Aug. 21, 2011
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State football team conducted its second jersey scrimmage of preseason camp Sunday afternoon.
Utilizing a modified scoring system, the defense came away with a 78-44 victory over the offense in a nearly three-hour, 183-play "situational" scrimmage.
A majority of the scrimmage was held at Spartan Stadium, while the remainder of the plays were run on the grass practice fields behind the Duffy Daugherty Building.
"Our intensity level was very good throughout the scrimmage," said head coach Mark Dantonio. "We're really excited about the way the defense played this afternoon. The first-team defense looked very sharp, pressuring the quarterback, running to the football and tackling in space very, very well. Offensively, we must eliminate the unforced penalties."
Sophomore linebacker Max Bullough recorded a team-best 11 tackles (three solos, eight assists), while fellow linebackers TyQuan Hammock (five solos, four assists) and Taiwan Jones (nine assists) tallied nine tackles apiece.
Four turnovers helped fuel the win for the defense, which avenged a 67-63 loss to the offense in the first preseason jersey scrimmage held last Saturday.
Tony Lippett and Johnny Adams made the two biggest plays of the day, as they each returned an interception for a touchdown. Lippett ran back his TD 33 yards, while Adams closed out the scrimmage with a 32-yard score.
Hammock also picked off a pass and returned it 26 yards, and Taylor Calero recovered a fumble.
Overall, the first-team defense didn't allow a touchdown.
Chris D. Rucker had the longest reception of the day, a 58-yarder from Maxwell, that helped set up a Le'Veon Bell 2-yard touchdown run. Larry Caper scored the other touchdown for the offense, running it in from 2 yards out during a goal-line situation.
Nick Hill led the rushing attack for the second scrimmage in a row, compiling 85 yards on 25 carries. Bell and Caper finished with 68 yards and 66 yards, respectively.
Out of the 183 plays in Sunday's scrimmage, 105 took place inside Spartan Stadium. Dantonio described the new natural grass surface as "firm and fast." Dantonio added the natural grass playing surface "looked and played great."
The Michigan State football team returns to action for its 18th practice of preseason camp on Monday afternoon.
Second Preseason Scrimmage Recap
Time Elapsed: Nearly three hours (183 total plays)
Mark Dantonio post-scrimmage quotes:
"Our intensity level was very good throughout the scrimmage. We're really excited about the way the defense played this afternoon. The first-team defense looked very sharp, pressuring the quarterback, running to the football and tackling in space very, very well. The defense got off to a quick start and really took control after the big pick by Tony Lippett that he returned for a touchdown. Defensively, Max Bullough played very well. From ground level, it sure looked like Max made a lot of plays. Jeremy Langford (six tackles, including one for a 3-yard loss, and one pass break-up) made some plays too (for second-team defense).
"Offensively, we can't beat ourselves. Penalties really put us behind the eightball. Offensively, we must eliminate the unforced penalties. Collectively, the tailbacks all played pretty well. They ran hard, broke a couple of nice runs and took care of the football. With windy conditions like today, the receivers need to catch the ball on a more consistent basis. The quarterbacks threw crisp passes right on the money, but dropped passes killed some drives. The balls will flutter some in these windy conditions, but the receivers have to make the play.
"We thought our guys came out here with a purpose today. The guys played with intensity and toughness. We got 50-to-60 snaps each for the ones and twos and got another 40 snaps for the threes, so we got a lot accomplished.
"We're really pleased with the attitude of our football team. You're never going to be perfect, but you keep striving for perfection. We're very excited about our toughness and how hard our guys play. With our players' willingness to work, the execution will come."