First Preseason Jersey Scrimmage: Defense (White Team) Holds on to Defeat the Offense (Green Team), 95-89.

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Mark Dantonio has to be happy with a defense that is farther along than a very potent offense.  Photo courtesy of Starr Portice.

Mark Dantonio has to be happy with a defense that is farther along than a very potent offense. Photo courtesy of Starr Portice.

Individual Stat Leaders:

Rushing – Le’Veon Bell 12 rushes for 50 yards including a 10-yard TD run; Larry Caper 16 carries for 47 yards including a 1-yard TD run.


Passing – Kirk Cousins completed 26-of-42 for 306 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Cousins had TD tosses for 11 and 4 yards to B.J. Cunningham and 11 yards to Le’Veon Bell.


Receiving – Keshawn Martin eight catches for 83 yards; B.J. Cunningham seven catches for 65 yards and two touchdowns.


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.


“In the secondary, Darqueze Dennard and Isaiah Lewis are very good players, who I think can contribute this year. Both of those guys got a lot of work with the twos today.


“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.”