Football —  Many of the Michigan State football players who made history with a Rose Bowl run last season were made history by NFL teams by 4 p.m. Saturday, the deadline for teams to cut active rosters to 53 players. It's important to note that some of the players cut or released Saturday could be picked back up as early as Sunday for the 10-man practice squads the NFL clubs are allotted.
Discuss »
Volleyball —  No. 16 Michigan State rolled to a 3-0 victory over Jacksonville State on Saturday morning at the UAB/Samford Invitational, improving its overall record to 3-0 and putting MSU in position to capture the tournament title in tonight's nightcap against co-host Samford.
Discuss »
Football —  Sure there were younger, bigger and more athletic running backs in competition for Michigan State’s backup running back spot this spring and summer. But Nick Hill went out Friday night and proved that experience and consistency are worth something, too.
Discuss »
Women's Rowing —  Emily Regan and the women's four earned a silver medal in the straight four at the World Championships in Amsterdam on Friday. The crews battled adverse conditions, but fought through to finish second to New Zealand despite being as far back as fourth at 500 meters.
Discuss »
Football —  Call it a storybook beginning. MSU wide receiver AJ Troup's career took yet another odds-defying turn when his first catch as a Spartan resulted in a 17-yard touchdown for a 21-0 lead in the first quarter of the 45-7 season-opening victory against Jacksonville State.
Discuss »
Football —  Connor Cook threw a long touchdown pass for Michigan State's first points of the season - and coach Mark Dantonio's immediate reaction was concern. That's because Cook needed to be helped off the field after a late hit to his left leg. "That looked pretty ugly out there, but he rebounded after that, and he went right back in the football game," Dantonio said. "I'm pretty sure he's fine, based on how he played."

Boxscore | Post-Game Quotes

Audio: Full Game Replay | Post Game Show Spartan Sports Network

Michigan State strikes early, coasts to season-opening win MLive
Michigan State picked up where it left off the 2013 season, displaying a smothering defense and a high-flying passing attack against Jacksonville State in both teams' season opener on Friday night. The No. 8-ranked Spartans (1-0) scored a 45-7 victory over the No. 6-ranked (FCS) Gamecocks (0-1), recording their 11th consecutive victory dating back to last season's loss at Notre Dame.

No. 8 Spartans run away with win in opener Detroit Free Press
Get it all out of the way right away, Michigan State, so we can get to that Oregon game. It took just four offensive plays for the No. 8 Spartans to thrill their fans with a big play for a touchdown and hush them with an injury scare – Connor Cook taking a nasty, low hit from Folo Johnson on a 64-yard scoring loft to Tony Lippett, then limping off before returning.

Connor Cook leads the Spartans to a 45-7 victory over Jacksonville State The State News
Junior quarterback Connor Cook led the way on Friday as No. 8 MSU made quick work of Jacksonville State and cruised to 45-7 victory at Spartan Stadium. MSU took the life out of the Gamecocks early and were able to impose its will through long scoring drives and stout defense. MSU jumped to a 38-0 lead in the first half, showing no signs of any struggle to move the ball against the Gamecocks

Kneejerk Reactions: Michigan State 45, Jacksonville State 7 The Only Colors
Connor Cook. Hard to do better than 12 for 13, 285 yards, 3 TDs in the first half. The first touchdown was a strike to Tony Lippett as he got hit; the second was again to Lippett who was wide open after a blitz. The third was a beautiful fade to A.J. Troup.

Fastest Start to a Season? What is Your Profession?
I don't want to get too excited. After all, MSU was playing a severely over-matched team. But then again, MSU always plays over-matched teams to start the season. And for the life of me, I cannot recall a start to the season like this one. OK, you could argue that last year's defense started faster. They put on a dominating performance against Western Michigan. But the defense looked pretty dominant today, and contrary to last year, so did the offense. Man does the offense look loaded.

Michigan State dominates in season-opening victory Detroit News
With a Big Ten title in hand as well as a victory in last season’s Rose Bowl, Michigan State ran the risk of coming into Friday’s 2014 opener overlooking its opponent from the FCS. It took about a minute for any such notion to be extinguished.

Stock Report: Passing game nearly perfect as Michigan State rushes out to 38-point lead MLive
Connor Cook: How much higher can his stock go after finishing last season as the Rose Bowl MVP? Well, it certainly didn’t go down Friday night. Cook completed his first nine passes and finished 12 of 13 for 285 yards and three touchdowns. Some of the long completions were aided by Jacksonville State coverage breakdowns, but Cook played nearly mistake-free.

