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 MSU 2008 Football Team News

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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:24 am

Spartans Fall Short against Number 12 Buckeyes?


They got crushed!
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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:58 am

No grouch defense!


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:36 pm

GoGetEmTigers wrote:
No grouch defense!



No grouch Offense either
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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Sat Oct 25, 2008 10:58 am

Friday, October 24, 2008
Bob Wojnowski
Oh, brother: Our state's sibling rivalry might be turned on its head


I'm not sure if Michigan has noticed, amid all its fumbles and whiffed tackles and losses to MAC schools, but, um, Little Brother has sprouted some muscles, copped an attitude and is demanding equal use of the family car.

I'm not saying Michigan State is all grown up, ready to kick Michigan directly in the shins. I'm just saying the Spartans are sporting chin stubble and their voices have cracked, and they're sick of the put-downs and hand-me-downs.

Fair warning to the Wolverines: Little Brother has gotten bigger and angrier.

Fair warning to the Spartans: You better jump Big Brother now, this year, this Saturday, before he realizes his haughty, tough-guy act isn't working anymore.

This is the week everyone in our state loves, and by loves, I mean hates. It's the week when tired stereotypes get tossed around, when Michigan fans pompously accuse Michigan State fans of being simple, insecure, beer-guzzling louts. And Michigan State fans counter by asking what "lout" means, then accuse Michigan fans of being snotty, obnoxious jerks (no clarification needed).

It's counterproductive but sort of fun, even if no one else in the country cares about our precious rivalry. And now, thanks to the verbal spat between Michigan mini-mite Michael Hart and Michigan State grown-up Mark Dantonio, it's also the week we separate the Big Brothers from the Little Brothers.

You might recall, after Michigan's 28-24 victory last year, Hart eagerly trumpeted the Spartans' Little Brother status. This caused Dantonio's neck arteries to bulge, before he angrily pointed out Hart was, technically, short. This caused others to point out the Wolverines have beaten the Spartans six straight times and haven't lost to them in Ann Arbor since 1990, when many current players were Little Embryos.

Frankly, it so stirred up the rivalry, they should consider changing the Paul Bunyan Trophy, awarded to the winner, to the Michael Hart Trophy (actual size). See, I made a short joke, and if you stick around long enough, I'll probably make a fat joke too, which may or may not be tied to Charlie Weis.

All in good fun, right?

College football rivalries are supposed to be competitive, respectful and fun, just like sibling rivalries. The Michigan-Michigan State tiff fits that description perfectly, except for the "competitive," "respectful" and "fun" parts. To be fair, the games usually are viciously contested until the very end, when Michigan usually has more points.

But that could be changing, now that Dantonio has the Spartans at 6-2 and Rich Rodriguez has the Wolverines at 2-5 and nearly out of BCS title contention. Coming from West Virginia, surely Rich Rod knows about rivalries between brothers, and cousins, and various kin. He better learn about this one because Michigan State is fixin' to make a statement.

To be honest, the Spartans might be getting a bit greedy. They already own Big, Big Brother status in all matters concerning basketball, coeds, keg etiquette and agriculture, but apparently that's not enough.

How eager are they to take over the top bunk in football's big bedroom? Well, they're desperately copying everything Big Brother does, and it's getting downright silly. Last Saturday, the Spartans got their butts whooped by the Buckeyes, just like the Wolverines do. Recently, Michigan had an incident in which a football player allegedly beat up a hockey player, and one week later, Michigan State had an incident in which a football player allegedly beat up a hockey player.

Next thing you know, Michigan State will start ordering its quarterback to overthrow multiple tiny receivers and lose to Toledo. By the way, Toledo's stomping of Michigan just was named Biggest Victory in Michigan State history, edging the 2001 classic, when the Spartans beat the Wolverines by two points and .000000001 seconds.

Where's the love?

See, that's exactly the type of unnecessary nonsense that has to stop, before this sibling stuff turns biblical. As everyone knows, the first brother rivalry in recorded history involved Cain and Abel, and in that case, jealousy and competitiveness caused a horrific spat. Cain ended up killing Abel, although I could not confirm if the final score was 49-3.

We don't want this to deteriorate like that. In our state these days, Cain (Big Brother) needs a cane and Abel (Little Brother) is more than able. All those years the Wolverines held off the Spartans by putting one hand on their heads while they flailed away? Looks like the Spartans finally are ready to land the big blow.

Michigan State at Michigan


3:30 p.m. Saturday,

Ann Arbor

  Michigan State is favored, which is astonishing, unless you've actually watched an entire Michigan game. Listen, if the Wolverines really didn't want to play in the Motor City Bowl, couldn't they have found a better way to avoid it? Strange times indeed -- Michigan State is worried about being overconfident and Michigan is worried about getting blown out. Michigan State 16-13


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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Sun Oct 26, 2008 6:11 pm

Saturday, October 25, 2008
Bob Wojnowski
Wojo: Make no mistake -- Spartans earned this one

ANN ARBOR -- Michigan State needed this in the worst possible way, against its reeling rival, in a game it couldn't bear to lose. So the Spartans went out and took it in the best possible way.

They hammered and hungered and left no doubt, not a shred, not even when burned by a horrible replay review, not even when Michigan scrapped back. This wasn't just the Spartans' first victory in Ann Arbor since 1990. This 35-21 thrashing was their most-decisive victory over the Wolverines in recent memory, a picture of pounding and poise, just as they envisioned it.

"From the moment we walked into the stadium, we didn't have any lack of confidence," said quarterback Brian Hoyer, who kept making big third-down throws. "We knew we were gonna win this game."

And more and more, Michigan looks like a team that knows it's going to lose, that knows something bad is about to happen.

This was a critical juncture in Mark Dantonio's building process at Michigan State, and it was impressive. Facing real pressure and true adversity, the Spartans showed how badly they wanted it.

Heading in opposite directions


Dantonio is 7-2 in his second season in East Lansing; Rich Rodriguez is 2-6 in his first season in Ann Arbor. It may never get better than this for the Spartans, as far as the sudden disparity. Yes, it was Michigan State that virtually sealed Michigan's first losing season since 1967, and essentially guaranteed its first bowl-less season in 33 years.

That's over for Michigan, and something might just be starting for Michigan State, which snapped a six-game losing streak to its rival, and it sure wasn't a fluke. Hoyer was terrific in the clutch and Javon Ringer was superb (194 yards rushing) as the Spartans finished with a 473-252 bulge in total yards.

It might not even be a one-time aberration, although Dantonio has key seniors -- notably, Hoyer and Ringer -- to replace next year. This could happen more often, if Rodriguez isn't careful. It's clear Dantonio deeply understands how important this game is, and there should be every incentive now for Rodriguez to understand it better.

Given a chance to make verbal statements that matched the Spartans' physical statements, Dantonio judiciously declined. He wasn't interested in dredging up the Big Brother-Little Brother angle, and when asked if his comment after Michigan's victory last year -- "Pride comes before the fall" -- now rang true, he shook his head.

