Thoughts on MSU's second 2013 fall scrimmage

Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

As expected, the offense "won" the second scrimmage of the fall, which happened thanks to a game-winning kick from Kevin Muma.

I know some of the big offensive numbers got people excited, but context is important. Here is MSU's recap. MSU's defense dominated early, forcing four three-and-outs with an interception in the first half. The defense had a 33-6 edge in the modified scoring, and the offense won 37-36, so my impression would be that much of the scoring was done against backups, but I don't know that for sure.

First, notable stats, quotes, then my thoughts.

Passing:

Andrew Maxwell 9-of-19 for 77 yards
Connor Cook 4-of-9, 67 yards, 1 INT
Damion Terry 10-of-14, 240 yards, 3 TDs (43 yards to Andre Sims Jr.; 38 yards to Aaron Burbridge; 13 yards to Bennie Fowler);
Tyler O'Connor 11-of-16, 102 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT

Rushing:

Jeremy Langford 13-75, 2 TDs
Gerald Holmes 7-41
Damion Terry 12-40
Delton Williams 10-37, 1 TD

Receiving:

Andre Sims Jr. 7-87, 1 TD 
DeAnthony Arnett 5-64, 2 TDs
Aaron Burbridge 3-49, 1 TD
Bennie Fowler 3-44 (2 TDs)

Kicking:

In addition to the game-winning kick, Muma connected on 7-of-8 field goals, including seven straight, while freshman Michael Geiger was 5 of 6. Geiger's long was from 46 yards out and his only miss was blocked by Kurtis Drummond.

Defensive leaders (solos-assists-total):

Darien Harris 1-10-11; 
Ed Davis 8-1-9, 4 sacks
Joel Heath 3-5-8, 2.5 TFLs, 1 sack
RJ Williamson 4-4-8, 1 INT
Tyler Hoover 1-2-3, 1.5 TFLs, 1 sack
Denzel Drone 1-1-2, 1 sack, 1 FR
Trae Waynes 2-0-2, 1 INT

Notable quotes (emphasis mine)

"I was very pleased with the way the offense responded because early in the scrimmage it simply wasn't the case. The offense started making plays during the second half of the scrimmage. We spotted the defense 26 points and they came up with another seven, but the offense came back and did the job. We were able to run the ball a little bit there during the second half of the scrimmage. We threw the ball well and caught the ball well. The guy who made plays was Damion Terry. So we'll look at the film and evaluate it. The defense played extremely well early in the game, but you can't give up a couple of big plays. We pulled a couple (defensive) guys, but offensively, we made some plays and that was good to see.

"Damion Terry is a big, physical guy. He's sudden, and he can create. He's still a freshman and that's the thing that bothers you a little bit, but he can create. The name of the game - and I've said this over and over again - is you've got to create at quarterback. You've got to take a bad play and make it a good one because things are going to break down. That's just the way football is. (After today's scrimmage) it makes it (the quarterback race) even more interesting. Damion throws a nice ball, and guys went up and caught the ball. It's exciting to see (his development).

...

"It's tight. Kevin Muma has had a great camp. At the end of the game, he came in and made a big kick, from 46 yards with two seconds on the clock to win the scrimmage, and that wasn't a gimme. Both Kevin Muma and Michael Geiger kicked very well today. I was impressed with both, so it will make it difficult. I'm happy to see Muma kicking very well."

Thoughts

-Terry is clearly the story of this scrimmage. We're not totally sure whom he played with or against (TDs to expected first-teamers), and those numbers are big, but it's Dantonio's comments that make me believe he's not out of this QB race yet. Is that a good thing? Leading up to the scrimmage, it seemed to be a two-man race, but if Maxwell and Cook can't pull ahead of a true freshman, not sure that's good, because you can only expect so much from a true frosh. I know these stats will lead to the "have to prepare for future, go with Terry anyway" comments, but we don't know the full context of these stats, and MSU has to have a big season. They have to get this right. Those three opening games should help if fall camp doesn't decide it.

- No given stats for Riley Bullough or Nick Hill was curious

- Again, context matters, but those are some beastly numbers from Ed Davis. The sophomore linebacker has been getting some love from Pat Narduzzi, and it appears to be warranted.

- Don't count out Kevin Muma. The senior is not going quietly in this kicking battle.

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