Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Sports | Football

FOOTBALL

SPORTS UPDATE: Spartans fall to rival Wolverines

Ann Arbor - The battle between intrastate rivals failed to measure up to last year‘s classic, as the Spartans failed to keep Saturday’s contest close against Michigan, losing 49-3.Last season, Michigan and MSU battled it out until the last play, needing every tick on the clock to decide a winner.

FOOTBALL

Another Spartan suspended

MSU Sports Information announced late Thursday that junior defensive end Greg Taplin is suspended for Saturday’s game against Michigan. Spartan head coach Bobby Williams didn’t address the media or release a statement regarding the suspension.

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Welcome to the house the Wolverines built

Ann Arbor - University of Michigan alumni and students pride themselves on its presence.It’s estimated that 880,000 pounds of reinforcing steel was used in its construction.It’s almost impossible to miss the giant block “M” on the back of its scoreboard when driving down Main Street in Ann Arbor.They call it the “Big House.” And for good reason.Michigan Stadium is the largest stadium in college football with a capacity of 107,501.

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Smoker rumors unconfirmed

One week after the indefinite suspension of junior quarterback Jeff Smoker, Spartan fans are still in the dark as to what “team rules violation” actually means. Attempts by The State News to reach Smoker on campus or at his parents’ home in Manheim, Pa., have not been successful.

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Fans waver on support for Smoker

Football fan support continued to seesaw at Saturday’s loss to Wisconsin in Spartan Stadium. Some students carried signs and wore shirts with written jabs at junior quarterback Jeff Smoker, who was nowhere to be seen after head coach Bobby Williams suspended him indefinitely Thursday for violating unspecified team rules.

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Dowdell struggles at start, rallies in second half

It was a different quarterback taking the snaps, but the result was the same for MSU. The Spartans (3-5 overall, 1-3 Big Ten) dropped their third consecutive game 42-24 against the Wisconsin Badgers (6-3, 1-3) in front of a national television audience Saturday night. And Saturday’s spotlight was firmly fixed upon sophomore signal caller Damon Dowdell following Thursday’s announcement that junior quarterback Jeff Smoker was indefinitely suspended for violating unspecified team rules. “I thought he came in and stepped up to the challenge,” senior strong safety Thomas Wright said of Dowdell.

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Downward spiral

The MSU football team practiced differently, had a new quarterback under center, and preached about showing toughness, but nothing changed. In an attempt to separate itself from the Big Ten’s cellar, the Spartans (3-5 overall, 1-3 Big Ten) turned in another dismal performance in a 42-24 loss to Wisconsin at Spartan Stadium on Saturday night.

FOOTBALL

Smoker suspended indefinitely

Junior quarterback Jeff Smoker was indefinitely suspended Thursday for violating unspecified team rules and will not play in MSU’s nationally televised game Saturday against Wisconsin. “I can’t really go into any detail as far as what the extent of the problem was,” MSU head coach Bobby Williams said.

FOOTBALL

First-teams battle it out during practice

After two straight losses and countless questions regarding a lack of toughness, MSU head coach Bobby Williams decided this week was the time to mix things up in practice.So for the first time all season, the Spartans’ first-team offense squared off against the first-team defense on the practice field.“We get real excited when we get to go against the first-team offense,” sophomore linebacker Ronald Stanley said.

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SPORTS UPDATE: Gridders losing ways continue

The Spartans’ gridiron woes continued Saturday. MSU (3-4 overall, 1-2 Big Ten) was plagued by crucial penalties and allowed Minnesota (7-1, 3-1) 543 yards of total offense and 390 rushing yards in the 28-7 loss. It was the Spartans’ third defeat in their last four games and second straight in conference play. “We’re not a good football team right now,” MSU head coach Bobby Williams said.

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Football marks 50 years in Big Ten

John Hannah was president, Ralph Young was athletics director and Michigan State was still a college. The year was 1953 and the Spartans were beginning their first season of Big Ten football. “I remember when we got into it,” said Frank “Muddy” Waters, a 1950 graduate and football head coach from 1980-82. “I was a student at the time. “It was a very exciting time.

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Spartans look forward to second half of season

The season for the MSU football team has not developed the way anyone could have imagined. The Spartans (3-3 overall, 1-1 Big Ten) have dropped three of their last four games - two of which have been blowout losses. “We’re not anywhere near where we should be or where I expected this team to be,” head coach Bobby Williams said at a Tuesday press conference.

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Leaders lull

Iowa City, Iowa - Saturday’s 44-16 beating at the hands of Iowa provided more than just embarrassment for the Spartans (3-3 overall, 1-1 Big Ten), it also opened the door for a possible quarterback controversy. The door was unlocked roughly three minutes into the third quarter when MSU head coach Bobby Williams sent sophomore quarterback Damon Dowdell into the game. On the Spartans’ previous possession, junior quarterback Jeff Smoker fumbled after a 3-yard scramble.