MSU offense rallies for scrimmage winPublished 4:44pm Saturday, August 18, 2012
EAST LANSING – Under sunny skies and temperatures in the upper-60s, the Michigan State football team held its second jersey scrimmage of preseason camp Saturday afternoon in Spartan Stadium.
Utilizing a modified scoring system, the offense rallied to top the defense, 52-48, in a “situational” scrimmage.
Junior quarterback Andrew Maxwell completed 13-of-24 passes for 212 yards and one touchdown, while junior tight end Dion Sims had 10 receptions for 171 yards and a 12-yard touchdown grab to lead the offense. Senior Larry Caper and sophomore Nick Hill combined for 84 yards on the ground.
Red-shirt freshman cornerback Arjen Colquhoun, freshman linebacker Jamal Lyles and junior linebacker TyQuan Hammock each collected a team-high seven tackles. Junior cornerback Darqueze Dennard tallied six tackles and two pass break-ups, and freshman cornerback Ezra Robinson added five tackles, including a team-best three for losses (12 yards) and a 7-yard sack.
The defense, which won the first scrimmage last Sunday, 74-54, picked up right where it left off by jumping out to an 11-1 lead after only allowing one first down in the first four series, capped by a Mitchell White blocked field goal.
The offense bounced back to take a 21-14 lead following a 12-play, 68-yard drive that was finished by a 1-yard Caper touchdown run. Maxwell was 4-of-5 passing for 34 yards on the drive, and an 18-yard run by Hill to the 1-yard line set up Caper’s score.
The back-and-forth scoring continued all the way until the final plays of the competitive scrimmage.
Two quick turnovers put the defense back on top, 24-21, as Max Bullough recovered a fumble and Tyler Hoover picked off a Connor Cook pass on a deflection.
The offense regained the lead, 29-26, following a Dan Conroy 21-yard field goal that capped an 11-play, 56-yard drive. A 30-yard completion from Maxwell to Sims on third-and-10 from the offense’s 40-yard line jumpstarted the drive, which also featured 26 rushing yards from Caper.
Following the field goal, the defense posted two-straight series stops, including an interception by Mitchell White, to reclaim a 32-28 advantage.
The offense momentarily took the lead back at 34-33 after a 71-yard completion from Maxwell to Sims, but the defense didn’t allow a first down over the next three series to go up 45-34, as each drive was stalled on a pass break-up. Overall, the defense collected eight PBUs, led by two from Dennard.
Trailing by 11 points, the offense rallied by taking advantage of its opportunities in the red zone, converting two-straight series for touchdowns. After scrambling on first-and-goal, Cook finally found Macgarrett Kings Jr. in the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown, while Maxwell hit Sims for a 12-yard TD three plays later to take a 49-45 lead.
The defense trimmed the lead to one point at 49-48 after forcing four consecutive incompletions from Cook, setting up the scrimmage’s final drive.
With the first-team offense taking on the first-team defense, Maxwell sealed the game by guiding his team on a 7-play, 51-yard drive, setting up Conroy’s 29-yard field goal on the final play of the afternoon to make the final 52-48 in favor of the offense. Maxwell was 3-of-4 passing for 46 yards on the drive, including a 23-yard completion to Bennie Fowler and an 18-yard strike to Sims.