August 17, 2012

Energy high as team preps for second jersey scrimmage

EAST LANSING - An additional spark was noticeable during practice on Friday morning as the Michigan State football team prepared for Saturday's scrimmage.

The exuberance of the football team was fueled by a carrot that had been dangled in front of them by sixth-year Spartan coach Mark Dantonio.

"I think they are sniffing that I might cancel this evening's practice if they have a great one," Dantonio said. "We've got to get ready to scrimmage tomorrow, so we are going to work at it today. But there is no reason to get dressed twice if we can do it once."

Saturday's scrimmage will be the second jersey scrimmage of training camp. With the season opener just two weeks away, Dantonio believes that the energy level remains high as his team counts down the days until their much-anticipated showdown with Boise State at Spartan Stadium.

"We are 14 days away, which is not very long," Dantonio said. "We need to take care of ourselves, but we also need to continue to grow. That is the catch 22 of this whole thing. You have to work them, work hard and you have to go live some. At the same time we can't get guys hurt."

Saturday's scrimmage will give Dantonio and his coaches staff a better idea of which freshmen will play this fall and which might be better served by working with the scout team as redshirts.

"We won't make those decisions until after this scrimmage and as we go into game week," Dantonio said. "You really don't know how the season is going to pan out too. Those guys are going to have opportunities. We want to give all of our players opportunities to get on the travel squad and on the field. But understandably, we don't want to just take that redshirt either."

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