While a host of players have caught passes this season — cornerback and former receiver Justin Layne, included — the Spartans have slowly started to get back to what many expected before the season, the exception being the loss of Davis for the year.
Much of that is thanks to the steady play in recent weeks of Stewart and the return of White, who had two catches against Maryland before catching eight passes for 115 yards last week against Ohio State.
“I sleep better at night,” Samuel said of White’s return. “It’s good to see him back. It’s good to see him playing aggressive. Like I said, he helps the team, ain’t no question. He helps the offense move the ball.”
White was Michigan State’s leading receiver before suffering the broken left hand in the victory over Central Michigan. His 30 catches are just one behind Davis and two ahead of Stewart heading into Saturday’s noon kickoff at Nebraska.
“It felt good to be back out there, being 100 percent,” White said. “But we know we need to get better as an offense. Even though I had 100 yards, I’ve still got to do more to get the job done.”
Nelson and Hayes were back last week, though Nailor did not play after seeing action in the previous three games. Stewart also missed the second half as the offense continues to struggle.
But, assuming Stewart’s injury doesn’t keep him out this week, Samuel is confident in how he can use his guys against the Cornhuskers.
“(Stewart) knowing the offense, that really makes it easy and now it just makes it to where you can move him around to where you can get some matchups,” Samuel said. “He and Cody, they can do all of those things. You really feel comfortable moving all those guys around. Brandon Sowards can make adjustments in a heartbeat, so can Cam. I’ve got a lot of guys that know what to do, it’s just trying to find the right matchups sometimes.”