Category Archives: College Sports

Wolverines spurned by 4-star safety Isaac Thompson

The Michigan Wolverines, currently mired in a disastrous strech of play, just received yet another bit of negative news.

Four-star 2022 four-star safety Isaac Thompson officially announced his committment to Missouri, spurning the Wolverines who had been a finalist to land his services.

He had also been contemplating Arkansas, Florida and Texas. This means that Michigan has just a single verbal committ (four-star linebacker Branden Jenning) since the start of October.

“I chose Mizzou because I really just wanted to stay close to home,” Thompson said. “I don’t think I can get any better than playing SEC ball just an hour away from home with the whole state supporting me.”

Thompson, who visited Ann Arbor in mid-November, is the No. 157 overall prospect and No. 11 safety in the class, per 247Sports’ Composite ranking.

– – Quotes via Ryan Zuke of MLive Link – –

AD Warde Manuel issues fiery response to Kirk Herbstreit

ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit ruffled more than a few feathers on Tuesday when he suggested that the University of Michigan could use the COVID-19 pandemic as a means of avoiding a matchup with the powerful rival Ohio State Buckeyes.

He later issued an apology for his comments.

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It wasn’t long before Michigan Athletic Director Warde Manuel responded to Herbstreit’s comments, and needless to say, he was not happy with what the analyst had to say.

During an appearance this afternoon on MGoBlue TV, Manuel issued an impassioned rebuttal to Herbstreit as well as anyone who believes that Michigan would use the pandemic as an excuse to duck an opponent.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” Manuel said. “I have to pause because of my words. I was angered, infuriated by the insinuation that Michigan would do anything other than play a football game. We’ve been playing this game since 1879. 1879. We’re the winningest program for a reason because we play whoever is in front of us. The only way we want to keep anybody from moving on is to beat them on the fields of play.

To insinuate that, to say something other than that is a statement by a fool. It is something that is—I can’t tell you how embarrassed I am for the Big Ten conference to have one of their representatives who played this game. To say that about any team in this conference and to say it about college football and the student-athletes around this country who are trying to play games during a pandemic is ridiculous and sad.”

Due to COVID-19 concerns, the Wolverines announced the cancellation of their scheduled game against Maryland this weekend. Their next game against Ohio State remains on for now.

Desmond Howard drags Michigan State into Michigan-Ohio State drama

ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit ruffled more than a few feathers on Tuesday when he suggested that the University of Michigan could use the COVID-19 pandemic as a means of avoiding a matchup with the powerful rival Ohio State Buckeyes.

He later issued an apology for his comments.

But now, a notable former Michigan alum is taking a page out of Herbstreit’s book.

Desmond Howard, a current ESPN college football analyst and former Michigan Wolverine, suggested that the Michigan State Spartans could refuse to play the Buckeyes for the same reason:

Do you believe that the former Michigan wide receiver is out of line to make this suggestion?

Magic Johnson, Mateen Cleaves celebrate Michigan State’s victory over Duke

The Michigan State Spartans took care of business against the Duke Blue Devils tonight, winning the Champions Classic by a 75-69 score. It also marked Michigan State’s fourth ever win against Duke, and their first ever win at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

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Following the victory, notable alums Magic Johnson and Mateen Cleaves celebrated the victory on social media:

The Spartans are now 3-0 on the season.

Michigan State handles Duke to remain undefeated in 2020

The Michigan State Spartans weren’t at full strength on Tuesday night, yet still managed to win their Champions Classic matchup over the Duke Blue Devils. That should serve as a warning to the rest of college basketball.

Michigan State earned just their 4th ever win over Duke, and earned their first ever win at Cameron Indoor Stadium tonight with a 75-69 victory.

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After trailing by as many as ten points in the first half, Michigan State was able to pull away from Duke in the second half on the backs of a 14-3 run. Sophomore Malik Hall nailed two free throws with seconds remaining in the contest to seal with win over No. 6 Duke, who fell to 1-1 on the season.

Rocket Watts led the Spartans in scoring with 20 points, while Aaron Henry added 14. Matthew Hurt countered for Duke with 21 points.

