Michigan State spring game: 5 things we learned

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Sep 27, 2014; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans place kicker Michael Geiger (4) kicks the extra point out of the hold of punter Mike Sadler (3) during the 1st half of a game against the Wyoming Cowboys at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

2. Punting/Kicking can improve

Mike Sadler was more than a fan favorite, he was an efficient punter. Sadler had the leg to pin the opposing team deep in their territory, as well as place the ball in the corners away from returning position. Coming into this year and the spring game, MSU has a new punter on tap, Jake Hartbarger.

The punter came into the program regarded as the best punter in the nation, and a leg that could match Sadler’s. If the spring game is any indication of Hartbarger’s upcoming year, it may be a long one.

Once again, the spring game can only indicate what one is to expect this upcoming football year. With that being said, the punting was the worst part of the spring game. Hartbarger punted the ball four times for 137 yards, an average of 34.2 yards, and also had one punt blocked. Furthermore, only one of his punts looked good coming off his foot. The most notable punt was a shank that went off the right side of his foot for a minimal 20 yards.

Hartberger’s rough day was matched by his special teams partner, kicker Kevin Cronin. He went 2-of-4 on the day, and it would have been 2-for-5 if it wasn’t for defensive offsides. Fans should not panic about Cronin because he will not be the starting place kicker in the fall. Michael Geiger still has the place kicking spot secured, but has been held out of spring due to a leg injury that will heal by the summer.

Next: 1. The crowd was impressive