Michigan State took the field for its first scrimmage of spring on Saturday, and head coach Mel Tucker provided some thoughts on what he saw out of his team.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, access to practices and scrimmages continues to be limited. Once the scrimmage concluded, though, Tucker was willing to provide some insight on what he liked and what still needs some improvement.

This was Michigan State’s first spring scrimmage under Tucker. Last season, students were sent home and practices were called off as the pandemic hit. It forced Tucker and his staff to meet virtually with the team and find new and unique ways tp improve while not on the field.

Here’s what Tucker had to say about the scrimmage:

“I thought it was a very competitive and physical scrimmage, all the way from start to finish. When you scrimmage, you have more plays in a row than you would in a normal practice. I wanted to see guys play harder for longer, and I saw that. I saw guys really straining and competing on both sides of the ball. We have really emphasized, up until this point, just becoming better with out technique and fundamentals, and I see us playing with better pad level, hand placement and footwork, and guys playing with more power and are being more physical.”

“I liked what I saw in the run game, on both sides of the ball. We ran the ball quite a bit, and I thought our line really worked to get movement and sustain blocks, even on the second level. On defense, I saw guys really trying to shed blockers and in the secondary, guys were coming up and fitting in the rung game.”

“All of the quarterbacks got in some work. I felt like they knew what to do and they all made good decisions. They showed a willingness to take what the defense was giving them.”

“Overall, the communication was better and guys are playing with more confidence. There was a real competitive feel out there and there was a conscious effort to be physical. I didn’t see anyone backing down and everyone was playing through the whistle. Guys are competing for jobs, but at the same time, it’s a healthy competition and they are working together as a team.”

“We got in a lot of situational work today, from two minute to red zone to third down. There was an overall efficiency to the operation and it was a good, clean scrimmage. We still have a lot of work to do, but I can see the improvement and I like the attitude that the team showed today.”