Caulcrick plows through Blazers for career-high four touchdowns
Senior running back Jehuu Caulcrick carried the Spartan offense in the first half against Alabama-Birmingham, but he also took the Blazer defense for a ride.
With twelve minutes left in the second quarter, Caulcrick broke through a gaping hole, carrying four Blazer defenders with him for a 12 yard gain.
The next play, he plowed up the middle for his career-high fourth touchdown, all of which came within the first 20 minutes of the game.
“I’m playing Division I-A college football here, that is a huge deal to me, it’s something I couldn’t even dream of,” Caulcrick said.
Most of his touches came up the middle, but his longest run was a 42 yarder he bounced to the outside after receiving a block downfield from senior wide receiver Terry Love.
“I tried to display some kind of speed there, because some people think that I’m just a power back,” he said.
Caulcrick credited much of his success to counterpart junior running back Javon Ringer, and the offensive line.
“(The offensive line) played disciplined, they played with speed and fire and confidence,” he said. “And once you have all that, things are going to roll.”
Ringer ignited Spartan Stadium when he planted a crippling stiff arm on the helmet of a Blazer defender on his way to breaking a 25 yard run. Ringer and Caulcrick combined for a total of 173 yards – a majority of it coming in the first quarter.
Even with Ringer and Caulcrick on the bench, the Blazer defense struggled to stop MSU’s surging running attack, and seven Spartans had gains of at least 15 yards.
Double the fun
When Caulcrick was asked about U-M being upset by Appalachian State, a Division II-A team, he could not help but crack a wide smile.
“It felt like we won two games today,” he said.
MSU players watched the end of the game from the locker room following their rout of the Blazers.
“It was just great,” Caulcrick said. “We sang the fight song, counted down the points.”
Head coach Mark Dantonio has said all preseason that U-M will be MSU’s measuring stick, so will he now pass the baton to Appalachian State?
“I wouldn’t say that,” Dantonio said. “It just goes to show you that you need to come to play every game É anybody can beat anybody out here.”
Kellen Davis did what?
There is just not enough of senior tight end Kellen Davis to go around these days, evidenced by his success on both sides of the ball Saturday.
On offense, he had two receptions for 44 yards. Defense? He sacked the quarterback for a seven yard loss.
“I think we would be a terror if we could clone four or five Kellens out there,” defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi said.
“He did a nice job for us. Our offense needs him as a tight end, but we try and steal him every once and a while.”
Sophomore center performs
Seventy-three of the 101 dressed MSU players played, but senior center John Masters, who was listed as the pre-game starter, was not one of them. Sophomore Joel Nitchman snapped the ball in his place.
“Nitchman was aware that this could be some possible playing time,” offensive coordinator Don Treadwell said. “We do ask our center to do quite a lot in terms of recognizing the wall and making some check-calls at the line of scrimmage.
“He was ready, and we liked the fact that when we called on him, he answered the bell.”