Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Cody White nudges Spartans one step closer to bowl eligibility

November 25, 2019
<p>Junior wide receiver Cody White (7) celebrates a catch during the game against Illinois on Nov. 9, 2019, at Spartan Stadium. The Spartans fell to the Fighting Illini, 37-34.</p>

Junior wide receiver Cody White (7) celebrates a catch during the game against Illinois on Nov. 9, 2019, at Spartan Stadium. The Spartans fell to the Fighting Illini, 37-34.

Photo by Matt Schmucker | The State News

Michigan State ends its five-game losing streak in New Jersey, beating Rutgers 27-0. The Spartan offense showed energy, something it'd been lacking over the losing streak. Junior wide receiver Cody White was a crucial factor for MSU.

"When you look at the football game, Cody White has a tremendous day," Head Coach Mark Dantonio said. "Big catches, great catches, extra effort catches. (He) actually had one turned over and had the one pulled away clean in the end zone as well."

White set two career-highs with three touchdowns and 11 catches. He finished the afternoon with 136 yards receiving.

The Michigan native recently had a spike in performance due to an increase in targets. The once Big Ten leading senior wide receiver Darrell Stewart Jr. is out with an injury for the Spartans, thus White has had to make up for Stewart's loss.

The Rutgers game was a reminder of how talented some of the Spartans are.

"Those guys are growing up," Dantonio said of the freshmen on offense. "And they will be very, very good players."

Looking back into White's previous years at State, his accomplishments prove for a promising senior year. Last season, as a sophomore, he led the team with 555 receiving yards. He ranked second on the team in receptions at 42 for the year.

Michigan State's younger guys are getting the opportunity to show off. With one more game left in the season, those "younger guys" will be the future of the program next year. Giving them real game time experience is beneficial for both parties.

"We've had a tough stretch for (different) reasons," Dantonio said. "And today we started three true freshman offensive lineman side by side. We started a true freshman wide receiver in Julian Barnett and we had a redshirt freshman in Elijah Collins."

The Spartans have struggled with offense for a couple years now, due to Lewerke's injury and tough Big Ten competition. But give freshmen like Elijah Collins a year or two and you've got yourself a nationally revered defense and offense.

"We took a step forward today so that was important," Dantonio said after the game Saturday. "And we have a chance to play (for win) number six next week."

The Spartans will have just one more battle to fight, to see if they are bowl eligible. For the seniors, it will be their last game at the Spartan Stadium against Maryland on Saturday. If they can go 6-6, they all might be able to keep playing.

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