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Michigan State Spartans’ Loss Was Made Bittersweet By Impressive Freshmen Players

You always have to look for the silver lining.

Source: Pixabay

The Michigan State Spartans may have lost last Saturday’s game to Illinois (37-34), but a handful of freshman players softened the blow with their exceptional performances. 

Freshman offensive linemen Nick Samac and J.D. Duplain made their debuts as center and left guard, respectively, due to a slew of injuries (most recently Matt Allen and Luke Campbell). Samac and Duplain provided a push and helped the Spartans roll up 526 total yards, 170 of which came from freshman tailback Elijah Collins.

At the wideout spot (with injuries to Darrell Stewart, CJ Hayes, and Jalen Nailor) freshmen Julian Barnett and Tre Mosley made their debuts as well. The duo accumulated a combined total of 51 yards on four catches, including an 18-yard touchdown catch by Mosley.

Collins, who established himself as the lead back for the Spartans early in the season, complimented the play of his line, particularly Samac and Duplain. “They did pretty well, I’m so proud of them,” Collins said. “For them to come out and it’s gonna be their very first start, and for them to block the way they did, open up holes the way they did, I just couldn’t be more proud of them.” 

Harvey (who led the team in total of 9 tackles) was listed as the starting middle linebacker, but that role was mostly filled by Antjuan Simmons along with some appearances by strongside linebacker Tyriq Thompson.
“I’m gonna do whatever I need to do for this team,” Simmons said. “If I got to play defensive end, nose guard, whatever. I’m going to do it and I’m going to give it everything I got.”

With the Spartans’ current standing of 4-5 and the team losing six defensive starters as well as the quarterback to graduation, the performance of these young players could easily be the hope fans need to keep rooting for their favorite team. Good luck Spartans!

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