Aug 17, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Senior Kevin Muma hit a 46-yard field goal as time expired to give the offense a 37-36 comeback victory over the defense in the second jersey scrimmage of preseason camp on Saturday at Spartan Stadium. The scrimmage, which utilized a modified scoring system, was 173 plays long (including special teams) and lasted two hours and 30 minutes under sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-70s.
Freshman quarterback Damion Terry led the rally for the offense, compiling 280 yards of total offense against primarily the No. 1 defense. He was 10-of-14 passing for 240 yards and three touchdowns, and also rushed for 40 yards on 12 carries.
Red-shirt freshman Tyler O'Connor threw two touchdown passes and completed 11-of-16 throws for 102 yards and one interception. Senior Andrew Maxwell was 9-of-19 passing for 77 yards, while sophomore Connor Cook was 4-of-9 for 67 yards, including one touchdown and one interception.
Overall, the Spartan quarterbacks completed 34-of-58 passes for 486 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions.
Junior running back Jeremy Langford led the ground game, accumulating 75 yards on 13 carries, including a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs. Freshman Gerald Holmes collected 41 yards on seven carries and fellow freshman Delton Williams had 37 yards on 10 attempts, including a 15-yard TD run.
Sophomore Andre Sims Jr. collected seven catches for 87 yards, including a 43-yard score from Terry. Senior Bennie Fowler and junior DeAnthony Arnett each had two touchdown catches for the offense. Fowler, who scored on a 7-yard pass from O'Connor and a 13-yard pass from Terry, finished with three catches for 44 yards. Arnett also had a 7-yard touchdown catch from O'Connor and a 15-yard score from Cook. Arnett totaled five catches for 64 yards.
Defensively, sophomore linebacker Darien Harris collected a scrimmage-high 11 tackles. Fellow sophomore linebacker Ed Davis produced four sacks (28 sacks) and nine tackles overall, while sophomore defensive end Joel Heath had eight tackles, including 2.5 for losses (9 yards) with one sack (6 yards). Sophomore safety RJ Williamson compiled eight tackles and had a 7-yard interception return, and sophomore cornerback Trae Waynes also picked off a pass.
In addition to the game-winning kick, Muma connected on 7-of-8 field goals, including seven straight, while freshman Michael Geiger was 5 of 6. Geiger's long was from 46 yards out and his only miss was blocked by Kurtis Drummond.
The defense dominated the first half of the scrimmage, forcing four three-and-outs while also collecting an interception by Williamson against O'Connor. Sophomore cornerback Arjen Colquhoun tipped the O'Connor pass and Williamson returned it 7 yards.
The offense finally threatened to score as Maxwell led a 6-play, 39-yard drive to the 16-yard line, but Mark Scarpinato recorded a sack on third down and Muma missed a 40-yard field goal on fourth down for his only miss of the day.
The Spartans worked on third-down situations and field goals during the middle portion of the scrimmage. The offense quickly took advantage of its field position, as O'Connor hit Fowler for a 7-yard touchdown on the first third-and-goal situation. On Cook's first series, he threw an interception in the end zone as Waynes picked off his pass. A few third downs later, O'Connor tossed his second score of the scrimmage on a 7-yard strike to Arnett. Cook bounced back from his interception with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Arnett and a 29-yard touchdown run on his next two series. Muma was 6-for-6 on field goals during this stretch, while Geiger was 5 for 6.
In the first series following the third-down situations, O'Connor directed an 8-play, 75-yard touchdown march. Langford was the featured running back on the drive, collecting 58 rushing yards on six carries, including a 36-yard burst that set up first-and-goal. Langford scored three plays later on a 1-yard run.
The defense shut down the offense on the next four series, however, as it delivered three three-and-outs with two sacks.
Down 33-6, the offense started its rally with a 43-yard touchdown pass from Terry to Sims, which completed a 7-play, 69-yard drive. Terry came right back in and led the offense on its second consecutive touchdown drive, an 8-play, 75-yard effort that was capped by a 13-yard TD strike to Fowler which cut the deficit to 33-20. Terry accumulated all 75 yards of total offense on the drive, including 3-of-5 passing for 56 yards and 19 rushing yards.