"This was not the fall of Michigan football," he said. "That's not what this is about. What this was about was Spartan pride. ... What I'm concerned about is, we took a step forward in the eyes of the people who live in Michigan. We need to change the culture here, that when there's a loss we're going to go ditch it. I think we're trying to change that and I think we've done that."

Dantonio knows one game doesn't destroy a gap that has existed for most of 40 years. But boy, it sure stirs the possibilities. For one game and one season, the Spartans have sent a shiver into the Wolverines.

I do believe Rodriguez will bring Michigan back, although it might take another full season, to get more players that fit his offense. But that's not even the point right now.

The Spartans finally might have the capability to challenge more consistently, to alter perceptions. Here's one perception they'll tout and the Wolverines must fight: Michigan State looked tougher.

You saw the difference in running power, as Ringer slammed away. When the Spartans needed a foot on fourth down at Michigan's 21 with 4:21 left, they disdained the field goal and took the foot, then put the boot to the Wolverines with the clinching touchdown.

You saw the difference in receiver size and quarterback experience, as Hoyer far outplayed redshirt freshman Steven Threet. You saw the difference in all the important places, including desire.

"When you haven't beaten an opponent like this in so long, you're just hungry for it, you want it so bad," Ringer said. "We wanted to make a change from the way things used to be. Hopefully, this will be a stepping stone."

The Spartans need to keep stepping and beat Wisconsin next Saturday to truly make this a defining moment.

Where's the progress?

The Wolverines, to be honest, look cooked. They have some talent and they have a chance to win a couple more games, but the breakdowns aren't stopping. Threet's inexperience partly led to his three interceptions but there's no excuse for the defense's troubles. Brandon Graham (three sacks) was tremendous, although he was matched by Michigan State's own pass-rushing force, Trevor Anderson (three sacks).

The difference was, the Wolverines kept giving up big plays. Or maybe the difference was, the Spartans had more play-makers.

"We got nothing to hang our head about, we came out and fought," Graham said. "Michigan State just got it done. Hoyer had a lot of poise, I'll give him that. The pressure didn't get to him like we thought it would."

The pressure didn't get to the Spartans like some thought it would. Even after Michigan inexplicably was awarded a touchdown on a 19-yard pass to Brandon Minor -- the replay official contradicted the correct call on the field, that Minor was out of bounds when his foot hit the pylon -- the Spartans didn't buckle.


Their running was good, their passing was timely, they overcame mistakes. Michigan keeps looking for something and finding little. Right now, Michigan State keeps finding more, such as former walk-on receiver Blair White, who was spectacular.

By the end, there was no doubt what transpired. The Spartans got rid of their worst demons, like they figured they would. And the Wolverines now have a nasty new obstacle, one that won't go away.

You can reach Bob Wojnowski at bob.wojnowski@detnews.com


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:18 pm

Big Ten commissioner Delany says Minor's touchdown was the wrong call
by The Associated Press
Monday October 27, 2008, 1:48 AM

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany has criticized a call in the Michigan-Michigan State football game and says discipline may follow.

Delany, speaking in Park Ridge, Ill., says a replay official's decision to award the Wolverines' Brandon Minor a touchdown against the Spartans at Michigan Stadium on Saturday was "not acceptable."

A Detroit newspaper quotes Delany as saying "the people in the replay booth made a mistake."

The first-quarter touchdown evened the score at 7-7 but didn't affect the result of the game, which Michigan State won, 35-21.


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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:17 pm

Should have been 35-14
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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:19 pm

Actually; State should have scored more than 35


They dominated this game; especially in the 2nd half


Didn't see too many Wolverines fans at Ford Field


But I saw quite a number of people wearing State stuff


Saw a few state flags too

Sparty On!
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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:19 pm

I wore my Lions hoodie

It was a Lions game after all
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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:18 am

No. 22 Spartans Top Wisconsin 25-24

Brett Swenson's 44 yard field goal with seven seconds remaining seals the victory.

Nov. 1, 2008

Final Stats | Quotes | Notes | AP Gallery | Photo Gallery

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan State started flat and finished sky high.

Brett Swenson kicked a 44-yard field goal with 7 seconds left, lifting the 22nd-ranked Spartans to a 25-24 comeback win over Wisconsin on Saturday.

Michigan State was lackluster for much of the game and seemed headed for a 1-5 record in games following its last six wins against Michigan, but erased an 11-point, fourth-quarter deficit and took its first lead when the game was on the line.

"We were flat and I hate to say that," Spartans coach Mark Dantonio said. "It might've been because we were coming off an emotional win over Michigan after going into the Ohio State game with a lot of emotion, but the important thing is we finished strong.

"Wow. A game like that keeps you alive," he said.

The victory allowed the Spartans (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten) to hang onto hopes of closing the regular season at Penn State - after hosting Purdue - with a chance to at least share the conference championship for the first time since 1990.

"Good teams find a way to win those games and that's what we've become," quarterback Brian Hoyer said.

Michigan State is 8-2 for just the second time in four decades and will play in consecutive bowls for the first time since the end of the Nick Saban era in the late 1990s.

The Badgers (4-5, 1-5) might be staying home in the postseason for the first time since 2001 in a year that started with promise.

They began No. 13 in The Associated Press poll and rose to No. 9 with a 3-0 start.

Wisconsin then blew a 19-point, second-half lead against the Wolverines in the Big Ten opener and lost the next three games.

"Obviously this has put them in a very difficult spot if you look to the beginning of the season to where we are now," coach Bret Bielema said.

Just when the Badgers seemed to turn the season around by winning against Illinois and leading the Spartans for nearly 60 minutes, it fell apart.

"Everything is kind of in disarray right now," safety Chris Maragos said.

The Badgers led for the seventh time in nine games before collapsing with physical and mental mistakes, including at least one by Bielema that helped Michigan State start its comeback.

Wisconsin finished with 12 penalties for 121 yards and Michigan State had two for 30.

After the Badgers went ahead by 11 with 9:19 left, they were called for delay of game and Bielema was called for unsporstmanlike conduct to give Michigan State 20 yards on a 64-yard drive for a TD.

"I told our guys after the game, `First off, I apologize for losing the 15-yard penalty myself,"' Bielema said.

The Spartans held Wisconsin to a three-and-out drive and Swenson kicked a 50-yard field goal, then Wisconsin had a chance to seal the victory.

But a holding penalty negated a run to the Michigan State 4 and a first down. Then, a false start pushed the Badgers back to the 40 and led to a punt. The Spartans had the ball at their 17 with no timeouts and 1:19 left on the game-winning drive.

Hoyer connected with Blair White twice on 20- and 32-yard receptions and his last pass was to B.J. Cunningham over the middle for a short gain with the clock running.

The Spartans scrambled to get lined up for a field goal, but were given a chance to set up because Wisconsin called a timeout with 12 seconds left. The Badgers called their last timeout, hoping to rattle the kicker only to watch Swenson take his helmet off, laugh and make the field goal.

"The first timeout helped me out because it gave me a chance to relax after rushing on the field," Swenson said. "The second timeout, I thought was funny because he was trying to ice me and I knew that wouldn't work."