Former MSU G Keith Appling gets weak sentence in drug case

Former Michigan State Spartans basketball star Keith Appling was arrested in February after being discovered with 19 grams of heroin in his car.

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He later plead guilty to possessing controlled substance-delivering/manufacturing less than 50 grams as well as operating without a license.

Earlier today, he learned his sentence.

He was officially sentenced to 18 months probation via Zoom by Circuit Judge Edward Servitto.

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For Appling, this isn’t his first run-in with the law. In 2017, he was sentenced to jail for carrying a concealed weapon and resisting and obstructing a police officer.

During his sophomore season with the Spartans, he earned All-Big Ten third team honors while leading the Spartans to the Big Ten regular season and tournament championship. He also led the Spartans in scoring during his junior year.

Maryland coach Mike Locksley isn’t taking “great” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh lightly

The Michigan Wolverines are stuck in a massive rut right now under head coach Jim Harbaugh. Several embarrassing losses have set the tone for 2020, with the latest coming in the form of a home setback to a previously winless Penn State Nittany Lions team.

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Needless to say, Harbaugh and the Wolverines are feeling the heat from the fan base and from the media.

Despite their losing record, however, don’t expect Maryland Terrapins head coach Mike Locksley to be looking past Harbaugh and the Wolverines.

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“Michigan is a traditional, storied program that has had great success,” Locksley said. “It’s one of those blue blood programs that, year in and year out, is well-respected, well-coached. [Head] Coach [Jim] Harbaugh and all the other great coaches that have come through that program, I’ve had a chance to compete against them since 2005, and just have so much respect for their tradition and what they stand for.”

Currently with a 2-2 record, the Terrapins are coming off a 27-11 setback against Indiana last weekend. And you can bet that Maryland’s players will be ready to go on Saturday.

“Moving forward to Michigan, obviously we’ve shifted all of our energy and effort to a great opportunity against a traditional program in Michigan that has had great success as an organization,” Locksley said.

“Saturday is another great opportunity for our team. As I’ve said before, being in the growth phase, every opportunity that we get to compete, to go out and play, is a step in the right direction for our program. The type of young players that we play with … we don’t take it lightly. And I know our players are excited, as yesterday’s energy at practice was good.”

The Wolverines and Terrapins are scheduled to get underway on Saturday from The Big House at 3:30 PM EST.

– – Quotes via Clayton Safie of The Wolverine Link – –

Coach Mel Tucker earns Coach of the Week after weekend thriller

The Michigan State Spartans earned themselves a massive upset victory over the No. 8 ranked and previously undefeated Northwestern Wildcats.

The victory was already the second major win in the tenure of 1st year Spartans head coach Mel Tucker, who had earned his first signature victory in an upset victory over in-state rival Michigan on October 31.

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And now, he’s earned some national recognition.

Tucker has been named the recipient of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Week award, which is given to the head coach who led his team to a significant victory during the previous week.

“Coach Tucker is already leaving his mark at Michigan State with two marquee wins during his first season,” said Jim Terry, chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. “Coach Dodd believed every game was important, but there’s no doubt that he would admire how Coach Tucker has been able to motivate his team against some of its toughest competition this season.”

Congratulations to coach Tucker!

– – Quotes via Chick-Fil-A PeachBowl.com Link – –

COVID-19 Uptick Pushes Michigan Football Activities Virtual for Second Day

The Michigan Wolverines have made the decision to operate in virtual format for the second consecutive day due to concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Out of an abundance of caution, we will again hold all team activities in a virtual format today,” the program said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. “We will continue to follow the prevention protocols and recommendations of our medical professionals and the health department, and do everything to keep our focus on protecting the health, safety and welfare of our student-athletes and staff.”

Additionally, news conferences with student athletes were cancelled for the 2nd straight day.

The decision was made on Monday after head coach Jim Harbaugh described an uptick in positive presumptive positive cases within the program.

– – Quotes via Orion Sang of The Detroit Free Press Link – –

Buckeyes coach Ryan Day won’t coach vs. Spartans if game is played

Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day recently tested positive for COVID-19.

