All about DEFENSE!!!! Michigan State Green and White Game 2012 The Enlightened Spartan: All about DEFENSE!!!! Michigan State Green and White Game 2012

Sunday, April 29, 2012

All about DEFENSE!!!! Michigan State Green and White Game 2012

It was 14-2 White, but should have really been 7-2... or maybe 7-5.  Defense.  That is what you can expect a lot of from the Spartans in the fall.  If you are taking the Spring Game for what it's worth -- Spartans playing against Spartans -then you'll realize you can't expect too much out of the game. Notably, the Spartans top QB (Andrew Maxwell) and two of its top receivers (including Bennie Fowler) were out for injuries.  So, what can you really expect?

What we did realize was Will Gholston (#2) and Anthony White (#98) played like men amongst boys in the annual Green and White game.  Max Bullough (#40) was sensational at linebacker, as was Denicos Allen (#28).  The best play by the offense was actually made by a defensive player -- as #5 Johnny Adams hauled in a 40-yard pass by Connor Cook (#18) to get the White Team out of their own territory.  Most of the game, the defensive line completely stuffed the run and was in Cook's face.  Poor Nick Hill (#20) and LeVeon Bell (#28)... these guys had NOWHERE to run all day.  Hill had about 90 yards on 20 carries, and did manage a 35-yard TD run in scrum in which Gholston bruised his knee... but that was about it. Marcus Rush (#44) played well along the line... and it was nice to see VHT Taiwan Jones (#34) played excellent at LB, particularly in jamming the run. This defense is unbelievable and will be the Big Ten's best.  Deep and talented across the board.

About the offense?  Yes, it is true.  That is Dion Sims (left), back for this 10th year for the Spartans at TE.  Couldn't believe his unlimited eligibility when I saw it.  Cook played on both the Green and the White for most of the game. He must've hurled that ball 50 times or more, and maybe only completed 10 passes.  It wasn't all his fault on either side, as the Spartan defense was in his face most of the day.  The final score, 14-2, included a TD on a drive which should have stalled from a Gholston sack, but the Doctor (Coach MD) let them play on (Gholston threw his hands up in the air saying "What's up?").   Gholston just was going through the motions by the end of the day, until he bruised his knee.

The ES thinks Cook looked rattled, and played worse as the game went on.  Didn't help he had giants in his face all day.  Actually, who looked better at QB was Tommy Vento (#16), who was only in for one series and threw an INT on a long throw... but he looked fearless and comfortable in the pocket.

But, there were about 20,000 out there on a cold and dreary day. No rain, so it paid off...

A concern would be PK Dan Conroy, who missed a pair of 40-yarders.  On the flip side, our punter, Mike Sadler (#3) might be the MVP  of the game - he consistently hung up 45 yard punts for 4-seconds, and dropped in a couple of chip shots inside the 5.  Beautiful day for Sadler. 

The most impressive stats?  The White defense holding the Green to minus-10 yards rushing. Marcus Rush had 2.5 sacks, Denicos Allen had 7 tackles, and Micajah Reynolds had 1.5 tackles for loss.
This is what it looked like from the Big Ten Network - catch the highlights: