In their first ever matchup, Michigan State football dominated the Richmond Spiders with a score of 45-14 to pull to 2-0 to open the 2023 season.
After suffering a season ending injury in the first game of the season last year, redshirt junior linebacker Darius Snow was seen warming up with the team but did not participate in the game.
The bout started off slow for both offenses as they both went three and out on their first two drives. MSU’s defensive line started dominating early with a shared sack by redshirt junior defensive tackle Simeon Barrow Jr. and redshirt senior defensive end Brandon Wright.
The Spartans were gifted with great field position as Richmond muffed a punt on their own 19-yard line which set up MSU for their first score of the game as redshirt junior quarterback Noah Kim found redshirt senior wide receiver Tre Mosley in the middle of the end zone from 11 yards out to take a 7-0 lead halfway through the first quarter. Redshirt junior running back Jalen Berger limped off the field on the drive though and did not return for the rest of the game.
Richmond’s offense started to move the ball into Spartan territory after the MSU score, but a combined sack by redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Derrick Harmon and sixth year linebacker Aaron Brule pushed the Spiders too far back to convert on four downs, turning the ball back over to the green and white.
Kim and redshirt freshman Jaron Glover continued to show their chemistry from game one as he found his receiver 30 yards down the field over the middle of the defense. That long ball marked sixth year transfer tight end Tyneil Hopper’s first catch and touchdown as a Spartan as Kim tossed the score 14 yards down the seam as the second quarter started to get rolling.
After another Richmond punt, Michigan State started to complete some chunk plays as redshirt junior tight end Maliq Carr made an athletic adjustment on a one handed catch that went for 22 yards to start the drive. Sophomore running back Nathan Carter then broke a couple of tackles for a 19 yard gain followed by an 18 yard grab from Mosley. The drive then stalled after a 38 yard touchdown catch by Carr was called back because of a hold. MSU still managed to take away some points from the possession as redshirt senior Johnathan Kim doinked a 52 yarder off the crossbar and through to take a 17-0 lead with five minutes left in the first half.
Richmond would hold the ball for the rest of the half after a fake punt at midfield gave them a chance to put their first points on the board, but a couple of Spartan sacks kept the Spiders out of the end zone. Redshirt junior kicker Andrew Lopez’s kick to end the half bounced off the left upright to keep Richmond scoreless in the first 30 minutes.
After deferring the kick to start, MSU came out firing to start the second half as Kim again found Glover 29 yards down the left hash, but it did not come without a cost though as the underclassmen were lit up by two Spider defensive backs. Senior wide receiver Montorie Foster Jr. 's 15-yard end around then set up Carter’s first touchdown of the game, running through the middle for a two yard score to take a 24-0 lead just two and a half minutes into the third quarter.
Carter started to break out midway through the third quarter after yet another stop by the Spartan defense. The UConn transfer found the edge and took it to the house for his second touchdown of the game, totaling 44 yards on the run. MSU broke the game open at that point, leading 31-0 halfway through the third quarter.
Carter and MSU football continued to pour it on as the third quarter progressed, driving all the way down the field, resulting in a six yard run capped off by a hurdle into the end zone to give the Spartans a 38 point advantage. That run marked a hat trick for Carter, giving him his third score of the game.
Richmond finally got on the board in the beginning of the fourth quarter as MSU senior running back Jordon Simmons coughed up the ball at midfield, allowing Spider graduate defensive back Aaron Banks to return it all the way to the end zone to cut their deficit to 31.
Scoring for the Spartans did not stop in the fourth quarter as Kim continued to expose the deep middle of the field, putting a ball in the pocket of redshirt freshman Antonio Gates Jr. for a 45 yard touchdown to push the Spartan lead back to 38.
The green and white running backs struggled to take care of the ball in the final quarter, as this time it was redshirt sophomore Davion Primm who fumbled on the Spartan side of the field midway through the fourth. The Spiders then capitalized with a five yard touchdown reception from redshirt freshman tight end Sean Clarke to make the score 45-14 as the final minutes of the game progressed.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Katin Houser saw his first look at the field in the final minutes of the game, chewing the clock out to officially mark the Spartan’s second win of the season.
MSU will be back next weekend for game three of their four game home stand to start 2023, looking for revenge from last year in their first real test in No. 8 Washington.