Michigan State Football will look to improve the record 7-6 of 2018.
Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press
EAST LANSING – No One Expecting Michigan State Soccer unveil his new attack in Saturday's spring match.
But there were things to see from the offensive during the 42-26 victory of the defense at Spartan Stadium. Specifically, right-hand quarterback Brian Lewerke looks healthy.
Here are some takeaways from the game, before the end of the season, before the start of the real games on August 30 at Spartan Stadium against Tulsa.
On the QB
Quarterback Brian Lewerke of Michigan State pitched a pass during a spring game in East Lansing. (Photo: Al Goldis, AP)
The senior quarterback played only four sets but showed a zip on his throws and his touch despite a strong wind. Lewerke completed 14 of 20 passes for 181 yards, including a 10-yard pass for Darrell Stewart Jr. on a deep shot to the far left corner of the second drive and a 50-yard pass for Connor Heyward in the fourth quarter.
However, much of what Lewerke did was opposed to the defense of the second MSU team. He played in a second-half series against the defensive starters, completing his first two 33-yard passes, but also missing a shotgun that cost the offensive 17 yards. Coach Mark Dantonio restarted the race before going back.
Four games later, Lewerke's deep shot at Brandon Sowards was in his receiver's hands, but junior cornerback Josiah Scott ripped the ball for an interception. (Sowards and punter Jake Hartbarger are waiting for NCAA calls for an extra year due to injuries).
• The sophomore Rocky Lombardi assumed his duties early against the first team defense and had trouble hitting targets, also dropped a shotgun during a game and ran into a back for a bag on another. He gave Stewart a 31-yard pass against Stewart, third-half cornerback Emmanuel Flowers in the second quarter. However, he was chosen by rookie right-half Redshirt, Zach Slade, against the defense of the second team in the fourth quarter on a pass screen.
• Theo Day, a Redshirt freshman, also played and missed tight end Noah Davis in the end zone, throwing behind him.
While the offensive continued to struggle without showing any change, the defense still looked as good as it did in 2018. It included three stops on four of the first five orders, with the exception of the second, TD , from Lewerke. They also forced four turnovers.
It seems clear that Xavier Henderson will take over to ensure the safety of Khari Willis. Young rookie Jeslord Boateng started at Star LB for Andrew Dowell, while the Spartans held Antjuan Simmons. However, Boateng appeared to injure his right knee and had to be helped off the court.
LB Dante Razzano was also injured early in the match and helped in the locker room.
MSU also did not play against a few other key players, including senior LT Cole Chewins and junior WR Cam Chambers. DE Kenny Willekes, DE Jack Camper and LB Ed Warriner all came out this spring with injuries and were the only players on the roster who were not in uniform.
• CB Kalon Gervin, a freshman from Redshirt, had good coverage. He has starters Scott and Josh Butler in front of him, and Gervin is competing with Shakur Brown and Tre Person.
More: How the Michigan State Redshirt rookies benefited from the NCAA rule change
• Slade also had a breakaway recovery in the fourth quarter, benefiting from the absence of Willekes and Camper in defense. His brother, Jacob, started as a defensive tackle alongside Naquan Jones. Starters Mike Panasiuk and Raequan Williams have found work with the first team.
• Chewins was absent from last spring's game and missed the first game of the season for MSU. Instead of changing the lineup to replace him, junior AJ Arcuri started at LT with Tyler Higby at LG, Matt Allen at C, Kevin Jarvis at RG and Jordan Reid at RT.
• Freshman Anthony Williams showed a burst out in the game on the screen, something that MSU had difficulty with. Heyward had a good performance against the second team defense, in addition to Lewerke's 50-yard recovery, but struggled to face the team first in the first leg.
• Sophomore Jalen Nailor started in front of Stewart at WR and seems ready to join him with Cody White in the starting group. Stewart seems ready for a big senior season, similar to what Felton Davis III did a year ago, while White played relatively moderately.
Contact Chris Solari at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @chrissolari. Learn more about the Michigan State Spartans and sign up for our Spartans newsletter.