Monday, June 17, 2024

Smith names Reaves starter

September 14, 2004
Redshirt freshman quarterback Stephen Reaves runs around Central Michigan cornerback Marlin Maxwell Saturday at Spartan Stadium. Reaves started the game, completing nine of 19 pass attempts for 183 yards and one touchdown in MSU's 24-7 victory.

MSU head coach John L. Smith named redshirt freshman Stephen Reaves as his starting quarterback for Saturday's game against Notre Dame.

For now.

"That's the way it is today," Smith said. "If it changes, we'll let (people) know."

Smith left the starting quarterback unnamed until game day for the Rutgers and Central Michigan games.

Smith joked about leaving the situation in question during the last couple of weeks, but said he doesn't anticipate changing his decision this week.

Smith was impressed with Reaves game on Saturday, saying he made mistakes, but not any big ones.

"He did some good things," Smith said. "He made some big-time throws."

This means now-sophomore quarterback Drew Stanton is listed second on the depth chart behind Reaves at the position.

Stanton played a little less than 12 minutes in the game against Central.

"Drew's still a work in progress from the physical standpoint - the knee," Smith said. "The more activity he gets, the better."

Missing Mitchell

Junior linebacker Seth Mitchell has yet to play a down this season. A starter at linebacker last season, Mitchell has been cleared to play medically, but has yet to give Smith the OK.

"We want Seth to play," Smith said. "It's up to Seth - he's going to have to decide if he wants to continue playing or not."

Mitchell is having pain in his right knee, effects from an injury that Mitchell suffered in 2001.

Smith said Mitchell anticipates playing this season, but it's an up-in-the-air situation.

Smith added that the coaches will let Mitchell play as much or as little as he wants.

"When he feels good, he'll go," Smith said. "We'll limit the roll to whatever he wants to limit it to.

He knows what to do (on the field), he knows where to go, and he's a good tackler. He makes plays the other guys don't."

Street fighter

Smith said he will move junior Domata Peko from defensive end to defensive tackle for the Notre Dame game and possibly the rest of the season.

"It fits him better (inside) and we need him more in there," Smith said.

The 6-foot-2 297-pounder from American Samoa is the brother of former-MSU offensive lineman and current Indianapolis Colt, Tupe Peko.

While he has made only one tackle in two games, it has been Domata Peko's long orange hair that flows out of the back of his helmet, which has caught the attention of his teammates.

"I don't know if it's a religious thing, but that's his style," junior wide receiver Kyle Brown said. "When I first saw him, he reminded me of that guy Blanca off of Street Fighter."

Top tacklers

MSU senior linebacker and captain Ronald Stanley is tied for first in the Big Ten in total tackles with 22.

Ohio State linebacker Bobby Carpenter also has 22 tackles. Stanley has recorded nine solo tackles and 13 assisted tackles for the season.

Junior strong safety Eric Smith is tied for seventh in the Big Ten with 18 tackles and senior free safety and captain Jason Harmon is tied for ninth with 17 tackles.

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