After having tested positive, the Big Ten requires coaches to isolate for ten days and be symptom free for 24 hours.

Thanks to Day’s diagnosis along with the rate of positive coronavirus tests within the program reaching “concerning” levels, the decision was made to cancel last weekend’s scheduled game against Illinois. This weekend’s scheduled game against the Michigan State Spartans is still on as of now, though Day won’t be on the sidelines if the game is played.

If all CDC guidelines are met by Day, he’d be eligible to return on Monday, December 7. Until then, defensive line coach Larry Johnson will be assuming his duties.

“I have spoken with coach Day, and he is doing well physically,” athletic director Gene Smith said in the press release. “I feel terrible for Coach and for the members of the program who have been diagnosed with a positive test. Coach Day and this team have been true leaders in handling things so well throughout this pandemic. Our team wants to play this game, and we’re going to do everything we can to help make this happen. All of the decisions on the welfare of our student-athletes and staff members will continue to be guided by our medical staff.”

– – Quotes via Matt Howe of 247Sports Link – –

Michigan Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh declares this week “day to day”

The Michigan Wolverines announced earlier today that all team activities would be conducted virtually thanks to a presumptive increase in positive COVID-19 tests.

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“Today, out of an abundance of caution, Michigan football is going to hold everything virtually,” head coach Jim Harbaugh said. “Due to an increased number of presumptive positive cases that we are awaiting confirmation (on).

“Like everything, it goes along with the culture that’s been set here since June,” Harbaugh continued. “This is day to day. When the results come back, we’ll continue to monitor those results and we’ll always continue to be proactive.

If a team’s positive rate exceeds five percent, the Big Ten requires a minimum of seven days pausing of practice and games. Harbaugh declined to answer how many presumptive cases that the Wolverines have.

“We all felt that was a good idea to do virtually our meetings today,” Harbaugh said. “We had scheduled meetings today, and we decided to do those virtually.”

Harbaugh also didn’t comment on the possibility of this weekend’s game potentially being cancelled, instead focusing on the “abundance of caution” that his team is undertaking.

“We’re going to continue to do what we’ve done,” Harbaugh said. “The health and safety was first and foremost and (we) continue to lean on the medical professionals. An abundance of caution, always.”

“You see other programs — NFL, I think, across the league, not having people in the facilities today and tomorrow. I think that’s the right thing to do, and the right thing to do be proactive.

“But I’m not predicting tomorrow or the next day.”

– – Quotes via Aaron McMann of MLive Link – –

Michigan State Spartans land in top-10 of latest AP 25 Basketball Poll

The Michigan State Spartans basketball team may not have Cassius Winston anymore, but that hasn’t stopped them from looking like their usual dominant selves.

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They’re 2-0 on the season following Saturday’s 80-70 victory over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and are now preparing to take on the Duke Blue Devils. Through two games, MSU leads the country in assists rate with 53 assists on 60 baskets made.

For head coach Tom Izzo, that’s the theme of the year so far.

“That might be the storyline of this team,” Spartans coach Tom Izzo said on Saturday night. “That’s two games in a row, that means we’re moving the ball, we’re passing the ball.”

The latest AP Top 25 Poll has been released, and the Spartans find themselves inside the top ten teams listed.

Will Izzo and the Spartans be able to take down Coach K. and the Blue Devils?

– – Quotes via Kyle Austin of MLive Link – –

Former Spartans coach Mark Dantonio talks retirement and top moments with MSU

Legendary Michigan State Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio called it a career earlier this year in February following several milestone-setting years in East Lansing.

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Among the accolades he earned included three Big Ten championships, two Big Ten coach of the year awards, the 2014 Rose Bowl, and an appearance in the 2015 College Football playoff.

“There were a lot of things I had to think about in terms of my time with them,” Dantonio said about his decision to retire. “Made that tough choice and retired in February, after a lot of sleepless nights thinking about it.”

“There’s inevitably always a time when you have to step away,” Dantonio said. “Some people are forced to step away, others are not. I just felt this was the time. February has always been my reset button. Recruiting was done. At that point, we sat down as a family and made this decision. That’s the deal.”

