Listen to Jim Morrissey relive his entire career at Michigan State and in the NFL with Seth Newman. Learn about his recruiting, playing for the 1985 Chicago Bears, winning the Super Bowl and being part of the Super Bowl Shuffle.
Northwestern's football team can relate to Michigan State's woes this season. Prior to the Wildcats' surprising 38-31 win at Iowa Oct. 1, they were sitting 1-3 and locked in a funk similar to what the Spartans are experiencing now.
Tyler O’Connor vs. Damion Terry. That’s Topic No. 1 on the agenda for Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio, offensive coordinator Dave Warner and quarterbacks coach Brad Salem this week.
“The ride up the mountain is very difficult at times, but the ride down can be very quick.” When Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio said that, he was searching for answers after the Spartans’ 31-14 loss at home to BYU. That’s one of the most durable lessons in college football. It is almost impossibly hard to summit college football’s mountaintop; staying is even harder.
MSU is favored by five over Northwestern, per OddsShark, although the line actually opened at MSU -6.5 so a lot of action is coming in for the Wildcats. One site even has the line down to four.
Michigan State players still hold a hand up when the third quarter ends, to signify the importance the program places on its fourth-quarter performance. But through five games this year, the fourth quarter has been Michigan State's worst. Michigan State has been outscored by 38 points in the fourth quarter and overtime through five games as its stumbled to a 2-3 record.
Even after entering the NFL draft in 2000, Julian Peterson knew he wanted to return to Michigan State to finish his degree. He finally stopped delaying his return to school after one of his four sons challenged him.
Mark Dantonio isn’t giving up on this season despite the Spartans’ current three-game losing streak, which was extended Saturday with a 31-14 loss to Brigham Young at Spartan Stadium. Two of the three losses have come at home by a combined score of 61-20.
Tyler O'Connor faced the media from a seat on the stage in the Spartan Stadium media center on Saturday night. That's where the lights shine the brightest. The quarterback will always be in the spotlight, particularly when he's leading a team that's 2-3 after playing in the College Football Playoff last year. But while O'Connor took the fall on Saturday when he was benched in the Spartans' loss to BYU, and afterward sat under the bright lights, he's hardly this team's biggest issue. Far from it.
This is a feeling Spartan fans have not felt in many years, the first three-game losing streak under head coach Mark Dantonio since 2009. Michigan State now sits at 2-3 and their schedule is only going to get tougher. The Spartans have to face Ohio State and Michigan, as well as go on the road against Penn State to end the season. The 2016 football season is all but over, except to potentially play the spoiler role and grab a victory at home against the Wolverines or Buckeyes.
O’Connor faced the TV cameras and answered questions with remarkable poise, staying until every reporter was gone. He is the senior captain, the voice of this struggling offense, even though it is not clear he is still the starter.
While many Michigan State fans are starting to wonder if personnel moves might be made with the future in mind, coach Mark Dantonio wants it to be known he has every intention of playing to win.
Saturday night, after the boos ended inside Spartan Stadium and the ringing of Brigham Young fans’ jubilation had subsided, Mark Dantonio took to the podium, still searching for answers as to what happened. “The last thing I want to do,” Michigan State’s head coach sighed, “is create controversy.”
Michigan State's coaches talked "at length" on Sunday about the team's quarterback situation, after starter Tyler O'Connor was pulled in the fourth quarter in a loss to BYU. As to what exactly was said during those talks, Mark Dantonio won't say. "We need to keep those decisions right now in-house for the benefit of everybody here," Dantonio said on Sunday night.
A documentary film about Michigan State’s championship 1965 and ’66 season will be shown on campus during Homecoming week. And a number of those men will return to talk about their experiences a day earlier. The one-hour “Men of Sparta” will be shown Thursday, with a panel discussion slated for Wednesday evening. The documentary made its debut at the Traverse City Film Festival in late July. The 1966 team also will be honored during the MSU-Northwestern game next Saturday (3:30 p.m./Big Ten Network).
Mark Dantonio says ride down mountain can be 'very quick' MLive
Imagine for a minute Michigan State's football program as an 18-wheeler climbing a mountain. Sure, there have been some potholes and rough terrain during Mark Dantonio's first nine years as head coach, but the Spartans have reached great heights with him in the driver's seat.
