Michigan state football played faster in the 4th quarter than the 1st against Miami
EAST LANSING – Mel Tucker looked back at Michigan State Football’s GPS numbers on Saturday, the ones that track player speed in practice and in games.
After calculating the numbers, he realized that the Spartans had played faster in the fourth quarter than in the first quarter of their 38-17 victory in Miami (Florida). It was no coincidence that MSU escaped with a dominant 21-3 kick in the final period.
This is one of the main reasons Tucker said that after the impressive victory that propelled the Spartans to 21st in this week’s USA Today / AFCA Coaching Poll, his players were able to “coach (the Hurricanes ) in the deep waters where we live ”. “
“We were built to do this. And that’s part of the plan, ”Tucker said Tuesday. “Deep water was pretty much just a picture to relate to the players, so that they understand where they are and where we are comfortable being. This isn’t always the case, and there is nothing flippant about what we do. From the minute these guys walk in here until the minute they leave here, there is an awful lot of work to be done. And it has to be done in a certain way. And it never stops, and there is never any slacking off.
“As we tell players, I tell players, you can’t wear me out.”
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Preparing Spartans’ bodies for temperatures near 100 degrees in the South Florida midday sun has become an off-season priority for Tucker, his strength and conditioning coaches, nutritionists and sports science experts. MSU also built up their rotations on the offensive line, defensive line and in the high school to keep players cool, and Tucker had graduate assistants and students holding shadow blankets on groups of sideline positions so that they continuously hydrate and absorb oxygen throughout the game.
“It’s really always a team effort with everything we do, from the science perspective to the nutritional perspective to the strength and conditioning perspective,” offensive coordinator Jay Johnson said Wednesday. “We felt good with our guys, they were good and still had fuel and performed really well at the end.”
MSU edged the Hurricanes 43-3 in the last period, averaging 7.4 yards per game while getting touchdown passes from Payton Thorne to Jayden Reed and Jalen Nailor to secure the win – and an end of Reed’s race for an exclamation mark on the conditioning efforts.
“It was a pretty good feeling to be able to push them back and get the win,” center Matt Allen said on Wednesday.
The players and coaches all praised nutritionist Amber Rinestine, strength and conditioning coach Jay Novak and director of sports football science Bill Burghardt for creating the plan to allow them to perform at the highest level at the end of the day. match. Tucker wants that kind of late-game endurance to continue in Big Ten, which resumes Saturday at home against Nebraska (7 p.m. / FS1).
“We want to make sure that we are ready and that we are ready for anything,” Tucker said. “The momentum in the game, the adversity – whatever it is, we want to keep cutting, keep playing, be resilient and trust our training and know we can get into the third and fourth quarters. and become stronger. “
On Tuesday, Payton Thorne won MSU’s second Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honor this season, sharing it with Ohio State running back TreVeyon Henderson.
The MSU sophomore threw four touchdown passes for the second week in a row, joining Connor Cook as the only two Spartan quarterbacks with consecutive four TD performances in school history. (Cook did so in 2015 against Indiana and Nebraska.)
On Saturday, Thorne went 18 for 31 for 261 yards, with three second-half scoring passes to help MSU pull away. However, he ignored the award to congratulate his teammates – including Walker, who took home the most important offensive honors after MSU’s Week 1 victory at Northwestern.
“The offensive line is playing well, obviously our running back is a spike and all of our running backs are playing well and then our receivers are playing,” said Thorne, who now has nine touchdowns and no interceptions in three games this season. . “Everyone around me is playing well. “
Speaking of Walker, the junior transfer from Wake Forest leads the Football Bowl division with 493 rushing yards and an average of 164.3 yards per game. Walker ran 27 times for 172 yards in Miami and added his first touchdown on a pass to Thorne’s flat in the first half.
Johnson said he didn’t expect it when MSU started wooing Walker, but he began to realize what the Spartans were getting by analyzing his first two years of playing film with the Demon Deacons.
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“You’ve seen this show up on the Wake tape – boy, it’s explosive. And then, since he’s been here since January, the way he’s going about his business is fantastic, ”Johnson said. “He’s probably one of the hardest working guys we have on the team. And even after Game 1, where he did a good job from a production part, but there were a lot of parts of his game that he needed to improve on, you can see that he constantly put himself in. challenged to do so.
“You put it all together, I’m not surprised. “
In addition to his totals, Walker also ranks second nationally in yards per carry (8.65), third in total yards per game (170), ninth in rushing touchdowns (five) and seventh for all. the touchdowns (six).
“He’s definitely not human,” wide receiver Jayden Reed said of Walker.