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Offense Defeats Defense in First Scrimmage, and More Football Notes

Hi all!  Sorry there was no update this morning, but I'm finally moved into my new place, and ready to write.  Here's what happened while I was moving couches up two flights of stairs:

  • The offense beat the defense 67-63 in a "situational" scrimmage with a modified scoring system (that is, points are awarded to the offense and defense for obtaining first downs, getting three-and-outs, etc.).  Cousins and Maxwell both had very good days with Maxwell having the better outing, going 18-22 for 159 yards and a TD to Cousins's 17-28 for 216 yards, 2 TD's and an interception. Will this be the outing that moves Maxwell past Cousins?  Absolutely not, and you may tar and feather anyone that suggests so.
  • Despite the two QB's excellence, the defense was still able to make a couple plays, especially William Gholston.  The sophomore had four tackles, 2.5 sacks, and a forced fumble.  Depending on where you are in the optimist/pessimist spectrum, you may anoint Gholston or curse the offensive tackles to your heart's content.  Safety Isaiah Lewis led all players in tackles with eight, and Trenton Robinson added five tackles and an interception.
  • Nick Hill led all rushers with 72 yards on 14 runs.  Le'Veon Bell was in second with 46 yards on 14 carries including a touchdown, with Larry Caper contributing 34 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown as well.  Edwin Baker saw limited time, but had a TD.

Mark Dantonio stated that fatigue might have been a factor in the scrimmage

We went for awhile today (2:20), but we have to display more emotion and intensity. We'll have a good football team; I don't worry about that, but how good can we be? To reach our full potential, we must consistently play at a high level.

Dantonio spoke to the press today on different topics, one of them being comments former Michigan State quarterback Tony Banks made in an interview last week:

"What I don’t like about him is he appears to be skittish in the pocket. ….You have to be courageous and at times he doesn’t look like he’s courageous enough to me and for Michigan State to get over the hump he’s gotta play better than he’s played. They’re not going to overachieve like last year."

Here's what Kirk Cousins had to say about that:

"I would love to have the career of a Tony Banks," Cousins said. "If he sees something where he thinks I can improve, I’m going to listen. There’s no doubt he said that, and he has a reason for what he’s saying.

"I need to go back and, obviously, improve on all kinds of different things."

But does he lack for courage?

"I guess that’s for coaches to decide, for my teammates to decide," Cousins said. "I don’t need to talk about my courage. I’ll let my play do the talking and let other people determine how courageous I am."

Great.  Now let's bury this story at sea and never speak of it again.  Speaking of things tangentially related to football, practice had a special visitor today -- Tom Izzo:

When Izzo was finished, the team broke its large huddle by shouting, "National champions."

Last season, the Spartans typically broke by shouting, "Big Ten champs."

Yay for higher expectations!  Boo for knowing what high expectations have done to previous Spartan teams!  Meanwhile, Keith Nichol continues his progression as a receiver:

"I wanted to say I was comfortable, but when I look at myself now, I’m a different player than even in the spring, and especially last fall. I talked to coach Samuel and he said 'you are not even the same player when I look at the film in those games. You have improved so much.'"

I hope the Big Ten has good health insurance for its players, because Keith is going to concuss some poor defensive back this year.

Lastly, Rexrode has a notebook full of quotes from today, which should cover a bit of everything.