Swenson was 4-for-4 on field goals, carrying the offense in perhaps the most clutch performance by a kicker in Michigan State history as Javon Ringer was held to a season-low 54 yards and Hoyer completed just 43 percent of his passes and didn't throw a TD pass.

Ringer was about 100 yards rushing short of his average, but did scored two TDs after being slowed by flulike symptoms during the week. Hoyer was 19-of-44 for 252 yards, connecting with White seven times for 164 yards.

Wisconsin's John Clay ran for 111 yards, including a 32-yard TD that gave the Badgers a 24-13 lead early in the fourth quarter, and P.J. Hill had 106 yards rushing and a score that gave them an 11-point lead in the third.

Garrett Graham, making up for the loss of star tight end Travis Beckum, had six catches for 68 yards and the game's first TD.

"We had the game in our hands and we gave it away," Clay said. "It hurts."


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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:45 am

Friday, November 7, 2008
Michigan State
MSU's Anderson paid dues to compete
Defensive end faced hurdles to transfer from Cincinnati, now relishes playing for Spartans.
Eric Lacy / The Detroit News

EAST LANSING -- It's hard to find anyone who is enjoying Michigan State's 8-2 season more than defensive end Trevor Anderson.

It sure beats last season when he was ineligible, took a monstrous class load and couldn't even eat at the training table with his teammates.

"I'm going to play every play like it's my last and take every breath I can," said Anderson, the Spartans' leader in sacks with 9 1/2 .

Anderson, a junior transfer from Cincinnati, completed 48 credit hours in 10 months to maintain his academic standing after complications with his transcript. Some of the credits from Anderson's classes at Cincinnati could not be transferred.

"It was out of the ordinary to say the least," said Todd Edwards, MSU football academic coordinator. "That's two years worth of work if you're going a minimum 12 credits a semester over a two-year period."

Heavy load

Edwards, who said he has worked in higher education for 20 years including the past five at MSU, said he had never seen a student-athlete take on such a heavy class load.

Anderson, a criminal justice major, also had to pay for the fall semester because newly hired Bearcats coach Brian Kelly initially refused to grant him a full scholarship release.

"I saw how stressed out Trevor was," said teammate Justin Kershaw, one of Anderson's best friends and roommate for road games. "But he wanted to come here and was willing to do whatever it took."

It was never a challenge Anderson thought he couldn't handle.

"People think it was tougher than it really was," Anderson said. "It wasn't, I'm not dumb."

Edwards said the university helped Anderson structure his schedule, provided tutorial support and monitored his progress closely.

"I can't say enough about what he did," Edwards said. "I joke with him now and say, 'Going through a regular semester must be a piece of cake.' "

Anderson admits such a sacrifice to become a Spartan is one he probably wouldn't have made out of high school (Detroit Crockett).

He leaned more toward MSU than Michigan growing up but didn't feel much love from the former Spartans coaching staff.

"I went to a junior day once but there always seemed to be a lack of interest," Anderson said. "It is what it is, I'm here now. I know what I can do."

Ohio-bound

Instead, Anderson signed with Cincinnati, which was coached by Mark Dantonio. At Cincinnati, Anderson earned All-Big East honors and the team's John Pease Award, given to the most outstanding defensive lineman.

After their move north, Dantonio and his staff recruited Anderson to East Lansing.

Dantonio beamed this week when talking about the lasting relationship.

"Trevor has the passion for what's going on here because he paid a price to be able to play," Dantonio said. "Usually when you pay a price, when you finally reach those goals, you're very satisfied and very passionate."

Anderson believes he found the right atmosphere for his passion.

"On this campus, you don't see people wearing Penn State or Michigan stuff, everybody wears green and white," Anderson said. "At Cincy, people wear Ohio State stuff.

"People here are really engulfed in the culture here at Michigan State, that's what happens when you step foot on campus."

Kelly eventually granted Anderson his release, allowing him to be on scholarship for spring semester.

A year later, free of stress involved in the transfer, Anderson can finally take the time to appreciate his position.

He said he didn't truly feel a part of the program until taking the field for the season opener against California.

"It's kind of odd now, but I'm really into being back home and playing for the home team," Anderson said. "I saw my family in the stands and realized how much it means to have them see me play."

Seeing Anderson thrive in what appears to be the perfect situation energizes Kershaw.

"It's amazing how things work out in your life," Kershaw said. "Trevor is the type of guy that won't stay down too long."

"You have to appreciate what he stands for; he knows he's at a special place."

You can reach Eric Lacy at elacy@detnews.com


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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:35 pm

No. 18 Spartans Stifle Purdue, 21-7

Ringer scores two touchdowns in home win.

Nov. 8, 2008

Online Poll: Let us know where the Spartan Marching Band Should Sit Next Season


Final Stats

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Javon Ringer scored two touchdowns and No. 18 Michigan State used a dominating defense Saturday to stay alive in the Big Ten title chase with a 21-7 victory over Purdue.

The Spartans (9-2, 6-1 Big Ten), who are off next week, will rest up for a Nov. 22 showdown at No. 3 Penn State, with at least a share of the conference title on the line.

The Spartans last won a share of the Big Ten crown in 1990.

Purdue (3-7, 1-5) was officially eliminated from bowl contention in coach Joe Tiller's final season.

Ringer, one of 16 Spartans playing their final home game Saturday, had 121 yards on 32 carries. He entered the game ranked second in the nation at 142.7 yards per game. He is the second-leading career rusher in Michigan State history, trailing only Lorenzo White.

Ringer gave Michigan State a 7-0 lead with a fourth-down, 1-yard touchdown run on the Spartans' opening possession. His 1-yard TD run early in the second half gave Michigan State a 21-0 lead.

With just 9 seconds left in the first half, Michigan State defensive back Johnny Adams stepped in front of a Justin Siller pass and returned the interception 40 yards to give the Spartans a 14-0 halftime lead.

Purdue, hampered by turnovers all season, never recovered.

Siller started his second consecutive game in place of injured senior Curtis Painter. Siller was shaken up in the middle of the third quarter and replaced by Chris Bennett, but returned to the lineup later in the quarter.

Painter hurt his throwing shoulder Oct. 25 against Minnesota.

The Boilermakers couldn't generate much offense, particularly when it mattered most.

Purdue avoided a shutout by scoring with less than 1 minute to play on Siller's 1-yard touchdown run.

Purdue generated only 191 yards of total offense. Siller was 13-of-30 for 83 yards. Kory Sheets had 93 rushing yards on 22 carries.


Michigan State had 300 yards of offense. Quarterback Brian Hoyer was 10-of-22 for 154 yards with two interceptions.

Michigan State gave the Boilermakers chances to stay in the game by missing out on several scoring opportunities, particularly in the first half.

Late in the second quarter, an illegal procedure penalty left kicker Brett Swenson with a 44-yard field goal attempt into a howling November wind. The kick was on target but fell short in a powerful gust.

One Spartans drive ended with an Ashton Leggett fumble inside the Purdue 25. Another ended when Purdue's Torri Williams intercepted a Brian Hoyer pass at the Purdue 27.

Another second quarter drive ended when Ringer was stopped on a 4th-and-1 run at the Purdue 10.

But the Boilermakers couldn't capitalize.

