Friday, April 27, 2012
Spring game preview: Michigan State
By Brian Bennett
We wrap up our 2012 spring game previews now with -- last but not least -- the defending Legends Division champion Michigan State Spartans. Here are your Green-White essentials.
When: 1 p.m. ET Saturday
Where: Spartan Stadium
Admission: Free. Parking is free around the stadium. Gates open at 11:30 a.m.
TV: The game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network and streamed live BTN2Go.
Weather forecast: High of 48 degrees, Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of rain.
What to watch for: Michigan State makes this a real competition and held its player draft on Wednesday. Here are the rosters for the game. Running backs coach Brad Salem will coach the Green team, while receivers coach Terrence Samuel will coach the White.
Fans won't be able to see new starting quarterback Andrew Maxwell, who has a sprained knee. But they'll get a long look at redshirt freshman Connor Cook, who will take lots and lots of reps while quarterbacking both squads. One of the things Spartans supporters will want to see is how the wide receiving corps looks after the team lost its top three wideouts from a year ago and the only experienced receivers, Bennie Fowler and Tony Lippett, got hurt this spring. Andre Sims Jr. appears to be the leader of the group for now, but Jeremy Langford is an intriguing athlete. And there will be plenty of eyes on Tennessee transfer DeAnthony Arnett, who may or may not be eligible this year.
Though the squad will be split, the spring game will offer a chance to see how good the Michigan State defense is. Defensive tackle is one of the few question marks, and it appears that James Kittredge has made a move this spring. Emerging defensive players like Joel Heath, Shilique Calhoun and Darien Harris will also get a chance to strut their stuff.
The offensive line and running game have improved this offseason. But given the inexperience at quarterback and receiver and the fact that top tailback Le'Veon Bell will be limited, don't expect an offensive showcase on Saturday.