Record Crowd at MSU Spring Game

EAST LANSING — After a long stretch of miserable weather during the early part of April, Michigan State fans were able to soak in the sun Saturday at the 2016 spring game at Spartan Stadium.

The White team edged past the Green squad 14-11, with senior running back Delton Williams and junior quarterback Damion Terry rushing for a touchdown each for the victorious side.

Senior running back Nick Tompkins gained 28 yards on the ground on four attempts, setting up the White team for their first score of the day.

Williams capped of the nine play, 58-yard drive pushing in for a two-yard touchdown run near the pylon.

On the opposite sideline, senior quarterback and spring game captain Tyler O’Connor went 10-for-16 for 138 yards and one touchdown. O’Connor found freshman wide receiver Cam Chambers in the third quarter on a 13-yard fade route in the corner of the endzone.

“I think O’Connor has done a nice job continuing to emerge as a leader. He’s a guy that makes people better around him,” White team coach Brad Salem said.

O’Connor has set high goals for himself, as well as this Spartan team, especially filling the shoes of potential first round NFL draft pick Connor Cook.

“I personally felt good,” O’Connor said, “but a lot of work has to be done. A lot can still happen, but I like where I am at.”

The 2015 senior class – the winningest in school history with 43 victories – was honored at halftime. Last year’s class is widely recognized as one of the greatest in MSU football lore.

“Certainly we had a great senior class this last year. They’ve accomplished many great things here and have been a part of something special for three years,” Dantonio said.

These trendsetters were able to pave a path for the young talent coming into MSU. However, even with a tremendous amount of talent, the Spartans still have a lot of question marks surrounding their football club.

“The goal is to put the best 22 out there. It does not matter if they are freshman, seniors, or walk-ons. We are going to weigh everybody’s play and evaluate at the end of spring,” Dantonio said.

“Then we will begin again in August,” Dantonio continued. “We will see how they improved. I think that is what is done every season.”

An estimated 51,000 Spartan fans packed the house, setting a new all-time spring game record at Michigan State University. The record also placed MSU seventh on the highest-attended spring games this year. Clemson sat at seventh with 50,000 before the Michigan State faithful came in full force Saturday afternoon.

“It was a tremendous crowd for us. We keep trying to raise the bar a little bit as we move forward, but very appreciative of everyone coming and being a part of it,” Dantonio said.

The head coach went on, “They turned it up out there a little bit, which is good to see and good for our players to experience. It was like a gameday atmosphere, so that was very positive.”

Four schools from the Big Ten are currently in the Top 10 in regards to spring game attendance.

1) Ohio State – 100,189

2) Georgia – 93,000

3) Alabama – 76,212

4) Nebraska – 72,992

5) Tennessee – 67,027

6) Penn State – 65,000

7) Michigan State – 51,000

8) Clemson – 50,000

9) Florida State – 49,913

10) Florida – 46,000

Now, four months stand between the green and white and Furman. Only this time, the green and white will be one team, beginning their quest toward another College Football Playoff berth.