The Boilermakers have a 19-game winless streak against teams ranked in the Top 25.

Purdue had won seven of the last nine meetings in the series, including two straight in East Lansing, before Saturday's loss.


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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Sun Nov 09, 2008 10:40 am

Saturday, November 8, 2008
No. 18 Michigan State 21, Purdue 7
MSU closes in on Big Ten title, New Year's Day bowl
Eric Lacy / The Detroit News

EAST LANSING -- For the first time in 18 years, Michigan State is in contention for a Big Ten championship.

The Spartans secured their position with a 21-7 victory over Purdue -- in 40-degree weather and ripping winds -- on Senior Day at Spartan Stadium on Saturday.

In two weeks, the Spartans can earn at least a piece of the conference crown with a victory at Penn State.

"When you shoot for something and talk about it for so long and all of a sudden it's done, it's a numbing feeling a bit," second-year Spartans coach Mark Dantonio said, later adding, "I might smile a little more."

So might representatives from the Capital One (formerly the Citrus), Outback and Alamo bowls, all of whom were on hand to watch the Spartans (9-2, 6-1 Big Ten).

Ringer sets tone

Javon Ringer, one of 16 seniors honored before their final home game, helped the Spartans take control early.

Two weeks after a suffering a hamstring injury and a week after contracting a virus that made him lose 10 pounds, Ringer suffered an ankle injury Saturday. That didn't stop him from rushing for 121 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries.

"It's been kind of rough toward the end (of the season)," Ringer said of his workload. "But I just keep pushing; I'm a competitor."

Behind one of the best playmakers in school history, the Spartans controlled the tempo against the Boilermakers (3-7, 1-5).

Ringer's scoring runs, both a yard apiece, came in the first and third quarters. His second score -- which gave the Spartans a 21-0 lead -- was set up by a 49-yard reception on first down from Blair White.

Having such a reliable and calming figure on board means everything to Dantonio, who describes Ringer as a true "Spartan Warrior."

"It starts with his faith, he is the way he is," Dantonio said. "In a lot of ways, we're the recipient of the way he acts."

"He's been a great player for us, a great leader and he has been part of something here that hasn't happened in a while."

Siller denied revenge


The Spartans defense continuously pestered redshirt freshman quarterback Justin Siller, an Orchard Lake St. Mary's graduate making his second collegiate start.

"They came out and executed well against our offense and kind of startled us a little bit early on," said Siller, who wasn't recruited by MSU. "We just couldn't get it done and that really hurt us in the long run."

Purdue's 191 offensive yards, 89 courtesy of Siller, are the fewest allowed by a Dantonio-coached team at Michigan State.

Siller had Purdue's only score, a 1-yard run, with 42 seconds left.

"Kendell (Davis-Clark) fell down and should have had the quarterback," MSU defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi said with a faint smile. "That whole drive bothered me."

Siller was sacked four times. He also threw a costly interception in the second quarter. Second-string cornerback Johnny Adams returned it 40 yards for a touchdown with 9 seconds left, giving MSU a 14-0 lead.

Brett Swenson came up short on a 44-yard attempt with 57 seconds left in the first half. The attempt would have been from 39 yards, but Jesse Miller committed a false-start penalty.

Jones: 'We're moving up'


Knowing a New Year's Day bowl is likely, with a Big Ten title in reach, young players like linebacker Greg Jones can't help but be excited about the future.

"In coach D I have always felt that he has a winning attitude," said Jones. "I know coming in that it would be long before we experienced something like this."

"We're moving up."

You can reach Eric Lacy at eric.lacy@detnews.com


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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:56 am

Quote :
Knowing a New Year's Day bowl is likely, with a Big Ten title in reach, young players like linebacker Greg Jones can't help but be excited about the future.

Go MSU
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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:55 am

SHANNON SHELTON
To smell the roses, MSU must pinch nose, root for U-M

BY SHANNON SHELTON • FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER • November 16, 2008

Any Michigan State fan hoping to head to Pasadena, Calif., instead of Florida on Jan. 1 will have to become a Wolverine fan.

Hey, it's OK. It's just for one week.

With Ohio State's 30-20 win over Illinois on Saturday, the Buckeyes improved to 6-1 in the conference (9-2 overall) and kept themselves in the hunt for a share of the Big Ten championship. Penn State, meanwhile, rebounded from its loss to Iowa last week by beating Indiana, 34-7, and now also is 6-1 in the conference (10-1 overall).

That means MSU (9-2, 6-1), which had a bye Saturday, is in a three-way tie atop the Big Ten heading into the final weekend of league play.

Michigan State would have been the Big Ten's automatic BCS qualifier if had defeated an unbeaten Penn State squad next Saturday. But Iowa threw a wrench into that plan. Now if the Spartans beat Penn State, they'll only go to Pasadena if Ohio State loses to Michigan.

MSU will know its chances heading into its game at Beaver Stadium because OSU-Michigan kicks off at noon and should end just before the Spartans' 3:30 p.m. start time.

If the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines and MSU upsets Penn State, Ohio State and MSU will share the Big Ten title. But Ohio State would win the tiebreaker and go to the Rose Bowl, by virtue of beating MSU in October.

If Penn State beats MSU and Ohio State beats U-M, Penn State would go to the Rose Bowl because the Nittany Lions beat the Buckeyes last month.

Penn State is the only team that controls its Rose Bowl fate. Ohio State has to win and hope for a Penn State loss, while MSU has to win and hope for an Ohio State loss.

This much is all but certain -- the Spartans will secure a January bowl berth, as they hoped to do all along. It could be Jan. 1 at the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, their likely destination if they lose to Penn State. The Nittany Lions and Ohio State (assuming a Buckeye win over U-M) probably would grab spots in the Bowl Championship Series, pushing MSU to the Big Ten's No. 2 bowl tie-in.

If MSU and Ohio State lose, Penn State could be the only league team in a BCS bowl, and Ohio State likely would go to the Capital One Bowl. That would send MSU to the Outback Bowl in Tampa on Jan. 1.

Another exciting possibility for the Spartans if Ohio State gets the Rose Bowl berth would be sneaking into a BCS bowl other than the Rose. Of course, that depends largely on how teams across the country fare in the upcoming weeks. We'll explore that possibility more if MSU and Ohio State win Saturday.

For now, it all comes down to MSU beating Penn State and Ohio State losing to U-M for the Spartans to have a rosy holiday season.

Not that U-M is going to be given much of a chance against OSU -- the Wolverines are 3-8 after losing to Northwestern, 21-14, in their final home game of the season Saturday.

So, Spartan fans, is going to Pasadena worth turning maize and blue for a day?

Contact SHANNON SHELTON at 313-223-3215 or slshelton@freepress.com. Check out her Spartans blog at www.freep.com/sports


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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:55 am

Go UM

Go MSU


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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:24 am

Regardless what happens on Saturday


What a year it has been for the Spartans
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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:41 am

Too bad Michigan will lose to OSU again Crying or Very sad

Dahmer U: 55
Michigan: 3

Okay, maybe not that bad.


