Air Force vs Michigan State: 5 players who earned a game ball

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Sep 19, 2015; East Lansing, MI, USA; dMichigan State Spartans linebacker Andrew Dowell (5) celebrates fumble recovery during the 2nd half of a game at Spartan Stadium. MSU won 35-21. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Dowell really shined in his first real action of the season. While he played here and there through the first two weeks, against Western Michigan and Oregon, the true freshman linebacker was filling in for the injured Darien Harris and splitting time with some other guys at this position.

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When the season began, it was rumored that Dowell was really impressive in fall camps and he would be a true freshman who would see the field quite a bit this season. His time was limited through two weeks, but the Air Force game may have been just what he needed to kickstart his Spartan linebacking career.

Dowell finished with seven total tackles and even had a clutch fumble recovery late in the game that helped the Spartans seal the win.

Moving forward, expect Dowell to receive more playing time at linebacker while his twin brother, David, will get a look at cornerback with Vayante Copeland out for the year.

The number of freshman who are impressing right now is unprecedented and this has to make Mark Dantonio feel comfortable about the future of his program. Dowell may get some more playing time this week if Harris is still hampered since he’s listed as the No. 2 ‘Star’ linebacker.

Next: 4. R.J. Williamson, SS