Michigan State Football: Week 2 depth chart reaction


The Michigan State football depth chart for the very important second game of the season against Oregon has been released and we will take a quick look to see what changed after the first contest versus Western Michigan.

There were just a couple of changes among the starters.

Note: MSU actually names 12 offensive starters on its depth chart, depending on offensive sets.

WR – Aaron Burbridge, Macgarrett Kings, R.J. Shelton
OL – Jack Conklin, Brian Allen, Jack Allen, Donavon Clark, Kodi Keiler
TE – Josiah Price OR Jamal Lyles
RB – Madre London
FB – Trevon Pendleton
QB – Connor Cook

DL – Shilique Calhoun, Joel Heath, Malik McDowell, Lawrence Thomas
LB – Darien Harris, Riley Bullough, Jon Reschke
DB – Demetrious Cox, Montae Nicholson, RJ Williamson, Vayante Copeland

Special Teams
KO – Kevin Cronin
PK – Michael Geiger
P – Jake Hartbarger
SN – Taybor Pepper
HLD – Matt Macksood
KR – R.J. Shelton, Montae Nicholson
PR – MacGarrett Kings

Take a look at some of the initial reactions following the depth chart release:

Week 1 to Week 2 changes

The changes in the depth chart from week one to week two are mostly reflections of what we saw on the field last Friday. The most significant change is Jon Reschke taking control of the strong-side or “Money” linebacker position.

Last week it was Reschke OR Chris Frey.

In the opening game against Western, Reschke played most of the game with Frey coming in with the nickel package on obvious passing downs and distances. Reschke tied fellow linebacker Riley Bullough for the lead in tackles (9) — he took advantage of his opportunity and is being rewarded for it.

During his Sunday night teleconference Coach Dantonio elaborated on the situation:

"I think Jon Reschke played pretty well. I think Chris Frey was not as productive as Jon was relative to opportunities and things of that nature. I think that both are good football players.Jon Reschke is the starter right now; Chris Frey will play in other situations. Both are good players that could go back and forth a little bit. They’re both young players, but I was not disappointed with either of their play. I think Reschke played better."

Another change in the starting lineup is Montae Nicholson as the second kick returner. Again, that’s who was out there against Western, so it’s not a big surprise to see him listed replacing last week’s second starter, Riley Bullough.

The last change in the starting lineup is at tight end where it is now Josiah Price OR Jamal Lyles instead of Josiah Price. This is a bit surprising as Josiah Price was the Spartan’s second leading receiver in the opening game.

The Frosh

Two freshman got playing time in MSU’s opening tilt — running back L.J. Scott and linebacker Andrew Dowell. Scott impressed with 13 carries for 77 yards, leading the Spartans in rushing. He was also given the responsibility of running the game out on the Spartans’ last series where ball security is of the utmost importance.

Sep 4, 2015; Kalamazoo, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans running back Lj Scott (3) runs over Western Michigan Broncos cornerback Ronald Zamort (7) during the 2nd half of a game at Waldo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Scott was rewarded on the depth chart where he now shares the second string honor with Gerald Holmes.

Dowell played on special teams where he got in on two assisted tackles. He missed an opportunity to make a big impact in the game when his last gasp dive to catch Western return man, Darius Phillips, fell just short on the 100 yard kickoff return TD.

With backup safety Mark Meyers suspended indefinitely, there might be need for the other Spartan freshman on the depth chart to get some run. Those include David Dowell and Josh Butler at third and fourth string cornerback, respectively.

Additionally, at his weekly press confernece, Mark Dantonio mentioned safeties Khalil Gaines and Grayson Miller as possible freshman to lose their redshirts.

MSU’s depth will likely be challenged against the fast-paced and dynamic Oregon Ducks.

If State tries to rely only on its starters, it will likely get gassed and the result could resemble last year’s outcome. This is a game where Ed Davis will be sorely missed, but those who are stepping in behind him have an opportunity to take MSU to the next level.

As we saw this past week, players’ performance on the field dictates where they show up on the depth chart. Next week’s depth chart could be quite interesting.

Next: Big Ten Football Power Rankings: Week 2