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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:23 am

Saturday, November 22, 2008
Penn State 49, MSU 18
With title hopes on the line, Michigan State falls apart
Eric Lacy The Detroit News / The Detroit News

STATE COLLEGE, Pa . -- History repeated Saturday as Michigan State, in arguably its biggest game since 1990, was crushed by Penn State, 49-18.

MSU's streak of futility at Beaver Stadium now extends to eight straight losses since the program's last win in 1965 under former coach Duffy Daugherty.

"It's going to be easy to be motivated after this game," said Trevor Anderson, junior defensive end. "We got kicked in our mouths."

Penn State and Joe Paterno earned a Big Ten co-championship with Ohio State -- the Nittany Lions' first title since 2005 -- and will play in the Rose Bowl.

Mark Dantonio's group drops to 9-3 and awaits confirmation from a New Year's Day bowl committee. The Capital One Bowl and Outback Bowl, both in Florida, appear to be viable options.

"We have to pick up the pieces," Dantonio said. "The bowl game is a way to play for respect."

A surprising regular season that earned MSU a shot at its first piece of the Big Ten title since sharing with Michigan, Illinois and Iowa in 1990, ended in stunning fashion.

To be elite in the Big Ten, Dantonio's team clearly has a lot of work to do.

In meetings this year against Penn State and Ohio State, MSU lost by a combined score of 94-25.

"It's fair to say we're not there yet," Dantonio said. "That's pretty clear."

No play spelled more doom Saturday for MSU than what appeared to be a sure defensive stop on third-and-17 early in the second quarter at Penn State's 22-yard line.

Instead, Darryl Clark escaped a near sack by Brandon Denson to throw a 37-yard pass to backup running back Stephfon Green.

The play sparked a nine-play scoring drive ending with a 1-yard run by Clark that gave Penn State a 21-0 lead.

"After a play like that, (our defense) had to realize that you just don't get off the field (before) third down, you still have to make a play," Jones said. "You can't make those kinds of mistakes in big games."

Scrutinized by fans after suffering a concussion against Ohio State, Clark clearly was the best offensive player on the field with 341 yards passing, four passing touchdowns and his rushing score.

Clark threw a 70-yarder to Butler late in the third quarter to make it 42-7.

Penn State finished with for 419 yards passing, a single-game school record.

Danny Fortener, who emerged as a starting free safety for MSU this season, refused to believe that opponents like Penn State and Ohio State simply have more talent than MSU.

"We have to play well against the big teams, that's just something we have to do," Fortener said. "I'm sure we'll emphasize that the rest of this season, the offseason and next year."

Offensively, MSU struggled mightily.

Brian Hoyer threw his first of two interceptions in the second quarter. Anthony Scirrotto picked off the pass at the MSU 42 and returned it 10 yards before Clark helped extend the lead to 28-0 with completion to Derrick Williams. Williams, known mostly for his explosive kick returns, caught a 32-yard pass in front of Johnny Adams and behind Fortener for the touchdown with 2:52 left.

Officials ruled Hoyer threw a second interception late in the third quarter that was picked off by Lydell Sargeant.

The ruling was disputable because Hoyer caught what appeared to be a forward pass from A.J. Jimmerson before attempting a pass to Blair White.

"After a loss like this, you're itching to get back on the field," Hoyer said.

Javon Ringer, the nation's leader with 21 rushing touchdowns ran for minus-2 and minus-4 yards on his first two carries. Ringer finished with a season-low 42 yards on 17 carries.

Glenn Winston, who hadn't played since MSU's Oct. 11 win at Northwestern, recorded the first run for positive yardage, a 1-yard gain.

Senior tackle Jesse Miller also committed two of his four false start penalties during MSU's opening possession.

"It was definitely rough out there," Ringer said. "No matter how good the running back is, you can't do anything if you don't have a dominant offensive line up front.

"It wasn't their best day, but they will pull themselves together."

Ringer had a 1-yard touchdown run with 22 seconds left in the first half for MSU's first touchdown. Two Penn State pass interference penalties helped keep the drive alive.

Brett Swenson added a 30-yard field goal in the fourth quarter and MSU's final score came on a 23-yard pass from Kirk Cousins to Mark Dell.

MSU could face an SEC opponent like Georgia, ranked No. 1 earlier this season, in a New Year's Day bowl.

"We'll get past this," Ringer said of the loss. "We'll move on. We have to."

You can reach Eric Lacy at elacy@detnews.com


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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:40 pm

MSU is the biggest fraud in College Football


I don't care if they went 9-3


Those two blowout losses to PSU and OSU should prevent them from playing in a New Years Day Bowl


Motor City is where the Spartans should be going
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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:04 pm

gs78 wrote:
MSU is the biggest fraud in College Football

Yep, they beat 9 nobodies, got killed by the 2 good teams they played, and couldn't beat a decent (not great) Cal team


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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Mon Nov 24, 2008 11:01 pm

i totaly agree .. lets let them play soem real teams like texas tech or or lsu and let msu get there asses handed to them!
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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:47 am

Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Football: Michigan State notebook
Spartans wait for bowl date
Michigan State is in line for Capital One Bowl, but might be bypassed for Iowa.
Eric Lacy / The Detroit News

EAST LANSING -- All Michigan State can do now is watch ... and wait.

Michigan State, coming off a 49-18 loss at Penn State last weekend, is expected to play in a New Year's Day bowl game against most likely a team from the Southeastern Conference.

Those unknowns likely won't be determined until Dec. 7.

What's known is this: Such a grace period gives coach Mark Dantonio, his staff and players time to regroup, rest and refocus.

"There's a lot of things we have to address," Dantonio said. "We are very proud of this team and their accomplishments; we've done some good things.

"But we're not there yet and that's apparent."

Bowl picture

There could be a controversy brewing in the Big Ten.

With an 8-4 record after a 55-0 drubbing of Minnesota, Iowa could jump ahead of Michigan State in the bowl picture.

Michigan State beat Iowa, 16-13, on Oct. 4, but Iowa could make a fairly strong case for a promotion given its recent victories.

Iowa beat Penn State, handing the Nittany Lions their only loss this season, and gave Minnesota, once ranked No. 20, its worst conference loss in school history.

"You have to look at the momentum of this Iowa team," Capital One Bowl representative Sean Gothier said in Sunday's Des Moines Register.

Outback Bowl representative Dale Dignum said, "Iowa is certainly in our mix, as is (9-3) Northwestern."

What also helps the Hawkeyes is fan support.

The Iowa fan base has traveled well in six bowl games the past seven seasons.

"We have nothing but great things to say about Iowa," Gothier added.

Ringer is Walker finalist

Javon Ringer is one of three finalists for the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation's top running back. The others are Georgia's Knowshon Moreno and Iowa's Shonn Greene. The winner will be announced Dec. 11 during "The Home Depot/ESPNU College Football Awards Show."

You can reach Eric Lacy at elacy@detnews.com


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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:52 am

Monday, November 24, 2008
Ringer a finalist for running back award
Eric Lacy / The Detroit News

EAST LANSING -- Michigan State's Javon Ringer was named Monday one of three finalists for the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation's top running back.

The other finalists are Georgia's Knowshon Moreno and Iowa's Shonn Greene.

