Spartans back to work for Fall: About the Offense The Enlightened Spartan: Spartans back to work for Fall: About the Offense

Friday, August 02, 2013

Spartans back to work for Fall: About the Offense

OK, the ES is BACK! It’s been a long, beautiful summer… ES spending some time in South Haven and in Sarasota, Florida. But, ready for football!

And the Big Green Machine is in motion, today (Aug 2) being the first day Spartans report for camp.

What’s the #1 question? Will it be Andrew Maxwell or Connor Cook.. or the blue chipper, Damion Terry (6-3, 220-lbs, Erie PA). Maxwell has experience starting every game for MSU last year, is an East-West quarterback, is a minimalist without taking risks – and lacked a good receiving corps last year. Cook was the backup in '12, takes risks, and is a play-maker, and could develop into a potential game-changer. Terry is raw at 18 years old, but comes in rated as one of the best prospects in the nation. Dantonio is standing by Maxwell and his commitment to the program… but his bland performance in the Spring game demonstrates his weaknesses – the guy just has not improved. Even though Maxwell may be a better practice player, Cook certainly demonstrates the leadership and moxie necessary to lead a Big Ten team: Exhibit A is Cook’s last minute performance in the bowl victory over TCU.
The ES’s boldest prediction? By time MSU faces a real opponent in Notre Dame, a halftime goose-egg on the scoreboard will lead to Cook being installed as the eventual starter for Big Ten season. 

While the offensive line play should be very very good this fall, other concerns on offense are rather obvious: can there be any significant improvement by the receivers to just catch balls? The pathetic play of this corps last year hampered Maxwell’s development and certainly cost the Spartans a few games. Big Green lacks any experienced tight-ends (like Dion Sims) to bail out Maxwell like last year – the WRs need to make plays… or just catch the damn ball. If Maxwell ever decides to go North-South, look for Aaron Burbridge, Bennie Fowler, Keith Mumphrey, and DeAnthoy Arnett to be the playmakers. Cook is a deep-throwing QB, so these will be his targets. But, at RB, MSU will have its biggest drop since Lorenzo White was replaced by… Blake Ezor.

If you look at our RB corps, there really is only one stand out….

20 Nick Hill RB 5-8 198 JR Chelsea, Mich. - Chelsea
24 Gerald Holmes RB 6-0 212 FR Flint, Mich. - Carman-Ainsworth
33 Jeremy Langford RB 6-0 206 JR Wayne, Mich. - John Glenn
12 R.J. Shelton RB 5-11 204 FR Beaver Dam, Wis. - Beaver Dam
32 Nick Tompkins RB 5-9 185 RS FR Snellville, Ga. - Brookwood
44 Corry Brown RB/DB 5-11 170 FR Three Rivers, Mich. - Three Rivers
30 Riley Bullough RB/LB 6-2 230 RS FR Traverse City, Mich. - St. Francis
22 Delton Williams RB/LB 6-1 220 FR Erie, Pa. - Cathedral Prep

That would be Riley Bullough, who bulled through the defense for an incredible Spring Game performance. And, he’s supposed to be a linebacker. Nick Hill has moves and speed, but the ES joins the Spartan Nation being concerned about the loss of Le’Veon Bell toward the Spartan running game.

For the type of game that Dantonio calls, a balanced offense give the Spartans the best chance… Over the weekend, the ES will get to the defense and the overall Spartan game plan.

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