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:

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sans-Maxwell Green & White Spring Game 2012

MSU Spring Game
April 28, 2012.  1 pm.
TV:  Big Ten Network
Weather:  43 degrees, light rain.

What is there to expect in 2012 out of the MSU Spartans' Spring Game?  This would be, or should be, one of the most anticipated Spring Games in Michigan State history - the Big Green have notched double-digit wins each of the past two years for the first time in history, and the defense is filled with studs and big-time-player performers.  And, the ES WILL be there with Big Bob tomorrow.

But... the weather prediction?  43 and rain.  Ugh.  The last few years has been relatively warm (60+ weather) and without God's drooling onto the masses.  If this spring game was held a month ago, it would've been 85 and sunny on March 27.  But, who cares.  It should be a fun time tomorrow despite the poor weather.

So, what should we be looking for?  The ES lists his top three interests for the MSU Spring Game:

1.  Not Maxing it out.  Andrew Maxwell is hurt, as are two of the top Spartan receivers (Tony Lippett, Bennie Fowler).  So, Connor Cook - who was Mr. Nobody when he had a great spring game two years ago - will step in to hurl the pigskin around.  On the receiving end to watch may be Tennessee transfer DeAnthony Arnett. Sucks to watch a game that has little offense we expect to see in the fall.  It certainly is a concern.

2.  The Linebackers.  In all honesty, anyone who saw Eric Gordon and Greg Jones would be STUNNED by an improvement the year after in Max Bullough, Chris Norman, and Denicos Allen.  Now, this trio is probably coming into 2012 as the most brutal Spartan linebacking corps in the lastt40 years.

3.  Defensive Line.  2012 should provide an incredibly solid defensive line, with Will Gholston as a premier DE in the entire country, leading Marcus Rush, Tyler Hoover, and the HUGE Anthony Rashad White at nose tackle.  The ES had so much fun watching this unit just kick the crap out of Michigan and Ohio State last year, why not see us take it up a notch in 2012?  Methinks we can doso...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The sign of the apocalypse... the return of JLS

Wow.  The ES gives its best wishes to the University of Arkansas.  The Razorbacks have hired former Michigan State Spartan head football coach John L. Smith as its "interim" head football coach for the next year.

The ES had to slap himself to wake up and stop dreaming.  But no, this is the real deal.  LOL.