The winner will be announced Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m. during The Home Depot/ESPNU College Football Awards Show.

Ringer ran for 1,590 yards and 21 touchdowns during MSU's regular season and currently leads the nation in total points scored and rushing touchdowns.

Ringer ranks third nationally in total rushing yards and rushing yards per game, and is MSU's all-time leader in all-purpose yards.


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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:14 am

Three Spartans Earn First-Team All-Big Ten Honors

Running back Javon Ringer, safety Otis Wiley and linebacker Greg Jones received first-team all-conference honors from the league's coaches.

Nov. 24, 2008

2008 All-Big Ten Teams

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Three Michigan State players have been named first-team All-Big Ten by the league's head coaches: senior running back Javon Ringer, senior safety Otis Wiley and sophomore linebacker Greg Jones. The three first-team all-conference selections mark the most for the Spartans since five players received first-team honors in 1999. A total of 15 Spartans received All-Big Ten recognition on the first team, second team or honorable mention.

The 5-foot-9, 202-pound Ringer leads the NCAA in rushing touchdowns (21) while ranking second in scoring (10.5 points per game), third in rushing (132.5 yards per game) and 10th in all-purpose yards (164.5 ypg.). He leads the Big Ten in scoring and all-purpose yards and ranks second in rushing. His 1,590 yards rank as the second-highest single-season rushing total in school history. Ringer became the first Spartan to record back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons since T.J. Duckett in 2000-01.

Ringer has accounted for 96 percent of Michigan State's rushing yards (1,590 of 1,661) and 78 percent of its rushing attempts (370 of 477) in 2008. He has recorded seven 100-yard rushing games this season: Eastern Michigan (34 carries for 135 yards), Florida Atlantic (43 for 282), Notre Dame (39 for 201), Indiana (44 for 198), Northwestern (35 for 124), Michigan (37 for 194) and Purdue (32 for 121). Ringer became first offensive player in Big Ten history to earn Player of the Week honors for three consecutive weeks (vs. Eastern Michigan, Florida Atlantic and Notre Dame).

With his 1-yard TD run in the second quarter in the regular-season finale at Penn State, Ringer tied Jehuu Caulcrick's school single-season records for rushing TDs (21) and points scored (126). He has eight multi-TD games in 2008, including a career-best five scores vs. Eastern Michigan. His five rushing TDs represent the second-best single-game total in Spartan history, just one short of the school record held by Blake Ezor (6 rushing TDs vs. Northwestern, 1989).

His 370 carries also lead the nation - 92 more attempts than the second running back on the list. He has recorded four of the six highest single-game carry totals in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision this season (44 vs. Indiana, 43 vs. Florida Atlantic, 39 vs. Notre Dame and 37 vs. Michigan).

Ringer ranks first on MSU's all-time list in all-purpose yards (5,349), second in rushing yards (4,351) and fifth in rushing TDs (33). He also ranks among the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision active career leaders in carries (first with 823), all-purpose yards (first), rushing yards (second) and rushing TDs (11th). The Dayton, Ohio, native has 19 career 100-yard rushing games and 11 career multi-TD games.

"Javon Ringer has been the heart and soul of our football team this season," MSU head coach Mark Dantonio said. "Javon is a complete football player. He's a great blocker in pass protection; he catches the ball well out of the backfield; and he can be equally productive running the ball inside and outside. In addition, Javon has a tremendous work ethic, and he's an unbelievable competitor."

The 6-2, 210-pound Wiley ranks second in the Big Ten (tied with Ohio State's Kurt Coleman) and 30th (tied) in the NCAA in interceptions (4; 0.36 per game). He ranks eighth in the Big Ten in passes defended (1.0 per game; 11 total with 7 pass break-ups and 4 interceptions) and fourth in punt returns, averaging 10.2 yards. The Flint, Mich., native ranks third on the team in tackles (71) and fifth in production points (114).

Wiley made eight tackles each in back-to-back games against Purdue (4 solos, 4 assists) and Penn State (6-2). He registered seven tackles in MSU's 25-24 come-from-behind victory over Wisconsin, including six solo stops. Wiley produced a season-high 10 tackles, including 1.5 for losses, against No. 12 Ohio State. He recorded seven tackles (4-3), forced a fumble and broke up a pass in MSU's 16-13 victory over Iowa. Wiley intercepted two passes and recorded five tackles in MSU's 23-7 victory over Notre Dame. He posted five tackles and matched his career high with four pass break-ups in the Spartans' 17-0 victory over Florida Atlantic.

Wiley amassed 113 punt return yards on five returns (22.6 avg.) against Eastern Michigan, tying for the fourth-best single-game performance in Spartan history. His 78-yard scamper to open the fourth quarter was the 10th-longest in school history. He also contributed four stops and a pass break-up against the Eagles.

Wiley recorded six tackles, two interceptions - returning one 31 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter - and a pass break-up in MSU's 38-31 loss at California in the 2008 season opener.

"Otis Wiley is a great leader, who has outstanding skills," Dantonio said. "Otis has played nickel back as well as the weakside safety position, and he's demonstrated big-play potential in both roles. He also did an outstanding job returning punts this season. It was his first season as a punt returner, but he really did a solid job in that capacity."

The 6-1, 222-pound Jones leads the Spartans in tackles (115 total), tackles for loss (12.5 for 33 yards) and production points (252). He ranks third in the Big Ten in tackles, averaging 9.6 per game. Jones led the team in tackles in 10 of 12 regular-season games, becoming the first Spartan to record 100 tackles in a season since Eric Smith had 101 in 2005.

In Big Ten play, Jones led the league in tackles, averaging 11.1 per game.

The Cincinnati, Ohio, native produced double-figure tackles for the sixth-straight game, registering a career-best 15 stops (12 solos, 3 assists) in MSU's regular-season finale at Penn State. Jones became the first Spartan to record double-digit tackles in six consecutive games since Thomas Wright accomplished that feat in seven straight games in 2002. He also posted a career-best 3.5 tackles for loss (9 yards) against the Nittany Lions.

Jones, a second-team All-Big Ten selection by the media, also recorded double-figure tackles against Northwestern (11), Ohio State (13), Michigan (10), Wisconsin (13) and Purdue (12).

"Greg Jones put together an outstanding sophomore season," Dantonio said. "Greg led the Big Ten in tackles during the regular season, and he played as well as anyone down the stretch, recording double-figure tackles in his last six games. He's an outstanding competitor, who flies to the football. Greg is a very instinctive player, who knows how to get off blocks and find the football. He's made a bunch of big plays this season; some as a blitzer. Greg also has displayed good leadership skills."

In addition, four other Spartans have earned second-team All-Big Ten honors: junior placekicker Brett Swenson (coaches and media), fifth-year senior offensive guard Roland Martin (media), fifth-year senior offensive tackle Jesse Miller (media) and sophomore punter Aaron Bates (media).

