Michigan State defense prevails in first preseason scrimmage

Michigan State has more established players returning on offense, but the defense claimed the first scrimmage of preseason camp in East Lansing.

The weekend scrimmage was closed to the media, but coach Mark Dantonio said in a statement he was happy to be able to work in a number of young players during the 180-play day.

"Some of the guys who’ve played a lot for us, we held them out a little bit in this scrimmage," Dantonio said. "It was a great scrimmage, and we saw some great things out there. We just need to review the film and evaluate it."

Using a modified scoring system, the defense came out on top 30-14, and Dantonio cited unforced errors and a lack of ability to finish drives for the offense’s showing.

However, he was happy with the performance of tailbacks L.J. Scott, Madre London, Gerald Holmes and Nick Tompkins as well as punter Jake Hartbarger and kicker Michael Geiger. Hartbarger is the favorite to claim the open punting job while Geiger is the team’s incumbent player at that position.

"As we head into our second week of preseason camp, we’ve got to keep working on the different situations that we’re going to see in a game," Dantonio said. "We’ve got a lot of things in, but we need to continue building toward next week’s big scrimmage. We’re going to hit those dog days right now, where it’s a grind. We’ve been in pads for four days, but we’ve got to move to the next level. We’ve got to see who’s got a little staying power."

(H/T MSU Athletics)