Four Michigan State players suffer injuries against Jacksonville State MLive
About the only negative of a resounding 45-7 Michigan State win over Jacksonville State were the players who had to be helped off the field. Four players, three of whom are starters, left Friday's game at different points with injuries only a week ahead of a showdown at No. 3 Oregon.

Quick observations: Focus is on Michigan State's offense Detroit Free Press
Joe Rexrode’s observations from the Spartans’ rout Friday

Connor Cook shakes off scare as Michigan State flexes its muscles Detroit Free Press
Four plays into Michigan State’s first offensive drive of the season, hope and horror converged on each other. Quarterback Connor Cook hit a streaking Tony Lippett down the far sideline for a 64-yard touchdown pass. But Cook didn’t see it. He hit the turf in pain, the victim of a reckless low hit by Jacksonville State safety Folo Johnson that bent his left knee backward — a grisly image that Big Ten Network replays showed again … and again … and again.

Grading the Spartans in win over Jacksonville State Detroit Free Press
Free Press sports writer Joe Rexrode rates the Spartans on a scale of 1 to 10

Taiwan Jones successful in first start at middle linebacker Detroit Free Press
Replacing a guy in Max Bullough, who was the anchor to Michigan State’s hard nosed defense for the last three seasons, is a feat that’s difficult to accomplish, especially if that predecessor is talented enough to play in the NFL.

Michigan State looks as good as advertised in blowout victory Detroit News
This is how you’re supposed to look if you think you’re championship material. You make it look easy when you should, which is something last year’s eventual Big Ten champs certainly took their time figuring out. Friday night, Michigan State wasted none, however, as they laid waste to Jacksonville State in a 45-7 rout before a crowd of 75,127 at Spartan Stadium.

AJ Troup, Nick Hill impress in win over Jacksonville State State News
There’s nothing like a chip on your shoulder. Despite winning the Rose Bowl last season, the pressure is still on for an MSU program that historically has had the tendency to fuel their doubters with disappointing encores to great seasons. Friday night, against a team that would be easy to overlook, the Spartans played as though they had a statement to make, exactly as Head Coach Mark Dantonio intended.

Michigan State's lopsided victory ensures all is well on defensive front Detroit News
Losing six starters from a defense that was the second-ranked unit in the country last season can cause some programs to scramble. If the first week is any indication, that won’t be the case at Michigan State.

Spartans' offense flies high early, defense keeps pace Detroit Free Press
Get it all out of the way right away, Michigan State, so we can get to that Oregon game. It took just four offensive plays for the No. 8 Spartans to thrill their fans with a big play for a touchdown and hush them with an injury scare – Connor Cook taking a nasty, low hit from Folo Johnson on a 64-yard scoring loft to Tony Lippett, then limping off before returning.

Darian Hicks steps up in season-opening win Detroit Free Press
It will technically go down as a big play at the expense of Darian Hicks, but it’s not that simple. Criss-crossing routes and a bump on MSU safety Kurtis Drummond created the 32-yard pass play to open Friday’s 45-7 Spartans win over Jacksonville State, Hicks said. “No, no,” said Hicks, the sophomore cornerback making his first start. “I didn’t get beat.”

Circus catch is crowning achievement for AJ Troup after return from injury Detroit News
Forgive AJ Troup if it took him a while to understand what he had just accomplished. The junior receiver was playing in his first game for the Spartans and had just grabbed his first reception. And for good measure, it was an acrobatic grab over a Jacksonville State defender in the corner of the end zone for a first-quarter touchdown.

Michigan State 'probably better' than last season, Jacksonville State coach says after Spartans' victory MLive
Mark Dantonio said he wanted his team to make a statement on Friday night, and the statement from Jacksonville State's head coach is that these Spartans looked better than last year's team. "I think they're probably better,'' said first-year Gamecocks coach John Grass, who along with his staff spent the offseason studying the Rose Bowl Spartans on tape. "I think they have a more athletic team out there now.''

Spartans Make Statement In Season-Opening Win
Opening night couldn't have gone better for eighth-ranked Michigan State, first and foremost because quarterback Connor Cook didn't sustain a devastating knee injury on the Spartans' first drive of Friday's 45-7 victory against Jacksonville State.