Henning: Shocking how Spartans got slapped around Detroit News
What seemed a certainty as long as Michigan State and Mark Dantonio were a couple no longer is a lock. The Spartans looked as if they had sealed a deal with their fans and with the fates. No more in East Lansing was winning a question. It was a matter of how many football games a year MSU would gulp down: Ten, 11, nine, maybe eight in a down year.
O’Connor pulled, MSU QB controversy brewing Detroit News
Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said he has no interest in dealing with a quarterback controversy, but that might be where things are headed after all. Following Michigan State’s 31-14 loss at home to BYU on Saturday – the first three-game losing streak for Michigan State since 2009 – Dantonio and the Spartans return to Big Ten play next week against Northwestern without a clear starting quarterback.
Michigan State looking for answers on defense, too Detroit News
While much of the focus is falling on Michigan State’s offense these days, it’s getting harder and harder to give the defense a pass. Following Michigan State’s 31-14 loss at home to BYU — the first three-game losing streak for the Spartans since 2009 — the defense was taking just as much heat as an offense that barely managed 200 yards against a defense ranked among the worst in the nation.
Spartans Vow to Keep ‘Fighting’ Following Loss to BYU MSUSpartans.com
Games have been lost at an alarming rate no current Michigan State player has experienced while wearing Spartan green and white. But no matter what happens in the seven remaining regular season games, said fifth-year senior quarterback and co-captain Tyler O’Connor, “we can never forget who we are and what we’ve done here over the past few years, and just don’t lose that chip on our shoulder.”
Malik McDowell returns, but defense falters in 2nd half Lansing State Journal
Malik McDowell had to wait an extra 30 minutes to join his teammates on the field Saturday afternoon, but when he finally made his debut, he didn’t waste time making an impact. On his second snap of the day, the junior defensive tackle muscled through a double team and slipped off to meet BYU senior running back Jamaal Williams at the line of scrimmage, darkening what would have been a wide running gap and stopping Williams for no gain.
Rock bottom for Michigan State? Thinking so may prove premature MLive
There is no guarantee that this was rock bottom for a Michigan State football season now completely teetering at the cusp of irrelevance. Those guarantees do not come before leaves turn in October. It isn't a matter of culture, or some deeply imbedded problem which must be ripped out of this team's soul, beyond the one that can't be resolved outside of a recruiting season.
Mark Dantonio stands by Dave Warner as Michigan State's playcalling comes under fire MLive
ark Dantonio was noncommittal on his starting quarterback going forward. He said he can't say exactly what went wrong defensively without looking at the game film. Michigan State's coach didn't have a lot of definitive answers after his team's 31-14 loss to BYU on Saturday. But to one question, he gave a direct a unequivocal response:
Gerald Holmes gets first start, unsatisfied with end result Detroit Free Press
For the first time this season, Michigan State junior running back Gerald Holmes received more carries than sophomore running back LJ Scott. Holmes, who knew before the game that he would be starting, rushed a season-high 15 times for 57 yards and a touchdown during MSU's 31-14 loss to BYU at Spartan Stadium on Saturday. His previous high was 13 carries against Notre Dame.
Michigan State football 3 questions: Yes, 2016 still matters Detroit Free Press
MSU’s coaching staff is asking role players to replace NFL-level players while the young talent develops. But following three straight Top 5 finishes and a playoff appearance with a 4-8 or 5-7 record would undermine much of what Dantonio’s accomplished. Success has a short shelf life. Dantonio has to find a way to get to at least six wins. That’s still possible.
Mark Dantonio has quarterback decision to make Land of 10
Mark Dantonio didn’t want a quarterback controversy but that’s exactly what the Michigan State coach has on his hands. The Spartans lost their third consecutive game Saturday, this time falling to Brigham Young 31-14 at Spartan Stadium. Junior Damion Terry replaced senior Tyler O’Connor in the fourth quarter. It wasn’t so much that O’Connor was playing poorly but he certainly wasn’t lifting the play of those around him either. Quarterbacks have to make their teammates better. O’Connor wasn’t able to bring that out of the rest of the offense.
Michigan State injuries keep piling on Land of 10
Michigan State was already down two starting linebackers, a starting cornerback and a key defensive lineman because of injuries heading into its game against Brigham Young on Saturday. Watching senior offensive lineman Kodi Kieler walk off the field to the locker room late in the second half only added to the Spartans’ pain.
