Sunday, April 14, 2024

Sports | Football

FOOTBALL

Record hasn't hurt recruiting

After starting the season 4-0, many thought recruiting would become easy for MSU head coach John L. Smith. Since then, though, the team has fallen to 5-5 overall and the opposite is being said for the Spartans recruiting efforts. But has it really become harder? "It hasn't," Smith said.

FOOTBALL

Players, coaches: We haven't quit

Minneapolis, Minn. — The sun was shining brightly over East Lansing during the month of September for the MSU football team. The team started out 4-0 and was riding high after an overtime victory at Notre Dame followed by a 61-point effort at Illinois. Then, something happened.

FOOTBALL

Golden Gophers stomp Spartans

Minneapolis, Minn. — With their heads down and expressions of frustration clearly evident, the Spartans slowly trotted off the Metrodome field Saturday following a one-sided, 41-18 loss to Minnesota. The Spartans have lost five of their last six games. "They kicked our tail," MSU head coach John L.

FOOTBALL

Dropped passes, missed tackles still factors

Minneapolis, Minn. — Old demons continue to haunt MSU. Once again, drops by MSU's receivers and poor tackling by the MSU defense contributed heavily to the team's 41-18 loss to Minnesota on Saturday. Sophomore wide receiver Terry Love dropped the ball on two consecutive plays — one a deep bomb that would've put MSU inside the red zone, the next, a bubble screen. "The drops today were a nightmare," Love said.

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MSU can still have impact on top of conference race

After another week, the Big Ten title picture is as muddy as it ever was. The game with the most importance in the title picture this week is Northwestern traveling to Ohio Stadium to face Ohio State. Both teams could still win a share of the Big Ten title, but will need help from MSU to do so. If the Spartans defeat Penn State on Nov.

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Talk of bowl game bothers John L. Smith

After MSU's 28-21 loss at Purdue this past weekend, the last thing on head coach John L. Smith's mind was becoming eligible for a bowl berth following a victory. "It just bothers me when I hear us going out the door to play the game, to walk on the field, to, 'Let's go get a bowl game,'" Smith said.

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Where can they possibly go from here?

West Lafayette, Ind. Once again, MSU's vaunted offense failed to put up points against one of the worst defenses in the country. Ranked 116th defensively out 117 teams in Division 1-A, Purdue shut down the Spartans offense from the first quarter en route to its first Big Ten win, 28-21, at Ross-Ade Stadium. "We started out great," junior quarterback Drew Stanton said.

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Turf crumbles as Spartans do same, but that's no excuse

West Lafayette, Ind. — A common sight in Saturday's 28-21 loss at Purdue was the vision of uprooted chunks of grass on Ross-Ade Stadium following pivots, cuts and runs from players on both teams. The field conditions were so bad that stadium personnel and representatives from each team hurried onto the field during TV timeouts and stoppages in play in attempting to repair the divots on the field. "It was probably the worst field you've ever seen," MSU head coach John L.

FOOTBALL

Defense finally breaks out

A struggling and inconsistent Spartan defensive unit may have gotten the turnaround it was looking for in Saturday's 46-15 win over Indiana. Using a more aggressive strategy, the defense intercepted three passes for the first time since 2003, recovered a fumble, recorded two sacks, and made six tackles for losses, all while holding the Hoosier offense to 369 total yards.

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Special teams runs away with game

For the first time all season, MSU's special teams units were just that — special. After being called out Friday night by special teams coach Jim McElwain, the Spartans special teams responded with their best performance of the season.

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Spartans still in running for bowl

After throwing his second touchdown pass Saturday against Indiana, Drew Stanton exited the game to the ovation that he was accustomed to hearing when the Spartans started the season so sharply. "It's really nice to get back in the win column," Stanton said.

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Wildcats face resurgent U-M

Many questions will be answered about the poise and talent of both Michigan and Northwestern when the two teams meet on Saturday in the Big Ten's most intriguing matchup of the week. Wildcat quarterback Brett Basanez, who has started in 35 consecutive games, is one of the hottest players in college football coming off a huge road win at MSU.