With the momentum now on its side, the offense took advantage, scoring touchdowns on its next two possessions. Delton Williams finished off an 11-play, 75-yard drive with a powerful 15-yard touchdown run. O'Connor led the drive and was 3-of-5 passing for 31 yards, while Holmes had 32 rushing yards, including his scrimmage long of 26 yards.
Terry then connected on a 38-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Burbridge to give the offense its fourth-straight touchdown.
On the next series, Cook led the offense to what appeared to be its fifth scoring drive in a row, but he fumbled a snap inside the defense's 15-yard line that was recovered by Denzel Drone.
The offense rebounded on its next series, as Langford and Terry combined for all 70 yards of offense on an 8-play scoring march that ended on a 1-yard TD run by Langford. The offense went for two to try and tie the score at 36, but Terry's pass to Tony Lippett was ruled incomplete in the corner of the end zone.
Maxwell guided the offense on the game-winning series. He completed a 10-yard pass to Sims for a first down at the 22-yard line, but an incompletion and a sack forced the Spartans back to the 28. With two seconds remaining, Muma hit his game-winning 46-yard kick, giving the offense a 37-36 victory.
The offense and the defense split the two preseason jersey scrimmages, as the defense prevailed in the first scrimmage last Saturday, 28-22.
Michigan State will return to practice Sunday afternoon for its 18th workout of preseason camp.
Second Preseason Scrimmage Recap
Time elapsed: 2:30 (173 total plays)
Passing: Damion Terry 10-of-14 for 240 yards and three touchdowns (43 yards to Andre Sims Jr.; 38 yards to Aaron Burbridge; 13 yards to Bennie Fowler); Tyler O'Connor 11-of-16 for 102 yards, two touchdowns and one interception; Andrew Maxwell 9-of-19 for 77 yards; Connor Cook 4-of-9 for 67 yards and one interception.
Defensive leaders (solos-assists-total): Darien Harris 1-10-11; Ed Davis 8-1-9 including four sacks (28 yards); Joel Heath 3-5-8 including 2.5 tackles for loss (9 yards) with one sack (6 yards); RJ Williamson 4-4-8 including one interception (7 yards); Tyler Hoover 1-2-3 including 1.5 tackles for loss (10 yards) and one sack (9 yards); Denzel Drone 1-1-2 including a 4-yard sack and fumble recovery; Trae Waynes 2-0-2 including an interception.
Mark Dantonio Post-Scrimmage Quotes:
"I was very pleased with the way the offense responded because early in the scrimmage it simply wasn't the case. The offense started making plays during the second half of the scrimmage. We spotted the defense 26 points and they came up with another seven, but the offense came back and did the job. We were able to run the ball a little bit there during the second half of the scrimmage. We threw the ball well and caught the ball well. The guy who made plays was Damion Terry. So we'll look at the film and evaluate it. The defense played extremely well early in the game, but you can't give up a couple of big plays. We pulled a couple (defensive) guys, but offensively, we made some plays and that was good to see.
"Damion Terry is a big, physical guy. He's sudden, and he can create. He's still a freshman and that's the thing that bothers you a little bit, but he can create. The name of the game - and I've said this over and over again - is you've got to create at quarterback. You've got to take a bad play and make it a good one because things are going to break down. That's just the way football is. (After today's scrimmage) it makes it (the quarterback race) even more interesting. Damion throws a nice ball, and guys went up and caught the ball. It's exciting to see (his development).
"DeAnthony Arnett and Bennie Fowler played the ball well down the field. Tony Lippett came up with a big catch (41-yard reception to set up the last touchdown). Especially in the second half when we started clicking a little bit, the offense made plays and that was great to see."
On entering the final week of preseason camp...
"We have to keep competing. There are positions still up for grabs. Whether you're a two or a three, how did you play? The ones are pretty well set on defense. Offensively, we have some guys we need to continue to look at and evaluate, but it's a good problem to have as long as they're making plays."
On the placekicking competition...
"It's tight. Kevin Muma has had a great camp. At the end of the game, he came in and made a big kick, from 46 yards with two seconds on the clock to win the scrimmage, and that wasn't a gimme. Both Kevin Muma and Michael Geiger kicked very well today. I was impressed with both, so it will make it difficult. I'm happy to see Muma kicking very well."