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Previewing Green vs. White


Game Date/Time: April 20, 2:30 p.m. ET
Location: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, Mich.
TV: BTN (Broadcasters: Kevin Kugler, Kirk Cousins, Lisa Byington)
Online Streaming:
Radio: Spartan Sports Network
Forecast: 46 degrees, partly cloudy, A Beautiful Day For Football!
Admission: Free; gates open at 1 p.m.
Youth clinic and other info:

The first public look at the 2013 team comes Saturday with the annual Green and White spring game. The seniors drafted the teams earlier this week, and you can look at the complete rosters here.

Instead of any sort of preview, here are five storylines to keep an eye on.

1. Does any quarterback stick out?

Andrew Maxwell is on the White team, Connor Cook is on Green and Tyler O'Connor will play for both teams. The spring game isn't the deciding factor — all of spring should be — but it will be important to see if any of the quarterbacks stick out and look like they deserve the job. That's the case for all positions. Cook was all-time quarterback last year, and that was no fun to watch (14-2 final score). Based on the information given about the previous two scrimmages, Maxwell appears to have the edge, but this position battle is far from over. It'd be nice if Saturday gives us a choice between good options, rather than picking who is less worse.

2. Can they run the ball at all?

Riley Bullough and Nick Hill are on Green, while Nick Tompkins and Jeremy Langford are on White. Bullough has only been a college running back for two weeks, but appeared the most effective in the previous scrimmage. The backs will be using incomplete offensive lines against incomplete defenses, but if MSU can do nothing on the ground, it's going to put even more pressure on the passing game. Dan France, Skyler Burkland and Jack Allen are all out with injuries, but this is a good chance to see how individual backup linemen look. Try to keep an eye on the line rather than the quarterback during a play. We'll probably see these backups at some point during the season. Damn you, AMSUOLHG.

3. Does anyone look like a reliable receiver?

Every receiver had drop problems last year. Between Keith Mumphrey, Bennie Fowler, Tony Lippett and Aaron Burbridge, MSU has plenty of OK options at receiver. But they need one or two guys to become go-to guys the quarterback can trust. This also goes for tight end. Between Evan Jones, Josiah Price, Andrew Gleichert and Juwan Caesar, MSU needs something out of that position.

4. The kicking situation

Kevin Muma is on White, while Kevin Cronin is on Green. Muma will also punt for Green. The kicking job appeared to be Muma's to lose, but Mark Dantonio has said the redshirt freshman Cronin is No. 1 at the moment. In 2010, Dan Conroy surprisingly beat out Muma and went on to have a great season. The No. 1 kicking recruit, Michael Geiger also comes in this summer. MSU will have to settle for one guy before the season starts.

5. Finding starting defensive tackles

With Shilique Calhoun and Trae Waynes locking down starting spots, the only defensive positions up for grabs are at defensive tackle. It's like the receivers positions. There is a lot of depth, with Tyler Hoover, Mark Scarpinato, Brandon Clemons, Lawrence Thomas and James Kittredge, but I'm not sure if anyone really sticks out. MSU will surely take advantage of the depth and use fresh bodies during the season, but the lack of pressure from defensive tackles last year after losing Jerel Worthy did hurt the defense at times. It would help if they have a legitimate No. 1 or 2 inside.


(I thought about making this preview an Opponent Q&A with myself, but I it was too hard. Sorry.)