TD. Had some great touch passes, especially the 27-yarder to Donald Spencer to set up the Green team's field goal. Andrew Maxwell's the clear back-up, and he performed admirably as well (18-34, 244 yards, 1 TD), but doesn't have the same touch on his deep passes as Cousins does. Joe Boisture made a few good plays and completed all three of his passes, but I think this is going to be a redshirt year for him, and if State needs a third quarterback, Keith Nichol will most likely get the nod.
As a whole, the defense was a tad more dominant than I thought it'd be, and was nowhere near the shootout it was last year. I, nor anyone else, can tell you if this means our defense will be better this year or if our offense has regressed. With the main exceptions of baseball and softball, we've officially entered the off-season for Michigan State sports until September 4th. In the coming weeks there'll be a post outlining how we plan to spend the summer here at The Only Colors, but for now, steel yourselves. It's going to be a long wait until September 4th.