Hondo S. Carpenter

Spartan Stadium

East Lansing, MI

The mighty Michigan State Green defeated took out the White offense today at the High Cathedral of the Spartan Nation: Spartan Stadium 42-26! After two of the last three seasons for Spartan Football failing to reach the expectations of the program or the fans, the crowd mirrored that.

Fans are frustrated with no staff changes and only reassignments, and they showed their displeasure by staying home today, and Dantonio closing up spring football in a way that would have made Bo Schembechler proud, didn’t help either as several fans commented to Spartan Nation that they, “Didn’t even know it was going on.”

While Michigan State did not officially announce attendance, the consensus among the press was the crowd was at or just over 12,000. Far from the nearly 50,000 or over from the very recent past. Several players spoke, and Coach Dantonio and Spartan Nation will provide that for you.

The MSU defense held the much improved Spartan offensive line to only 108 yards rushing. Freshman breakout RB star Anthony Williams has had a great spring and led the Spartans with 26 yards on nine carries. La’Darius Jefferson and Connor Heyward each had 24 yards. Once again though, the Spartan offense failed to get a rushing TD. Still a major concern, but fair to mention they didn’t show their new offense.

Mark Dantonio said of his defense that, “First of all, I hope they continue to play like that. We play a lot of press coverage, we play a lot of quarters coverage, and a lot of man coverage, so that's not earth-shattering, people know that about us. The windows are going to be tight to throw the ball into. I thought Josiah Scott made an outstanding play, really made a couple of outstanding plays. They got the ball off of people. When you're the head coach you're sort of in the wind, literally, a guy makes a good play on defense or makes a good play on offense; you have to just a value that as a good football play. So that's what we'll do, we'll watch the film. The main thing I always want to do in these spring games is, it's an active game, we're not tagging off there, we're not at the end of the game putting in our ones a little bit. Dante Razzano broke his arm, so he's out, but that's the only real injury we had of significance. I think Jeslord Boateng will be okay. I think the main thing you want to do is try to be as crisp as we can. In ways, it's an opportunity to take steps forward, and there's value in this scrimmage. I think there is value in it because we can evaluate and say 'Hey did you block this guy?' or 'Did you tackle that guy?'.”

Dantonio added about his running backs that, “Well I think one of the things we want to look at is who can we hand the ball off to 200 times. Who is that person? I keep asking that question as I go. You see some spurts from different guys. I think Anthony Williams gives you a guy who reminds me a little of Jeremy Langford. I thought Connor Heyward hit a big one on the screen, no question he can catch the football. I think Elijah Collins has done some things; I think La'Darius is a big powerful back, Weston (Bridges) got in there some too. Again, I think that's a work in progress to be quite honest with you. They've had good moments, and we've run the ball more effectively this spring.

He added specifically about Williams, “He's quick, he's got a good first step, and good cut-back ability. I think he's got a good vision; he can catch the ball well. He's just learning the position; he's not topped out, he's just had 14 practices, so he's still learning. All spring he's shown things that, like I said, remind you of Jeremy (Langford) a little bit in terms of his ability to cut back.”

Senior QB Brian Lewerke was 14/20 for 131 yards and two TD passes. Sophomore QB Rocky Lombardi was 9/22 for 119 yards and the throw for one TD pass. Freshman QB Theo Day was 4/12 for 28 yards.

Captain and superstar MLB Joe Bachie knew that his D owned the day, but he was honest in the fact that the offense remained simple. He said, “They kept it simple, we kept it simple, it's a spring game. Throughout the spring I was able to tell it was a little different, with the offensive line I could see their improvement, Brian's arm is back which is a great thing to see, and now we're just still trying to find that guy out there on the outside. We had Felton Davis, so we need one or two guys to step up this year, and I'm excited, I think our offense is going to be firing this year.”

The Spartans will kick off 2019 on Friday, August 30, 2019, under the lights in East Lansing against Tulsa. No game time has been set, or a TV network.

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Want the latest breaking MSU news delivered straight to your email for FREE? Sign up for the DAILY Spartan Nation newsletter WHEN YOU CLICK RIGHT HERE! Don’t miss any of the latest up to the second updates on Michigan State Sports when you follow on Twitter @HondoCarpenter