Receivers answer questions in loss
Sophomore wide receiver Mark Dell runs for a touchdown after catching a 29-yard pass from quarterback Brian Hoyer in the fourth quarter Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, Calif.
Berkeley, Calif. — Everyone’s favorite MSU offseason question has been answered.
It’s now the Mark Dell and B.J. Cunningham show.
Even though it looks like it will be a two-man tandem that records the highlights this season, it was Dell, a sophomore wide receiver, who led all receivers with nine receptions for 202 yards and a touchdown in MSU’s 38-31 loss to California.
“It’s just about getting open,” Dell said of his performance. “Going up the line, you don’t expect to get the ball like that, you just have to do your best to try to get open.”
While Dell’s numbers jump off the stat sheet, he still gave credit to the rest of his receiving corps — and rightfully so.
Cunningham, a redshirt freshman, caught two 11-yard passes during MSU’s opening drive while finishing with five receptions and 63 yards. Junior Blair White totaled 21 yards on three catches.
“B.J. had some good catches early on and throughout the game and Blair White made some good catches in the two-minute drives,” Dell said. “It was good all around for our receivers.”
Finding a Holme
Now in his fifth season with the Green and White, Dwayne Holmes’s career has been anything but ordinary.
Coming out of high school, Holmes was rated among the nation’s top athletes (players who project as solid contributors at various positions) by a variety of recruiting magazines.
It turns out his versatility hurt him, as the 6-foot, 286 pounder moved around from tight end to fullback during his first four years before finally settling at defensive line for this season.
When Holmes got into the game, the die-hard MSU fans who knew his story showed him as much love as they could while being out-numbered inside Memorial Stadium.
While Holmes, who recorded a solo tackle and an assist, said he didn’t notice his reception, said he finally feels at home on the defensive line.
“Coach has really brought me in and I feel really welcome and just happy to contribute to the team,” he said.
That’s why they call him “Coach”
If there was any question as to whether or not Cal head coach Jeff Tedford made the right call in naming sophomore Kevin Reily the starting quarterback over senior Nate Longshore, look at the evidence:
Reily — 17-of-24 passing, 202 yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions
Longshore — 3-of-5, 62 yards, 0 touchdowns, 2 interceptions
“I thought he did a nice job of making good decisions,” Tedford said of Reily. “He protected the football … He played within himself. He did a nice job of running the clock and running the huddle. He did a really nice job.”
Ain’t no mountain high, ain’t no valley low …
While Holmes didn’t notice the cheering for his entrance, the Spartans fans who made the trip to Memorial Stadium tried their hardest to make their presence felt.
Of the 62,956 in attendance, the Green and White filled up four sections in the southeast corner of the stadium and trickled over into the other two sections surrounding the mass of MSU fans.
While the vast majority of fans in the stadium were pulling for Cal, there were Spartans fans from all over the country there to cheer on their team.
“It’s an outstanding testament to Michigan State,” Justin Clark, a 2004 graduate and Salt Lake City, Utah resident, said before the game while tailgating. “To be 2,000 miles away and have 600 tailgaters is incredible.”