Tyler O'Connor benched as Michigan State stumbles to third straight loss MLive
For a brief moment, a mostly full Spartan Stadium sat in the afternoon sun and saw a Michigan State offense and team that resembled the 11-win squads it's used to seeing. By early in the fourth quarter, it was filing out en masse as the Spartans continued a downward spiral and the starting quarterback was benched.
Spartans’ offense stale in loss to BYU Detroit News
Michigan State was looking for the spark that would turn around its season at home Saturday against BYU. Instead, the Spartans suffered their third straight loss, 31-14, suddenly creating a scenario where just getting to bowl eligibility might be a question mark as Big Ten play looms again next week.
3 in a row?!? Sluggish Michigan State loses again, 31-14 Detroit Free Press
It was too late by the time Damion Terry replaced struggling Tyler O’Connor in Saturday’s fourth quarter. And it was all over when the junior quarterback got picked off with less than 10 minutes to play. And the residual damage, beyond simply a growing quarterback question and the Spartans’ first three-game losing streak under coach Mark Dantonio since 2009, is much more significant.
Thoughts on BYU Game What is Your Profession?
OK, this season is over. BYU is not a great team but they dominated on both sides of the ball. MSU is now getting regularly dominated on both sides. I don't know how it came to this and I don't know how MSU recovers, even next year. What may disappoint me most about it is that I did not see this coming at all. I cannot believe how blind I was to all the holes on this team.
MSU football drops third straight, upset by BYU, 31-14 State News
On a blustery afternoon in East Lansing, Mich., fans at Spartan Stadium saw MSU return home for a non-conference tussle against the BYU Cougars. The Spartans couldn’t overcome the injuries on defense and dropped their third straight game by a score of 31-14.
Seidel: For Michigan State offense, it's an all-around failure Detroit Free Press
This was beyond embarrassing. This was a complete failure, a total butt whupping, as Brigham Young demolished Michigan State, 31-14, on Saturday afternoon. The Spartans' offense had no rhythm. No nothing. The problems with the offense were scattered all across the field
Windsor: It’s shocking how Michigan State is getting pushed around Detroit Free Press
Michigan State is in a free-fall. And it’s hard to tell what is more stunning: that the Spartans have now lost three in a row for the first time since 2009 or that this program was in the College Football Playoff less than a year ago. Brigham Young came to Spartan Stadium this afternoon and absolutely throttled MSU. Embarrassed them by dominating them up at the point of attack.
Brigham Young defeats Michigan State 31 to 14 Land of 10
Michigan State took a 7-0 lead on its opening possession of the game but that was the only positive aspect of a 31-14 loss to Brigham Young Saturday afternoon at Spartan Stadium. The loss was the third straight for Michigan State, the first time the Spartans have lost three in a row since 2009.
Michigan State drops third straight with 31-14 loss to BYU Spartan Tailgate
Michigan State football has lost three straight games for the first time in seven years. The offense continued to struggle mightily, and a defense being asked to carry the team wore down in the second half, as the Spartans lost to BYU 31-14 Saturday at Spartan Stadium. For Michigan State (2-3), it's the first three-game losing streak since falling to Central Michigan, Notre Dame and Wisconsin in consecutive weeks back in 2009.
Michigan State football: BYU game recap isportsweb
Third downs proved to be a problem on both sides of the ball for MSU, as they dropped a third straight game, 31-14 to BYU. BYU finished the game 10-16 on 3rd down conversions after struggling offensively in the first half, while the Spartans converted just 6-14.
In 2010, Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio brought in what might be the most important recruiting class of his career. Of the 21 members, more than half were key players during the 2013 Rose Bowl season — a season that ushered in a new era of success for the program. Two members of that recruiting class, Mike Sadler and Mylan Hicks, have died tragically this year. Today, a third member — former offensive lineman Travis Jackson — reflected on the lives of his fallen teammates.
To family and friends, Mylan Hicks was more than just No. 6 for the Michigan State football team. Hicks was a loyal friend, a selfless young man and an inspiration to everyone around him. On Friday mourners at his funeral all agreed that heaven has gained an MVP.