Michigan State Spring Football Game: 5 Things That Matter
What do you need to know about what happened in the Michigan State spring football game?
1. The Controversy Played A Role
With the suspensions of three Spartans still a mystery – considering the allegations against them in a sexual assault case – it became a talking point that 15 players didn’t suit up. Head coach Mark Dantonio went out of his way earlier in the week to say how “trivial” the spring game was compared to the larger issues, but on Saturday, he was all about the team and the day.
2. The Starting Quarterback Will Probably Be …
Brian Lewerke. Colar Kuhns missed on more than half of his throws, but he threw for 111 yards and a touchdowns. Lewerke threw for 305 yards and a touchdown, and goes into fall as the likely one to beat out. However, Damion Terry and Messiah deWeaver didn’t play.
3. The Crowd Size
The controversy didn’t help the cause, but the crowd was – by most estimations – far smaller this year. Last season’s spring game was different, with everyone still buzzed around the College Football Playoff/Big Ten Championship run. The Michigan State sports info department put the crowd at around 25,000.
4. The New Defensive Stars From The Game Are …
Sophomore DE Kenny Willekes was the top playmaker up front for a team that needs a pass rusher, coming up with six stops and a few plays behind the line. The 6-3, 235-pound walk-on might not be a superstar, but he’ll potentially make some noise in the rotation. The Spartans came up with just 11 sacks last season.
True freshman CB Josiah Scott was terrific, making a game-high eight tackles with a pick. His big late play all but sealed the win for the defense in the modified system.
Also, be shocked if Joe Bachie doesn’t finish among the top three tacklers this year. He’s all but cemented in the middle linebacker gig.
5. The Offensive Line Was …
Fine. It’s still going to be one of the main focal points later this summer, but the Spartans blocked well for RB Madre London and, generally, controlled the MSU D line. At the very least, the tackles appear to be fine for a line that has to be far more consistent.