Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Sports | Football

FOOTBALL

Duckett vs. Anderson

If MSU’s T.J. Duckett is considered the Midwest’s “freak of nature,” then Northwestern’s Damien Anderson comes in a close second. Both Heisman Trophy candidate running backs are known for their uncanny speed and strength, despite the fact they differ in size. Duckett, at 6-foot-1 and 249 pounds, bruised his way to 1,353 yards in 2000, while Anderson, at 5-foot-11 and 207 pounds, scampered for 2,063 - the most in the Big Ten.

FOOTBALL

Rogers, Jarretts improvements earn Big Ten Player of Week honors

The Big Ten named freshman wide receiver Charles Rogers and senior punter Craig Jarrett Big Ten Players of the Week on Monday for their efforts in MSU’s 17-10 win over Notre Dame.Rogers was named co-offensive player of the week along with Northwestern’s Damien Anderson and Jarrett was named the special teams player of the week.

FOOTBALL

Smoker, Van Dyke play video games, share a pad, agree its all about support

Roommates Jeff Smoker and Ryan Van Dyke couldn’t wait to give the video game, NCAA Football 2002, a shot this summer.The two quarterbacks, who shared playing time during the Spartans 35-21 victory over Central Michigan last week, flicked on the television screen, loaded up their Sony PlayStation 2 and were amused at what they saw.Smoker, a sophomore, was listed as MSU’s starting quarterback, while Van Dyke, a senior, was depicted as backup with one noticeably inaccurate quality.“I’m just the backup, and I don’t appreciate that they have me left-handed too,” joked Van Dyke, who’s right-handed.

FOOTBALL

Special teams say expect improvement

Even though head football coach Bobby Williams keeps his practices under wraps, everyone knows MSU must be focusing on special teams this week after Central Michigan blocked four punts in Saturday’s season opener.Special teams and linebackers coach Sal Sunseri took the blame for Saturday’s punt problems and said he should’ve lined up more athletic players in front of the punt team in practice.

FOOTBALL

Knott not fazed by protest

Even though he didn’t play in Saturday’s home opener - a 35-21 victory over Central Michigan - about 100 protesters outside Spartan Stadium still felt Eric Knott’s presence. Knott said Monday that he was aware of the protests, but didn’t pay much attention to them.

FOOTBALL

Knott protesters march in tailgates

MSU’s gridiron matchup with Central Michigan was laced with controversy Saturday as about 100 people protested the university granting admittance and scholarships to Eric Knott and Damon Dowdell. Knott, a freshman tight end, was convicted of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in June from charges extending from a 1999 incident involving a 13-year-old Detroit girl. Dowdell, a redshirt freshman quarterback, was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct in the same incident.

FOOTBALL

Special teams suspect in win

As special teams hampered the MSU football team during Saturday’s season opener against Central Michigan, it was the one weak spot that carried over from last season - despite an entire summer of troubleshooting.Central linebacker James King was the catalyst of the Spartans’ special teams debacle when he blocked senior punter Craig Jarrett in the first quarter.But when he blocked three more punts in the second half, he took his performance to another level by tying the NCAA Division I-A individual and team record for most punts blocked in a game.MSU head coach Bobby Williams said the problems with the punt team need to be rectified immediately.“The blocks all came off of the edge.

FOOTBALL

Spartans stumble to victory

Saturday’s postgame buzzword from head coach Bobby Williams was “breakdowns” and there were plenty of them in the messy 35-21 win over Central Michigan.