Sunday, April 21, 2024

Lions coach Ross resigns

November 7, 2000

In such dire times where MSU has had to deal with losing more often than winning, it’s good to know coach Bobby Williams still has a sense of humor.

He showed it at his Monday press conference when asked how he’ll simulate the Purdue offense this week in practice.

“We’ll put in 10 receivers, run them all out there and just have the quarterback stand back there and throw it because that’s basically what it’s like,” he said. “It seems like they’ve got people open everywhere.

“But I’m just kidding - we’re not going to put out 10 receivers. We don’t even have 10 receivers. I’m serious.”

Some changes in the future?

Junior kicker David Schaefer’s struggles continued when he missed a 20-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter at Ohio State on Saturday. He is now nine of 15 for the season.

Williams hinted at freshmen Dan Orner and Michael Servis to possibly replace Schaefer for Saturday’s Purdue game.

“I’m going to take a strong look at Orner and Servis again this week and we’ll see what happens,” he said. “When we get to the game, you could see a change.”

Still Smokin’

Despite passing for 77 yards and an interception, in addition to getting sacked six times Saturday, Williams said he’s sticking with freshman quarterback Jeff Smoker as the starting quarterback for the Purdue game. He also said he’ll look to get junior Ryan Van Dyke some action.

“I’m not disappointed in neither quarterback,” he said. “Jeff did some fine things in the game, yet he had some mistakes, some he probably had no control over with the pressure.”

Bowl implications

Although MSU is 4-5 overall and 1-5 in the Big Ten, Williams said the team still has an opportunity to play in a postseason bowl game, provided the Spartans win their last two games.

“Seeing the way the conference is set up now, there’s a good chance that you finish 6-5 and you’ll be locked into one of the six bowls,” he said. “They have to make a decision on which team they would like to invite and then once it gets beyond that, you’re looking at an at-large bid somewhere.

“I think there’s still a lot to play for this year. If we win our last two, certainly beating those teams could give us a lot of ammunition to get a bowl bid.”

Surprise surprise, more injuries

Freshman defensive tackle Joe Tate is out for the year with a broken left fibula. Freshman defensive end Kyle Rasmussen is questionable for the Purdue game with a pulled groin. Sophomore fullback Dawan Moss, hindered by a sprained ankle suffered against Illinois, played only on special teams against Ohio State. He is listed as probable for this weekend.

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