EAST LANSING, Mich. Under mostly sunny skies and temperatures near 70, third year Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio sent his team through a 101 play "controlled" scrimmage in Spartan Stadium on Saturday, April 18, as the Spartans completed the 12th of 15 allotted spring practices. Utilizing a modified scoring system, the offense got two touchdown passes each from sophomores Kirk Cousins (6 3,
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The scrimmage format provided the defense with 18 different scoring opportunities, while the offense had 11 ways to put points on the scoreboard, including the traditional touchdown and field goal.
The Spartan defense dominated the early action, coming up with stops on 10 of the first 11 possessions,
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As they have done throughout the spring, Cousins and Nichol shared snaps at quarterback. Cousins played 10 series and completed 16 of 26 throws for 214 yards,
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"It was a great scrimmage," Dantonio said. "I thought both of our quarterbacks played very well and made some big plays. Blair White had a big scrimmage too, as the offense won the scrimmage. The defense played pretty well against the run but gave up some big plays in the passing game. The big plays were more the result of guys making plays.
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"The quarterbacks were impressive," Dantonio continued. "Kirk Cousins came out and did some positive things. He was very proficient in the passing game. Once again,
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The first team offense scored on its second series, as a seven play, 65 yard drive resulted in a 31 yard field goal by Brett Swenson (5 8, 175,
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A 26 yard completion to Mark Dell (6 2, 196, Jr.) on a third and 18 play set up Cousins’ first TD pass,
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Thanks to a 2 yard TD run by Ray during a goal line period and a 25 yard field goal from Dan Conroy (5 10, 180, R Fr.),
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Cousins capped off a seven play,
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"The entire offense was on the same page today," Cousins said. "In the first scrimmage two weeks ago, the offense wasn’t focused and everything seemed out of whack. This time around, the offense brought energy and intensity to the field and that showed in the final result.
"The passing game recorded big plays every time we needed it. The receivers made plays in third and long and fourth and long situations. It’s encouraging to see the big play potential of our passing game."
The offense closed out the 2 hour scrimmage in style as Nichol lofted an 18 yard TD pass to Blair White,
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"Our receivers made plays down the field when they needed to be made," Nichol said. "The defense slowed down the running game today, but the passing game was clicking. The offense converted in third down and red zone situations. We also cut down the number of turnovers from the first scrimmage. Those were the important factors today."
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Prior to the spring game, MSU’s coaching staff and players will conduct a free youth football clinic (no registration required). on the grass practice fields behind the Duffy Daugherty Football Building, located at the corner of Chestnut Road and Shaw Lane. Clinic participants and their parents are requested to enter the practice fields through the gate on Shaw Lane. Over the last six years, nearly 2,500 children have participated in the annual youth football clinic.