The 5-8, 169-pound Swenson ranks among the Big Ten leaders in field goals made (second at 1.67 per game), kick scoring (third at 7.8 points per game), overall scoring (sixth) and field-goal percentage (fifth at .800). He also ranks among the NCAA leaders in field goals made (tied for eighth) and scoring (41st). Swenson ranks second on the team in scoring with 94 points, converting 20-of-25 field-goal attempts and all 34 extra-point tries. His 20 field goals made rank as the fifth-best single-season total in Spartan history.

For the third time in 2008, Swenson was named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week after accounting for 13 points in MSU's 25-24 victory over Wisconsin. He became just the sixth player in Big Ten history to earn three or more special teams weekly awards in the same season. Swenson went 4-for-4 on field-goal attempts, hitting the game-winner from 44 yards out with seven seconds left, as the Spartans rallied from an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit. His career-long 50-yarder with 5:16 to play pulled MSU to within 24-22. He also connected on field goals from 27 and 21.

After missing his first attempt of the 2008 season in the opener at California, Swenson converted a school-record 15 consecutive field goals, breaking the mark previously held by Paul Edinger, who made 13 in a row in 1998. His 15 straight field goals tied the fourth-longest streak in Big Ten history. Swenson's streak ended when he came up short on a 50-yard field-goal attempt in the second quarter at Michigan.

He was named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week after scoring 13 points in MSU's 37-20 victory at Northwestern, as the Spartans extended their winning streak to six games. Swenson hit all three field-goal attempts and four extra-point tries. He made field goals from 26, 42 and 34 yards against the Wildcats.

Swenson was selected Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week after accounting for 10 points in MSU's 16-13 victory over Iowa. He was a perfect 3-for-3 on field-goal attempts, hitting from 29, 32 and 25 yards, and converted his only extra-point try. His 25-yarder with 9:32 left in the third quarter gave the Spartans a 16-3 lead and proved to be the game winner.

The Pompano Beach, Fla., native was selected as one of the Lou Groza Award's Top Three Stars of the Week after accounting for a career-high 16 points in MSU's 42-29 victory at Indiana in the Big Ten opener. Swenson kicked a career-best four field goals, including three from 40-plus yards. He converted field goals from 45, career-long 48, 45 and 32 yards. With MSU leading 36-29 after three quarters, Swenson iced the game with a pair of four-quarter field goals (45 and 32). He also converted all four extra-point attempts.

Swenson already ranks among MSU's all-time leaders in field goals (fourth with 50 made), scoring (fourth with 270 career points) and extra points (fifth with 120 made). He also ranks among NCAA FBS active career leaders in field goals made (tied for sixth), extra points made (11th) and scoring (16th). Swenson has made 66 straight extra-point attempts.

The 6-5, 330-pound Martin has 34 career starts at right guard, including the last 13 games in a row. He graded out as a winner in eight of MSU's first 11 games in 2008 and allowed only one sack in nearly 350 pass attempts.

The 6-6, 318-pound Miller has started 37 consecutive games at left tackle. He ranks second on the team in pancake blocks (28 through 11 games). Miller recorded a career-high 7.5 pancakes as the Spartans rushed for a season-best 259 yards against Florida Atlantic.

The 6-0, 188-pound Bates ranks fourth in the Big Ten and No. 26 in the nation in punting with his 42.3-yard average. Eighteen of his 66 punts (27 percent) this season have been downed inside the opponent's 20-yard line. He has had at least one punt downed inside the opponent's 20 in 10 of the 12 games. Bates also has hit 14 punts 50 or more yards.

Over the last six games, Bates has averaged 43.7 yards on 33 punts, including eight 50-yarders and 10 kicks placed inside the opponent's 20.

He averaged 43.4 yards on five punts against Purdue, including a season-long 59-yarder and two kicks downed inside the Boilermaker 20. Bates averaged 45.4 yards on seven punts against Wisconsin. He averaged a career-best 45.7 yards on six punts against Ohio State, including one downed inside the Buckeye 20. Bates averaged 43.8 yards on four punts at Northwestern and pinned the Wildcats inside the 20-yard line three times.

Eight other Spartans have received All-Big Ten honorable mention: junior defensive end Trevor Anderson (coaches and media), sophomore tight end Charlie Gantt (coaches and media), fifth-year senior quarterback Brian Hoyer (coaches and media), fifth-year senior defensive tackle Justin Kershaw (media), senior defensive end Brandon Long (media), junior center Joel Nitchman (media), sophomore cornerback Chris L. Rucker (coaches and media) and junior wide receiver Blair White (coaches and media).

Ringer also was selected as MSU's recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, which is presented to student-athletes who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior.

The 9-3 Spartans are ranked No. 21 in this week's USA TODAY Coaches' Poll and No. 22 in the Associated Press Poll. Michigan State finished third in the Big Ten standings at 6-2 - its highest finish in the league standings since tying for second in 1999 (6-2). It marks the 10th time in program history that the team has won at least nine games in a season and the first time since 1999. It also marks just the third time MSU has won nine games since 1966. The Spartans will be making back-to-back postseason bowl appearances for the first time since 1996-97.
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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Mon Dec 08, 2008 9:56 pm

Monday, December 8, 2008
College football: Michigan State
Spartans eager to continue mission for respect
But it will be a tough assignment against star Moreno and Georgia in the Capital One Bowl.
Eric Lacy / The Detroit News

EAST LANSING -- Justin Kershaw's opening statement Sunday night said it all.

Michigan State is on a mission for respect New Year's Day when it faces Georgia at 1 p.m. in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

"We've had opportunities to play in big games this year and I don't think we've made the best of them," Kershaw, a senior defensive tackle, said in the school's bowl news conference. "We can't wait to play this game."

Less than a month after a 49-18 loss against Penn State and two months after a 45-7 drubbing by Ohio State, Michigan State will deal with quite an opponent.

The Bulldogs were 4-0 before a Sept. 27 loss to Alabama and setbacks to Florida and Georgia Tech in November.

"We've got an obligation to re-establish our reputation after a lot of things didn't go our way," Bulldogs linebacker Rennie Curran told the Macon (Ga.) Telegraph.

Georgia was considered by many prognosticators the preseason No. 1 team in the country and boasts Knowshon Moreno, a Doak Walker Award candidate along with MSU's Javon Ringer.

Moreno has 1,395 yards and 16 touchdowns in 227 attempts.

Handling Moreno and other talented players will take everything the Spartans have, coach Mark Dantonio said.

"The key to this football game will be tackling in space, catching the ball in traffic, protecting, throwing under pressure," he said. "When you have a month layoff or more, you have to remain current in your ability to do these things."

Michigan State is expected to have 15 practices from now until the bowl game. The Spartans conducted three last week and are expected to leave for Orlando on Christmas Day, followed by their first media opportunity on Dec. 26.

Quarterback Brian Hoyer won't be short of motivation while preparing for the Bulldogs.

New Year's Day will mark the senior's second time in a year he will compete against a top NFL-caliber player at the same position. Last year, it was Boston College's Matt Ryan in the Champs Sports Bowl; this year, it's Matthew Stafford.

"It drives you a little bit more," Hoyer said. "Anything he does, I want to top because I have that kind of competitive nature."

