MSU Offense Wins 2nd Spring Scrimmage

Kevork Djansezian

In what can only be called a major upset, the offense takes its second scrimmage in a row in the final moments, 38-37.

MSU Athletic's full write up is here

Little Giants. Mouse Trap, Hey Diddle Diddle, and now, the same side of the ball winning two scrimmages in a row. Truly, Dantonio's penchant for misdirection knows no limits.

Theory: In past years, it seemed the scrimmages were run with a more confusing scoring system (say, '2 points for a TFL', for example) that allowed the coaches to manipulate outcomes as they saw fit. This year, it seems the defense is simply spotted points at the start and charged with maintaining its lead.

Video:

Needless over-analysis of video highlights.

Play #1

Jack Conklin holds up well against Shilique Calhoun, Cook tries to go to the RB screen well one too many times and is picked off for the defensive touchdown. Appears to be a bad throw by Cook in more ways than one.

Play #2

Riley Bullough flies out into the flat to drop R.J. Shelton for a loss on the end around hand-off after a fake give to the RB.

Play #3

Cook drops a GD beauty  of a throw deep down-field over the shoulder of Arnett who makes a nice catch while being closely defended by Ezra Robinson

Play #4

The throw back screen from Cook to Langford is wide open. Uh, some would say too wide open. Uncomfortably, scarily, wide open. Whether scary for us, or for our opponents, is something we'll figure out in about four and a half months.

Play #5

Jermaine Edmondson perfectly jumps a O'Connor hitch route intended for a receiver whose number I can't make out and but has the ball broken up out of his hands, losing the potential pick-six, by receiver whose number I can't make out. Receiver whose number I can't make out 4 defensive back.

Play #6

Safety coverage bust on the jet sweep play action lets Cook loft a ball into the hands of a streaking R.J. Shelton who goes the distance outrunning RJ Williamson to the end zone. R.J. on R.J. crime must end.

Play #7

Terry zings the ball down-field to Shelton who has a step on Justin Williams and makes a more difficult grab this time for 35 yards.

Play #8

Terry's jet sweep hand-off to Shelton is well blocked to the outside and he heads in for the 5 yard TD.

Play #9

Cook's pass to a well-defended Andre Sims Jr is wrestled away by Kurtis Drummond for the interception.

Play #10

Cook throws a back-shoulder hitch to Arnett who makes a nice sliding grab in front of Trae Waynes

Play #11

Cook to Tony Lippett comes free on the crossing route and outruns defenders for what looks like first down yardage.

Play #12

Cook throws the quick hitch to Mumphery who gets immediately popped by Demetrious Cox.

Play #13

Nick Tompkins gets through the hole only to be spun down to the ground by Shane Jones.

Play #14

Waynes makes a great break on the ball to deflect Cook's shallow out route throw intended for Nick Hill

Play #15

Nick Hill takes the shotgun handoff, cuts back, then gets nailed by Marcus Rush and one other defensive player for a small loss.

Passing Game

Offense

Connor Cook

Today: 24/38 (63.1%), 361 yards (9.5 Yards per Attempt), 2 TDs, 2 INTs

Spring: 39/59 (66.1%), 548 yards (9.3 Yards per Attempt), 4 TDs, 3 INTs.

Accuracy remains encouraging, though it is definitely worth noting that he hasn't been 'live' (in other words, he's no-contact) for these scrimmages, so that would help there. Interceptions might have reached the point where it's worth wincing a little bit at just how painful a regression away from his unsustainable 'six INTS in 14 games' season last year will be. nine and a half yards per attempt is fantastic, it could be a full yard less than that and that would still likely indicate a thriving passing game. Yes please.

Damion Terry

Today: 2/?, at least 44 yards

Terry and O'Connor were both live, which might shed some light on why they weren't really included in the box score release.

Aaron Burbridge

Today: 6 catches for 64 yards (10.7 yards per catch)

Spring: 9 catches for 90 yards (10 yards per catch), 1 TD

Again, appears to be the standout among the back-ups.

DeAnthony Arnett

Today: 5 catches for 63 yards (12.6 yards per catch)

Spring: 10 catches for 130 yards (13 yards per catch), 1 TD

With Fowler graduated and Tony Lippett just coming back from an injury, it seems Arnett has slid into a Spring starting role and has produced two good games in a row. Hopefully it's all coming together for him.

R.J. Shelton

Today: 4 catches for 132 yards (33 yards per catch), 1 TD

Spring: 8 catches for 155 yards (19.4 yards per catch), 1 TD

Yooo, what is this? Very good (offensive) news to see Shelton making big plays down-field as an 'actual' receiver.

Jeremy Langford

Today: 4 catches for 63 yards (15.8 yards per catch), 1 TD

Spring: 7 catches for 114 yards (16.3 yards per catch), 2 TDs

OK, there's probably an equal amount of excitement and worry to be had over the roller coaster ride of MSU's screen game through two scrimmages. Langford showing off that speed in the open field again, though.

Josiah Price

Today: at least 1 catch for 9 yards

Today's winner of the 'brief, mysterious mention in the write up but not the box score'award.

Keith Mumphery and Tony Lippett

Today: at least 1 catch each.

And the winner's of the brief mysterious appearance in the highlight video but not the box score award goes to these two.

Defense

Kurtis Drummond

Today: 1 INT

Spring: 2 INTs

The man who tied with Dennard for the team lead in INTs is off to a very strong start in that category again.

Demetrius Cooper

Today: 1 sack

The speedy red-shirt freshman gets on the Spring scoreboard.

Riley Bullough

Today: 1 INT returned for a TD

Moar Bulloughs.

Run Game

Offense

Nick Hill

Today: 7 rushes for 64 yards (9.1 yards per carry), 2 TDs

Spring: 17 rushes for 117 yards (6.9 YPC), 2 TDs

Another good scrimmage from Hill, including a 45 yard TD run.

Jeremy Langford

Today: 7 rushes for 31 yards (4.4 YPC)

Spring: 10 rushes for 46 yards (4.6 YPC)

Did most of his work through the air but a solid, consistent, ~4.5 yards per carry is a very Jeremy Langford type day.

Gerald Holmes

Today: 10 rushes for 51 yards (5.1 YPC)

And the RS freshman makes his first appearance with solid output, though likely against the defensive back-ups.

RJ Shelton

Today: 8 rushing yards, 1 TD.

Nick Tompkins

Today: at least one carry

Defense

Jalyn Powell

Today: 8 tackles

Spring: 14 tackles, forced fumble

led the team in tackles again, though presumably against back-ups.

Demetrious Cox

Today: 6 tackles

More characteristic aggression from the MSU safeties.

John Reschke

Today: 7 tackles

Was starting in the absence of Taiwan Jones, probably got more playing time than usual with Jones working his way back.

Lawrence Thomas

Today: 7 tackles, 1 TFL

The oft-injured Thomas appears with a nice day at his new defensive end spot. Good to see.

Marcus Rush

Today: 6 tackles, 1 TFL

Steady production from the senior.

Demetrius Cooper

Today: 4 tackles, 2 TFL

Riley Bullough

Today: 3 tackles, 1 TFL

Shane Jones

Today: at least one tackle.

Special teams

Michael Geiger

Made a 32 yard field goal. Connected on '5-of-6 field-goal attempts during third-down situations', uh, for whatever that means.

Did Dantonio say, "We have to keep working on things, but [positive statement]" (good) OR simply "We have to keep working on things." (bad)?

"We'll have to look at the tape, but there were good things on both sides of the ball."

Yeah boy, we're two-for-two!

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