Friday, December 18, 2009

Michigan State @ Indiana

     Michigan State came out flat and did nothing but struggle their way through a game that should have been easily won against the Hoosiers (5-3).
     MSU lost star HB Edwin Baker for the game during the 1st quarter after IU had opened up a 10-0 lead. Keith Nichol and backup HB Ashton Leggett brought the Spartans back and tied it up at 10-10 midway through the second quarter. On the Spartans' next possession, Keith Nichol left with an injury that would keep him out for the game. Andrew Maxwell, who had been filling in for Nichol the past few weeks, played only one series in the 2nd quarter before also leaving the game with an Injury. MSU went into halftime tied 17-17.
    The Spartans came out in the 2nd half and scored on their first possession, largely due to the running game provided by 2nd and 3rd string HBs Ashton Leggett and Larry Caper. Indiana would answer on their next possession and that would be it for the scoring in the 3rd.
    The fourth quarter was pure craziness. On MSU's first possession, 3rd string QB Jason Robinson threw a an INT in the redzone giving Indiana the ball with about 5 minutes left and a tie ball game. Indiana then drove to the MSU 40 but their QB Follett was picked off by a streaking Brynden Trawick, who returned it to the IU 30. Leggett and Caper did the rest of the work as the Spartans took a 7 point lead. Indiana took over with about 2 minutes remaining. Follett lead a perfect drive, ending in an incredible deep ball in double coverage for the TD to tie with 30 seconds left. MSU returned the ensuing kickoff to their own 35. On the first play, coach JC decided to take a gamble and sub in 3rd string HB Larry Caper for some extra speed, instead of Leggett. Robinson delivered a perfect screen pass to Caper as he got drilled and Caper scooted between 4 defenders for a 66 yard TD with 19 seconds remaining.
    Despite loosing virtually their entire offense to injury in this game, the Spartans managed to escape this one with a win and keep their rose bowl hopes alive.
    The player of the game was DE Tyler Hoover, who recorded 3 sacks and 5 tackles for a loss. 3rd string HB Larry Caper also recorded 3 rushing TDs as well as a 66 yard TD reception.
   MSU expects to have Nichol, Maxwell, and Baker healthy for next weeks game against Purdue.


Trawicks 4th Quarter INT

 Folletts 4th quarter TD to tie with 30 seconds left

 Robinson to Caper on a screen pass for the win

Friday, December 11, 2009

Red Cedar Shootout

      Michigan State returned home to a wild crowd after pulling off 4 consecutive victories including wins @ Virginia and Iowa. The Spartans looked to go 3-0 in the Big Ten with a win against the Minnesota Golden Gofers and QB Marquise Gray without the green and white leader, Keith Nichol.
    QB Andrew Maxwell, who filled in for Nichol 5 games last season, was a little wild, but played well enough to win. It was apparent early that Maxwell's accuracy on the run is nowhere near Nichol's, so MSU had to throw all the boot legs out of the playbook. Once Maxwell got comfortable in the pocket he caused some major damage. On the Spartans 1st possession Maxwell hooked up with WR Fred Smith for a 40 yard TD in tight coverage on a perfectly placed pass. The Gophers would answer, as Duane Bennett break loose for 1 of his 5 TDs on a 60 yard run. Bennett also had TD runs of 80 and 30 yards. RB Edwin Baker went over 100 yards once again, rushing for 150 yards on 22 carries, however the Gophers did a good job limiting the damage Baker was able to cause as he was not a major factor in the game. The player of the game for the Spartans was true freshman WR/CB Jamie Hobbs. The 4th string CB, Hobbs was laying out Gophers all day. In the 3rd Quarter, Hobbs leveled a Gopher WR as he went up for a pass, causing the WR to loose control of the ball and MSU CB Trenton Robinson snagged it out of the air for a pick-6 and his 4th INT in as many games. Hobbs also forced a fumble on a punt return that was returned for a TD by linebacker Chris Norman. Hobbs' best play came in the 2nd Quarter when he rushed on a blitz, saw DE Trevor Hoover hit the QB as he was throwing, and chased the ball into the flat for a pick-6.

MSU Wins 66-42

    The Spartans are going to need more contributions like that from role players if they want to have a chance against the likes of Michigan and Penn State.

Maxwell puts one on a dime for Fred Smith

Jamie Hobbs picks off Marquise Gray for 6

Jamie Hobbs punishes the punt returner and Norman scoops up the fumble for 6

PLAY OF THE YEAR: Jamie Hobbs destroys the WR mid air and Trenton Robinson snags the ball out of the air for 6.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Northwestern @ Michigan State

It was an exciting night game in East Lansing, Michigan. Northwestern jumped all over Michigan State in the first quarter, going up 10-0 on their first two possessions. On their first possession, QB Dan Persa hooked up with WR Charles Brown for a 25 yard TD.

Persa 25 yard TD pass

Michigan State QB Keith Nichol put the Spartans on his back and willed his team back into the game with a 69 yard TD strike to TE Garett Celek.

Keith Nichols TD pass to TE Garett Celek

The second quarter was back and forth as the two teams put up a combined 49 points in the quarter. Persa and Nichol were putting on a show for the ages. MSU went into halftime with a 4 point lead, 35-31. The second half was a different story. The third quarter saw only 3 points scored by either team, as Aaron Bates added a field goal to the Spartans lead. The Spartan defense really showed up in the 4th quarter. Persa was picked off by FS turned CB Trenton Robinson on Northwestern's first possession of the quarter.

Trenton Robinson's INT

That INT lead directly to an Edwin Baker scamper for a TD to increase the Spartan lead to 14.

 The game was finally over when a brutal hit during the NW kick return resulted in a fumble and recovery by WR Chris Rucker.

The player of the game was undoubtably Keith Nichol, who threw for over 450 yards and 3 TDs while rushing for a 4th TD, but RB Edwin Baker did his best Javon Ringer imitation rumbling for 199 yards on 31 carries.

MSU wins this one 55-31, shutting NW out in the 2nd half, winning their first Big Ten game of the season.

MSU also received their first commitment of the season from four star FS Avery Fitch, who was ranked the #91 prospect in the nation, and #9 safety. 

Go Green.