Discuss »
Volleyball —  Freshman Holly Toliver turned in her second straight double-digit kill performance, tying Allyssah Fitterer with 10 for the match as Michigan State defeated UAB, 3-0, in the second game of the UAB/Samford Invitational. MSU is now 2-0, and will play Jacksonville State and Samford on Saturday to conclude the tournament.
Discuss »
Men's Soccer —  The 10th-ranked Michigan State men's soccer team defeated Southern Methodist University, 1-0, in the first game of the 2014 season thanks to a late goal from senior defender Ryan Keener.
Discuss »
Field Hockey —  No.16 Michigan State dropped its season opener at home on Friday afternoon in heartbreaking fashion, losing to fourth ranked and national runner-up Duke in overtime. Trailing 1-0 with the clock ticking down in regulation, Abby Barker created space from the left side of the circle and found the back of the net to tie the game up with eight seconds remaining, forcing overtime.
Discuss »
Volleyball —  Michigan State opened its 2014 season on Friday afternoon, downing Southeastern Louisiana 3-0 at the UAB/Samford Invitational. MSU owns a 9-2 record in openers under current head coach Cathy George, and the Spartans have started off the season with a win in each of the last six seasons; MSU has also won the last five openers by 3-0 margins.
Discuss »
Women's Soccer —  Michigan State remained perfect on the season after defeating the Eastern Michigan Eagles, 3-0, in front of a crowd of over 400 fans Friday afternoon at DeMartin Stadium. Courtney Clem picked up her second consecutive shutout and ninth of her career.
Discuss »
Track & Field —  The Michigan State men's and women's cross country squads got their 2014 season started at the 29th Annual Jeff Drenth Memorial on Friday morning. The race was held at Pleasant Hills Golf Course just off the campus of Central Michigan University. A total of three women and five men placed in the top-10 for the Spartans in the team's first race of the year.
Discuss »
Football —  The lights were in place Friday afternoon at Spartan Stadium, and that usually means a big game is on tap for Michigan State. While the opponent — Jacksonville State — might not have been what most fans expect for a big game, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio still declared it a “statement game.” The reasons are many, including the fact Michigan State is trying to build off last season’s record-setting performance.
Discuss »
Football —  Darian Hicks knew his hold on starting field corner spot was anything but certain heading into fall camp. So he spent the three weeks of preseason practice sending a message. “I kind of made it known that you can no longer punk me out here,” Hicks said this week. “I’m stronger, I’m bigger, I’m faster and I’m ready for contact with anybody.”
Discuss »
Football —  Shilique Calhoun is speechless, which is notable because, well, he is hardly ever speechless. He is flashing his trademark smile, though, a dead giveaway of how he feels about the beating Michigan State administered to Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner last year. Six seconds pass, and he relents. "I mean, you pretty much said it yourself," Calhoun tells the reporter, shaking his head. "I don't need to say much more. It's pretty much ... "
Discuss »
Football —  Brian Hoyer was 6-of-8 passing for 69 yards in a 33-13 victory over the Chicago Bears. The NFL preseason is in the books, now comes the hard part for hundreds of prospects as the final roster cut is on the horizon. Michigan State enters the weekend with 22 players on NFL rosters, including seven of the Rose Bowl Spartans who survived the first cut earlier this week. Discuss »
Football —  Michigan State will put its No. 8 national ranking and 10-game winning streak on the line at 7:30 Friday in Spartan Stadium against an upset-minded Jacksonville State team. The FCS opponent from northeastern Alabama features an uptempo, spread offense engineered by first-year head coach John Grass. He helped the No. 6-ranked Gamecocks to 49 offensive school records last season while serving as a
first-year offensive coordinator after 16 years as a high school head coach.
Discuss »
Football —  I'm not sure what most fans thought when they heard about Michigan State playing Jacksonville State back when schedules were released for the 2014 football season, but all I was thinking was there's a college in that city in northern Florida? And there is. It's called North Florida. Jacksonville State is, in fact, in Jacksonville. Just a different Jacksonville -- Jacksonville, Alabama, a 9.85 square mile town that has only 12,584 people.
Discuss »
Football —  The defense has become the backbone of the program's identity, spearheading Michigan State's rise in the rankings. The Spartans finished last season ranked No. 3 and will take the field for the season opener against Jacksonville State on Friday night at No. 8 — the program's highest preseason ranking since 1967.
Discuss »
Football —  All week in practice, MSU prepped its defense with two offensive huddles, one ready to run the next play as soon as the previous play was completed. Before that, MSU’s offense — seasoned and led by returning quarterback Connor Cook and running back Jeremy Langford — tried several new things in camp, for the benefit of both sides of the ball.
Discuss »