Breaking down MSU's 2nd spring scrimmage (as best I can)

"By the end of spring, I'm gonna be called.. numbah one, numbah one." - Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

MSU held its second scrimmage on Saturday, and the offense came away with a 28-26 win this time. (Here's the first scrimmage recap)

Again, It's a situational scrimmage, and points are given out in weird ways, but Nick Hill had a 7-yard touchdown run with just over a minute left to win it for the offense. (So the defense still can't get key stops at the end of games! Or something)

Here are some notable stats:

Passing:

Andrew Maxwell: 14-for-18, 130 yards, 1 TD
Connor Cook: 4-for-11, 66 yards
Tyler O'Connor: 3-for-9, 29 yards

I think it's safe to say Maxwell has the edge, both based on reps and performance. Now, you can say 7.22 yards per attempt and 9.28 yards per completion aren't that great, especially against a defense missing Darqueze Dennard and Isaiah Lewis, but the other guys did worse. Some quotes from Mark Dantonio were encouraging.

"Andrew Maxwell was sharp, and he took some hits. I sort of hold my breath a little bit because by keeping the quarterbacks live, they have to create (plays). Andrew took a big-time hit by Ezra Robinson, but he got up and played right through it. He took the team down the field and scored that same series. That was about as game-like a situation as one could make it.

So that's good to see. So is no interceptions from anyone. O'Conner also had three rushing attempts for 15 yards. No word on Maxwell's facial expressions after incompletions, though. I know those are important.

Now, all of this needs to be taken with a grain of salt. The beat writers got into a whole argument about what it means. We don't know all the situations, though the numbers above certainly favor Maxwell. Scrimmages don't determine the starter. Practice with information from scrimmage backing it up does.

I know many of you don't like Maxwell. *coughSpartanHTcough* But the coaches are paid for decisions like this. The leash is short and the pressure is high on the offensive coaches. They're going to go with who gives them the best chance to win.Their jobs depend on it. If Maxwell didn't have a chance to lose the job, he wouldn't have been pulled when the bowl game was on the line.

So save your comments about how the players don't believe in Maxwell or he doesn't have "it.". It's getting old, and we still have a long summer coming up. The players voted him as captain, and he's getting the most reps in practice right now compared to the last scrimmage for a reason. You should trust the coaches ahead of the limited amount of time you see him on TV. If Maxwell falters and someone steps up, they can get the job. But that has to happen first.

Moving on...

Rushing:

Riley Bullough: 11 carries, 43 yards, 2 TDs
Nick Hill: 12 carries 33 yards, 1 TD
Jeremy Langford: 6 carries, 28 yards

They actually listed rushing stats this time, so that's probably a good thing. The fact that a linebacker with only a few practices as a college running back is the most effective guy is probably not a good thing. Best hope Gerald Holmes and R.J. Shelton are ready to come in and play as true freshmen, a la Larry Caper and Edwin Baker in 2009.

From OC/RBs coach Dave Warner:

"Riley Bullough has made a quick transition because he's only had a couple of practices at tailback. The idea heading into today's scrimmage was to try and limit the (play) calls with him in there. We wanted to make sure that he knew what he was doing. I sort of lost track and just threw the whole offense at him, and he did good. He's a smart kid, so he learns quickly. The quarterbacks in there helped him out a little bit too. So the bottom line is that he was running plays in there that we haven't worked on before. So taking that all into account, he really did a great job.

Receiving:

Bennie Fowler: 4 catches, 67 yards
A.J. Troup: 3 catches, 31 yards, 1 TD
Tony Lippett: 3 catches, 30 yards
DeAnthony Arnett: 3 catches 29 yards

Arnett catch alert! Always nice to see him, you know, playing. Troup appears to be making a move. he had three catches for 97 yards and two touchdowns in the first scrimmage.

Defense:

Joel Heath: 7 tackles, 1 sack, 1 QBH
Kyler Elsworth: 5 tackles, 1 QBH
Max Bullough: 5 tackles, 1 QBH
Denzel Drone: 3 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 FF

Same old, same old.
--

Next up are practices on Tuesday and Thursday before the spring game on Saturday. It's at 2:30 p.m. on BTN. Hope for good weather.

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