LSJ columnist Graham Kuch and sports writer Chris Solari debate how much to take from MSU's outburst against WMU, September 7, 2019.
Chris Solari & Graham Kush, Detroit Free Press

EASTERN NETWORK – Elijah Collins finally hit the ground on a good Saturday night, 1 yard shy of his first collegiate landing.

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"I probably looked at the top. I just looked up and didn't really know how many yards I had, so I was curious, "Collins said. "People used to pat me and like, 'Look, look, look, look, look.' I looked up and this surprised me a little. "

He was not alone.

Collins crept 192 yards on 17 carries in his first career start and injected a bolt of adrenaline for long. a sleeping fast-paced attack for the 20 ranked Spartans in their 51-17 strike at Western Michigan.

Michigan State running back Elijah Collins runs against Western Michigan during the second half of Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Saturday, September 7, 2019 (Photo: Junfu Han, Detroit Free Press)

Started with a second play of the game, a 29-yard burst, showing his speed to the edge behind the right side of the offensive line. which created folds for him. It was the first of a number of major plays on MSU's rushing night of 251 yards, the Spartans the most on earth since receiving 269 in Maryland last season.

"It was fun, it was a real confidence booster," correct handling Jordan Reed said. "Defending Western Michigan was not as fun as Tulsa was, so we had better angles for the double teams. We were just opening the holes and the running backs were hitting them. ”

More: Michigan State is lit up with neon uniforms against Western Michigan

day of long runways for Collins. He struck out six runs with 10 and more yards, also passing for 24 yards on MSU's last shot of the first half and 58 yards early in the third quarter, both leading to Matt Coghlin's field goals. Collins averaged 11.3 yards per attempt.

"He is a very explosive player," said MSU coach Mark Dantonio. "He just needs confidence. … There were some big ones, but he just got to get into a rhythm. And I think he did it tonight. ”

[This is your turn to grade MSU's performance vs. WMU]

The 6-foot, 217-pound Collins reached the most rage from MSU running from 194 yards to LJ Scott in Minnesota in 2017. Connor Hayward at 157 yards in Maryland was the only time the Spartan carried the ball for more than 100 yards last season.

Collins total also ranked second out of 194 at Javon Ringer yards (in Illinois in 2005) among the best games that was ever a freshman year in school history.

"Feeling good," Collins said he saw his production. "I do this by working. And it gives me the assurance that I will continue to do what I do, and everything else will fall into place. "

Michigan State Dashown Mallory Trying to Deal with Western Michigan Running Back Levante Bellamy during the First Half of Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Saturday, September 7, 2019 (Photo: Junfu Han, Detroit Free Press)

Freshman debut

After the Spartans withdraw th, they manage to work in a number of freshmen.

Devontae Dobbs entered the game with a left tackle at the end of the fourth quarter, with Nick Samak in the center. They blocked for classmate Anthony Williams, who was running back, who missed last week's opener, but who flashed speed and power in the spring game.

Williams ran six times for 35 yards, including 17-yard carry.

"This is their first game so you know you got right there under their belt," said offensive coordinator Brad Salem. "But it seems like I've been here for 10 years, there haven't been many opportunities they play young boys. … I think these things are essential, they really are. "

More: Will the true crime of ISS be addressed? [19654500] MSU also transferred its risk responsibilities to freshman Evan Morris instead of sophomore Cole Han.

And Julian Barnett got a chance to kick back the rest of the game.

Other redshirt freshmen who received their first act were QB Theo Day, DT Dashaun Mallory and LB-turned DE Chase Kline, who had a sack. OL Jacob Isaia also got a chance to line up at the back and deliver a key block to spring sophomore RB La & # 39; Darius Jefferson for one of his two TP runs.

Collins and tight end Trenton Gillison played a handful of snaps last year with a new NCAA rule that allows true freshmen to play four games and retain red flannel.

MSU OT AJ Arcuri (76) works against the lie on WMU on Saturday, September 7, 2019 ., at the Spartan Stadium. (Photo: Matthew Dae Smith / Lansing State Journal)

Injury News

Wide receiver Jalen Nyler missed Saturday's game, and Dantonio said the sophomore is expected to miss a significant amount of time.

"And expect him to return this season," said Dantonio, who said Nylor injured himself Wednesday during training. "He suffered a lower leg injury."

Nylor and associate Cody White alternating on a 28-7 punt return from Tulsa in Week 1. The 6-0, 191-pound Nylor returned two touchdowns for 17 yards, plus a pair of kick returns for 51 yards, including 28 yards, and

White was again against WMU and had one return for 10 yards.

Mallory came in after a second time – DT Naquan Jones unit pulled feverishly after chasing Jon Wassink of WMU in a breakthrough with just under 6 minutes in the first quarter Jones did not return


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In the fourth quarter CB CB Kalon Gervin suffered an obvious left arm injury while dealing, MSU was already without a colleague from CB Shakur Brown's second string who was not in uniform.

Defense Coordinator Mike Tresell hinted that both Brown and Jones "will both return, no doubt about that."

Second string DE Jack Camper and true freshmen DE Michael Fletcher were not in uniform for the second straight game with right leg injuries. Others who did not dress were LT Cole Chewins (back), TE Noah Davis (undisclosed), WR Tre & # 39; Von Morgan (knee), DB Corey Pryor (undisclosed), and TE Jonathan Brys (undisclosed).

One player who did look at the weather this week was left to deal with AJ Arkuri, who was scheduled to start.

Arkuri, who missed the opener against Tulsa with an ankle injury, also played in front of units for extra point and field.

Contact Chris Solari at Follow him on Twitter @chrissolari . Read more about the Spartans in Michigan and sign up for our Spartans Newsletter.


Mark Dantonio "pleased" and "excited" after Michigan's 51-17 victory over Western Michigan on September 7, 2019 in East Lansing,
Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press