2020 marks the first year since 1980 that Dantonio isn’t coaching. Naturally, there’s a bit of an adjustment period.

“It takes a little bit of time to settle because it’s different,” Dantonio said. “It’s been a unique year where you had to detach yourself. Because of the pandemic, everything was shut down. I thought I would be able to gradually step away in a sense that maybe (I could) go watch a practice, go watch a scrimmage or something of that nature. Maybe go have dinner with some players. I haven’t been able to do that.

“This is the first year I’ve not coached for 41 years. But it’s been OK. It’s been OK.”

Among Dantonio’s favorite moments while coaching the Spartans include, naturally, wins over arch-rival Michigan. The shocking finish to the 2015 edition of the in-state rivalry game could never have been scripted – or was something that the team had even practiced.

“The night before (playing Michigan in 2015), they came out of their team meeting, and they were hyped. The next morning, we were on the way to the stadium at Michigan. I was like, ‘We got to get that buzz back, we got to get that hype back.’ As we pulled up — and it’s always emotional, everyone is screaming and yelling at you — it’s a good feel. They still do that just walking around. But I said, ‘Nobody gets off the bus until I tell them to.’ Dead bus. I stood up and counted to 10. I said, ‘I want you to think about what it’s going to be like in the last 10 seconds of the game, what it’s going to be like, where we’re going to be.’ I counted to 10, and then we got off the bus.

“And then the last 10 seconds occurred. That’s something we never practiced. I just said, ‘Come off the edge, don’t put a guy back. Give them one more that they’ve got to block.’ The rest of it just happened. That’s something that I’ll forever hang on to.”

You can bet that Michigan State’s upset win over Ohio State in 2013 is among the memories that Dantonio looks back upon fondly.

“My favorite one might be, obviously, the Michigan ones were big. The Iowa game (in 2015) was huge. The Ohio State championship game (in 2013) was huge. The Holiday Bowl (in the 2017 season) because we bounced back. That season, we rebounded from a tough season (3-9 record) the year before with a lot of problems. There’s a lot of things you can’t control, on and off the field. Bouncing back and winning 10 games that year was a point of focus.”

– – Quotes via Evan Petzold of The Detroit Free Press Link – –

Michigan State Spartans score 26 straight points over Notre Dame (VIDEO)

The No. 13 Michigan State Spartans appears poised to take another run under legendary coach Tom Izzo, and they gave Notre Dame a first hand look at how deadly their offensive attack can be.

The Spartans rattled off 26 consecutive points over the Fighting Irish. You read that right: a 26-0 run.

Check out the highlights below:

Not only did the Spartans put up plenty of offense, but they also kept the Fighting Irish from producing their own, blocking ten shots in the first half.

Spartans legend Mateen Cleaves toasts Mel Tucker (VIDEO)

The Michigan State Spartans rebounded from their losing streak this afternoon in a big way, knocking off the No. 8 ranked Northwestern Wildcats in an upset in East Lansing.

It’s the second major win for new Spartans coach Mel Tucker, who took over from the legendary Mark Dantonio earlier this
year.

Soon after, another Spartans legend chimed in.

Mateen Cleaves, who led the Spartans basketball team to a National Title, posted a celebratory video and toasted to Tucker:

Victory for MSU!

Michigan State Spartans upset previously undefeated No. 8 Northwestern Wildcats

The Michigan State Spartans were looking to rebound in a big way after suffering two straight embarrassing losses, and missing out on a chance to play last weekend.

In doing so, they handed a previously undefeated team their first defeat of the season.

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Matt Coghlin hit a field goal with 3:35 remaining in regulation, and Karlon Gervin recovered a Wildcats fumble in the end zone at the end of regulation to lead the Spartans to an upset over the No. 8 Northwestern Wildcats, winning by a 29-20 final score.

Quarterback Rocky Lombardi went 11-for-27 with 167 yds and two touchdowns, while Connor Heyward led Michigan State’s ground game with 96 yards on 24 carries.