Saturday, April 26, 2014

Spring Game 2014: The Beauty of Defense

The ES wuz at the Peanut Barrel, chugging few beers with Big Bob et al, and sitting next to BTN (formerly WLNS-TV 6) Lisa Byington... just gushing about the talent seen at the Spartan Green and White game... Wow.

A few thoughts: OK, a few poor throws by Connor Cook (and Tyler O'Connor), but the other side  would be a few great throws, particularly the beautiful TD pass from O'Connor to a stretching Keith Mumphery in the end zone, and the very very nice reads by Cook to both WR Aaron Burbridge and TE Josiah Price.  Just real, real nice plays.  Backup QB Damien Terry gave the crowd a scare with a bruised shoulder after being slammed into the turf, but he showed he has nice wheels and good athletic ability. The ES enjoyed the play of Tony Lippett  today - 7 catches for 93 yards - keeping up his improved play from last year.  Wow.

More impressively today was just the look by the MSU defense. Some great plays by Darian Hicks (CB, #2, 5-10, 181-lbs), as well as on the DL by  Shilique Calhoun (#89), and Damon Knox (#93).  Kurtis Drummond (#27) had some great plays in the defensive backfield as well as Ezra Robinson (#37).  The defensive backfield looks very strong, surprisingly; and the interior line looks brutal - add Lawrence Thomas (#8) and the interior looks arguably STRONGER than last year - just 132 yards rushing between the two sides in this Spring game on 39 carries.  Ugh, that is truly beautiful.

Check out the video of my walk up to the stadium below, as well as some photos.  Temperature was about 57 degrees and sunny skies.  Beautiful weather. GO GREEN.  The bottom line is the ES found this team's Spring Game talent, competition, and execution to be at such a higher level as I've ever seen before - looks like Title Town!!  Can't wait until we travel to Oregon - the Ducks have no idea what type of insanity on defense they will expect.  Maybe the Big Green can finally win at Oregon?  The ES was there the last two times - at Eugene in 1999 (we were down 42-0 at half) and in 1982 (we lost by 20 or 30).  Can't wait until the start of 2014 season!!!

(Walk up to Spartan Stadium):

(Below: Josiah Price on the game winning TD pass from Connor Cook with 1:01 left)

(A great crowd, maybe 45,000 in attendance.  Best ever for an MSU Spring Game):