Stafford, a possible target for the Detroit Lions, has completed 61 percent of his passes for 3,209 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Ringer loves rest

A recent layoff has been beneficial to Ringer, especially after 370 carries this campaign for 1,590 yards and 21 touchdowns.

"I still feel pretty good," he said. "The more rest I have to prepare, the better I feel."


If you go


Michigan State receives an allotment of 12,000 tickets for the Capital One Bowl. They are $80 apiece and can be purchased at www.msuspartans.com .

The expected payout for each bowl team is $4.25 million. MSU's share is expected to be $1.6 million.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:21 am

ESPN blogger: MSU's Mark Dantonio should be Big Ten Coach of the Year

FREE PRESS STAFF • December 13, 2008

ESPN's Big Ten blogger Adam Rittenberg recently released his personal Big Ten awards. Among the honors he gave out was the Coach of the Year award, which he gave to a local coach.

Rittenberg's writeup:

Coach of the Year -- Michigan State's Mark Dantonio

This is extremely close between Dantonio and Pat Fitzgerald, but Michigan State's ability to finish third in the league with so-so talent affirms what many have felt about Dantonio's coaching ability. The Spartans overcame their struggles in close games, snapped their losing streak to archrival Michigan and avoided the prolonged losing streaks that have doomed them in the past. Paterno deserves a mention here, but his assistants took on the lion's share of the work. Minnesota's Tim Brewster also did an excellent job.


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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:27 am

MSU FOOTBALL
Spartans heat up practice; Staff changes on the way?
MSU gets feel for Florida conditions

BY SHANNON SHELTON • FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER • December 14, 2008

EAST LANSING -- With the heat cranked up to 85 degrees in the indoor practice facility, the Spartans attempted to bring a little bit of Florida to Michigan on Saturday.

Coach Mark Dantonio wanted to replicate the conditions his team might face in Orlando at the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1. It was MSU's fifth practice since the regular season finale against Penn State last month.

"We've got it pretty warm, but it will be humid down there," Dantonio said. "I feel good about practice. There's a good intensity in here, they're very good competitively versus each other. We've got to tone it down a little bit to make sure nobody gets banged up too much."

The Spartans have started their game preparations for Georgia, and completed a lengthy practice Saturday. In addition to the heat, the coaches also turned up the volume on the speakers that blast crowd noise and music into the facility.

"I think we've been preparing a little bit differently from last year," said senior quarterback Brian Hoyer. "We've been going harder and realizing that even though it's a month away, this game is important, and we have to prepare like it's next week."

STAFF SHAKE-UPS?:
Dantonio said there might be some departures from his assistant coaching staff because of interest from other programs.

"Possibly," he said. "If that happens, that's a credit to what this football program has done in two years here. We have outstanding coaches, and I would think if they had the opportunity to interview one of these guys, they'd make great head coaches."

Many of MSU's assistants have ties to Mid-American Conference schools, and their names have appeared in various media reports for recent head coaching openings. The most frequently mentioned name is that of offensive coordinator Don Treadwell, who has been rumored to be in the running for the job at Miami, Ohio, where he is a graduate and former assistant.

Dantonio didn't rule out the possibility of one of his assistants being hired while MSU prepares for its bowl game.

"I hope not, but if that is the situation, it may be much like the situation I had when I left Ohio State and went to Cincinnati," he said. "I continued to fulfill the bowl expectations."


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:49 am

RECRUITING
Michigan State prepares for visits from its top recruits

BY MATT DORSEY • FREE PRESS SPECIAL WRITER • December 4, 2008

This weekend, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio and his staff will host up to 10 recruits on official visits. Many of the players visiting are already committed to MSU and comprise some of the best prospects in the region for the class of 2009.

Among the visitors will be Oak Park running back Edwin Baker. The 5-foot-9, 205-pounder is rated one of the top five backs in the nation by rivals.com and the No. 41 player in the nation. An injury caused him to miss much of his senior year, but Baker was still selected to play in the prestigious U.S. Army All-American game in January.

Baker will likely be getting the ball handed to him in the future by quarterback Andrew Maxwell of Midland, who also will be making his official visit. Maxwell is rated the No. 8 quarterback in the nation.

Blocking for Maxwell and Baker will be 600 pounds of offensive lineman in Lansing Sexton's Micajah Reynolds and Nate Klatt of Canal Fulton (Ohio) Northwest. The 6-foot-5, 310-pound Reynolds was a first-team all-state selection by the Associated Press this fall and is rated the No. 56 offensive guard in the nation. The 6-foot-4, 290-pound Klatt was a first-team all-Ohio selection and is the No. 6 center prospect for the class of 2009.

Detroit Renaissance linebacker Chris Norman and defensive back Dana Dixon also will be on campus with their future teammates. Norman is rated the nation's fifth-best outside linebacker prospect and No. 3 in Michigan. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Dixon just finished a senior year in which he was named first team all-Detroit and did not allow a single touchdown pass to be completed on him all season.

Other future Spartans slated to be on campus for official visits include East Lansing defensive tackle Blake Treadwell, North Royalton (Ohio) defensive end Dan France and athlete Patrick White of Pickerington (Ohio) Central. Treadwell is rated one of the top 250 prospects for next year. France is rated the No. 21 defensive end in the nation. White is a three-star prospect and the 28th-best player overall in Ohio.

Based on rivals.com rankings, Michigan State will have four of the top seven in-state players for 2009 on campus: Baker, Maxwell, Norman and Treadwell. Third-ranked Larry Caper will be taking his visit next weekend. He also is committed to MSU.

The Spartans could host a prospect or two that have yet to make commitments. Dantonio likes uncommitted players to have an opportunity to meet potential teammates while on official visits.

Matt Dorsey is a recruiting analyst for spartanmag.com and rivals.com


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–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: MSU 2008 Football Team News   Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:53 am

RECRUITING
Spartans add ex-Rich Rodriguez recruit

By MATT DORSEY • FREE PRESS SPECIAL WRITER • December 11, 2008

One of the bigger concerns for the Michigan State recruiting class of 2009 was met this past weekend when Corey Freeman of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, verbally committed to the Spartans. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Freeman selected Michigan State over scholarship offers from West Virginia, Cincinnati and Colorado.

Freeman actually signed with the West Virginia Mountaineers in 2008, but a qualifying issue prevented him from joining the team. He re-opened his recruitment this fall and Michigan State made him a top priority for its class of 2009.

Coming out of high school Freeman was known for being an outstanding pass rusher. He tallied 90-tackles and 14.5 sacks as a senior. For his efforts, he was named 1st team All-League, All-District and All-Ohio.

Freeman’s High School Coach, Jeff Rotsky, had the following to say about his former star player: “He is an absolute difference maker. I've got guys starting at North Carolina, and another one starting at the Air Force Academy. And those guys are great players; a couple of them have chances to make it to the NFL, but as a defensive rush end there will never be another Corey Freeman. I don't think I'll be lucky enough to have another end with that kind of ability.”

Freeman is eligible to enroll in school in January and will be able to practice with the Spartans this spring. He will certainly be given a chance to earn some of the playing time that will be vacated by the graduation of defensive end Brandon Long.

Matt Dorsey is a recruiting analyst for SpartanMag.com and Rivals.com


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