Preseason Camp Update No. 2: Defense Wins First Scrimmage, 95-89
Kirk Cousins completes 26-of-42 passes for three touchdowns; Greg Jones records 12 tackles, including six for losses and four sacks.
Aug. 16, 2010
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State football team held its first scrimmage of preseason camp Monday at Spartan Stadium. In the morning, the team ran 85 plays, while in the afternoon, the Spartans went through 93 plays. Based on a modified scoring system, the defense came away with a 95-89 victory over the offense in a "situational" scrimmage.
Junior quarterback Kirk Cousins completed 26-of-42 passes for 306 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. He connected on two scores to junior wide receiver B.J. Cunningham (11 yards and 4 yards), and also threw an 11-yard strike to freshman running back Le'Veon Bell.
Bell led all rushers with 50 yards on 12 carries, including a 10-yard TD run. Sophomore Larry Caper carried the ball 16 times for 47 yards and ran for a 1-yard touchdown.
Junior Keshawn Martin had a scrimmage-best eight catches for 83 yards, while Cunningham caught seven passes for 65 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, All-America linebacker Greg Jones collected a team-high 12 tackles, with six for losses (43 yards) including four sacks (38 yards). Fellow linebacker Chris Norman tallied 11 tackles, including a 7-yard sack, while Kevin Pickelman, Denzel Drone and Johnny Adams each had seven tackles. Pickelman compiled 2.5 tackles for loss (6 yards), Drone had a 5-yard sack and also forced and recovered a fumble, and Adams picked off one pass and had two pass break-ups.
The Spartans return for their 10th practice of preseason camp Tuesday morning before heading to downtown East Lansing for the eighth-annual "Meet the Spartans", which will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. Fourth-year MSU head coach Mark Dantonio and members of the 2010 football team will be available for autographs and pictures under tents positioned on the corners of Albert and MAC Avenues.
FINAL SCORE: Defense (White Team) 95, Offense (Green Team), 89.
Defensive Stat Leaders:
LB Greg Jones - 12 total tackles, with six for losses (43 yards) including four sacks (38 yards).
LB Chris Norman - 11 total tackles, including one 7-yard sack.
NT Kevin Pickelman - seven total tackles, including 2.5 for losses (6 yards).
DE Denzel Drone - seven total tackles, including one 5-yard sack; also forced and recovered one fumble.
CB Johnny Adams - seven total tackles, one interception and two pass break-ups.
Mark Dantonio post-scrimmage quotes:
"We got 85 plays in this morning and another 90-plus plays this afternoon, so it was a productive day. The guys played hard all day and really competed.
"Turnovers proved to be the difference today. On one hand, you stress to the offense the importance of protecting the football, and on the other hand, you emphasize the importance of creating turnovers on defense. So in a scrimmage situation, you want to focus on the positives. The offense did some good things this afternoon, especially coming off the 3-yard line with a 14-play drive and Kirk Cousins making throws down the field with his receivers. We also ran the ball with some effectiveness with Larry Caper, Edwin Baker and Le'Veon Bell. Nick Hill did some good things when given the opportunity, and Jeremy Langford had a nice touchdown run this morning. A number of receivers caught the ball well. Keshawn Martin continues to make big plays. B.J. Cunningham and Mark Dell played with consistency, while Keith Mumphrey and Donald Spencer made some plays in the passing game.
"Defensively, we ran to the football, consistently pressured the quarterbacks and came up with some turnovers. Greg Jones look great today; he made plays all over the place. We need to figure out how we are going to work Max Bullough and William Gholston into certain situations. They're both good football players and we want to make sure that we put them into situations where they can contribute on a consistent basis because you don't want to just take away a guy's year (of eligibility). Those guys can play and have an impact.
"We're pleased with the progress we've been able to make in the first nine practices of preseason camp. We've got a chance to become a real good football team. We just can't beat ourselves."