Aug. 13, 2011
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State football team held its first jersey scrimmage of preseason camp Saturday on the grass practice fields behind the Duffy Daugherty Building. Utilizing a modified scoring system, the offense came away with a 67-63 victory over the defense in a "situational" scrimmage.
Senior quarterback Kirk Cousins completed 17-of-28 passes for 216 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He connected on touchdown passes to senior Keshawn Martin (11 yards) and sophomore Dion Sims (10 yards). Sophomore Andrew Maxwell finished his afternoon 18-of-22 passing for 159 yards and one touchdown.
Red-shirt freshman Nick Hill led all rushers with 72 yards on 14 carries (5.1 avg.), while sophomore Le'Veon Bell collected 46 yards on 14 carries, including a 1-yard touchdown run. Juniors Larry Caper (3 yards) and Edwin Baker (1 yard) also had rushing TDs for the offense.
Sophomore Bennie Fowler had a scrimmage-best six receptions for 58 yards, including a 10-yard TD catch from Maxwell. Senior B.J. Cunningham hauled in five catches for 55 yards and Martin had three receptions for 53 yards and one touchdown. Sims caught a 10-yard TD from Cousins and finished with three receptions for 39 yards.
Defensively, sophomore safety Isaiah Lewis compiled a team-high eight tackles, while sophomore defensive end William Gholston led the defense in tackles for loss with 2.5 sacks for 19 yards. Gholston had four tackles overall and also had a forced fumble. Senior safety Trenton Robinson produced five tackles and picked off a Cousins pass on the first drive of the scrimmage, and sophomore linebacker Max Bullough had five tackles and a fumble recovery.
The Spartans return for their ninth practice of preseason camp Sunday afternoon.
First Preseason Scrimmage Recap
Time elapsed: 2:20 (149 total plays)
Passing: Kirk Cousins 17-of-28 for 216 yards, 2 TDs (11 yards to Keshawn Martin and 10 yards to Dion Sims) and one interception; Andrew Maxwell 18-of-22 for 159 yards including a 10-yard TD toss to Bennie Fowler.
Defense (solos-assists-total): Isaiah Lewis 4-4-8; Trenton Robinson 3-2-5 and one interception; Max Bullough 1-4-5 and one fumble recovery; William Gholston 2-2-4 including 2.5 sacks (19 yards) and one forced fumble.
Mark Dantonio post-scrimmage quotes:
"It's tough to evaluate things overall because we haven't watched the film yet, but we did some very good things. We could have a very good football team, but when things get tough, we have to be able to reach down and find our identity.
"As a head coach, you really try to remain neutral, hoping that both sides play well. The biggest things I'd like to see are more emotion and more intensity. We went for awhile today (2:20), but we have to display more emotion and intensity. We'll have a good football team; I don't worry about that, but how good can we be? To reach our full potential, we must consistently play at a high level. The season opener is still almost three weeks away, and sometimes, a team finds its identity as it moves through the season.
"Everybody got a chance to play and that's the main thing we wanted to do today. The ones, twos and threes all got reps, so now we can evaluate everybody. We tried to put those different units in tough situations and see who could block, tackle, and make a play.
"The expectations of our football team are very high, so the expectations of its head coach internally are going to be very high. After eight practices, there's plenty of room for improvement."