MSU special teams preview: Hartbarger takes over punts

Michigan State is scheduled to report for preseason camp Aug. 7, four weeks before the Sept. 4 opener at Western Michigan. This is the sixth in a series of breakdowns of each position group before camp begins for an expected preseason top-10 team.

Today: special teams

Last season: Other than MSU’s defensive performance in its three biggest games — losses to Oregon and Ohio State and a wild Cotton Bowl comeback against Baylor — its kicking game likely qualifies as the biggest disappointment of 2014. Michael Geiger endured a sophomore slump after a huge freshman season, finishing 14-for-22 on field goals with a long of 42 yards. The fact that he had off-season hip surgery may explain some of that slump. Senior punter Mike Sadler also took a small step backward after off-season knee surgery and resulting weight and strength loss. And MSU was not as impactful in any other aspect of special teams as it has been through most of Mark Dantonio’s tenure — though the blocked field goal in that Cotton Bowl comeback was a huge and memorable moment. – Read more at

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