EAST LANSING - Kirk Cousins turned in his best performance of the spring Saturday in Michigan State's Green and White game.
Plagued by interceptions in Michigan State's first two scrimmages of spring practice, Cousins felt he needed to flat-out play better in scrimmage situations, make better decisions.
In the two jersey scrimmages this spring, Cousins went 20-of-39 for 181 yards and four interceptions. No longer going against the solely the No.1 defense, he had more completions and threw for more yards in one afternoon.
In leading his Green team to a 24-10 victory (as well as a steak dinner), Cousins went 22-29 for 285 yards and three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Cousins attributed a lot of that productivity to the return of tight end Dion Sims, who played as a true freshman in 2009, but missed all of the 2010 season.
Sims had four receptions for 63 yards and two touchdowns.
"It means a lot (to have him back)," Cousins said. "He was a big, big pick-up in recruiting, played as a true freshman, 280 pounds with the softest hands on the team. Just a rare combination of size and athleticism."
While Sims had one of the biggest spring game performances, Cousins did spread it around Saturday. Bennie Fowler had five receptions for 34 yards, Chris D. Rucker had three receptions for 68 yards and [db]Keith Nichol had three for 44 yards.
As for the summer months that separate the Spartans from defending their Big Ten Championship, Cousins feels the stinging loss to the Crimson Tide will outweigh any complacency amongst his team.
"After watching the first round of the draft, you can see how good Alabama is," Cousins said. "I think they had four guys go in the first round and there probably could have been a couple more if guys left early. We definitely played a good football team that day and it definitely was a tough loss.
"But it did help us. It made us that much more hungry going forward in the offseason."