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.