Changes abound as Michigan State tries to fix offense
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Seven months ago, Mark Dantonio shook up his offensive staff, keeping his assistants but switching their roles around.
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Raequan Willams bluntly outlined the expectations for Michigan State this coming season.
"Big Ten championship," the senior defensive end said. "That's what we...
Salem taking over as Michigan State offensive coordinator
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Mark Dantonio is standing by his assistant coaches after a disappointing season for Michigan State.
Dantonio announced several changes within his staff Thursday, but they all involved current assistants taking on new roles. The Spartans did not announce any firings or new hires from outside the program.
Draft-bound Layne to miss Michigan State’s bowl
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State cornerback Justin Layne will miss the team's bowl game after declaring his intention to leave for the NFL draft.
Layne, a junior, said on Twitter last week that he would be entering the draft. Coach Mark Dantonio said Wednesday that Layne wouldn't be playing in the Redbox Bowl against Oregon on Dec. 31.
Dantonio said the decision to miss the bowl disappointed him.
Dobbs, Barnett highlight Michigan State class
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State has signed offensive lineman Devontae Dobbs of Detroit as part of its 2019 recruiting class.
Dobbs, a five-star recruit according to 247Sports,...
Michigan State’s LJ Scott says he’ll enter NFL draft
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State running back LJ Scott says he will enter the NFL draft after this season.
Scott, a senior, injured his ankle in September and has played in only four games this year. Coach Mark Dantonio said last month that Scott would redshirt , but Scott said on social media Wednesday night that he has decided to enter the draft.
Michigan State scores late TD, beats Rutgers 14-10
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Down by three against lowly Rutgers in the last home game of the season, Michigan State pulled out all the stops.
"I think we called every play out there on the sheet," Spartans coach Mark Dantonio said. "Some more than once, but you've got to execute."
Spartans hope to give seniors good send-off against Rutgers
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — As a senior at Michigan State, Khari Willis has certainly experienced college football's ups and downs.
His freshman season, the Spartans won the Big Ten and went...
Dantonio calls for perspective as Spartans sputter
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — At times like this, when Michigan State is dealing with a disappointing game or season, coach Mark Dantonio sometimes becomes philosophical.
That was certainly the case Tuesday. When asked whether his team has underachieved this year, Dantonio went on for more than 3 1/2 minutes, discussing injuries, the Spartans' offensive struggles and his players' academic performance.
Former Michigan State football employee brings lawsuit
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Former Michigan State football employee Curtis Blackwell has filed a lawsuit claiming his employment agreement was violated when he was disciplined while the school addressed sexual assault allegations against three players in 2017.
Injuries make it tough to evaluate Michigan State’s woes
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Mark Dantonio often shies away from talking about injuries. This year, the topic is unavoidable.
The question is whether Michigan State's offensive woes can be blamed mostly on poor health — or if there are deeper problems the Spartans need to resolve.
"Obviously we're playing very well on the defensive side of the ball," Dantonio said Tuesday. "We've got to get better on the offensive side of the ball, but that's where really all of our injuries have occurred."
Dantonio says Michigan State’s Scott will redshirt
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio says running back LJ Scott will redshirt this season and return in 2019.
Scott did not play Saturday when the 24th-ranked Spartans lost 26-6 to eighth-ranked Ohio State. He hurt his ankle in early September and has appeared in only four games this year.
Spartans lean on Buckeye Joe Bachie for Ohio State game
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — When No. 24 Michigan State hosts No. 8 Ohio State, the Spartans will be leaning on an Ohio guy.
Middle linebacker Joe Bachie spearheads Michigan State's top-ranked defense. He is the team's leading tackler and an unquestioned leader. His work ethic and preparation are exemplary.
In fact, the player from Brook Park, Ohio, reminds Spartans coach Mark Dantonio of a Buckeyes star from the 1980s.
Big Ten fines Michigan St 10K, reprimands Harbaugh, Dantonio
ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — The Big Ten fined Michigan State $10,000 and reprimanded the Spartans football team, coach Mark Dantonio, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and Wolverines linebacker Devin Bush for their actions and comments regarding a confrontation before last week's game.
Dantonio lets Harbaugh have last word, sets sights on Purdue
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Mark Dantonio is letting Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh have the last word after Saturday's dustup.
The Michigan State coach opened his news conference Tuesday saying he was done talking about the pregame flap when several Wolverine players on the field were caught up in the Spartans' traditional stadium walk. Dantonio then tried to direct attention to Michigan State's game this Saturday against Purdue.
Patterson-led No. 6 Michigan tops No. 24 Michigan State 21-7
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan had plenty of reasons to be motivated to beat Michigan State, barely defeating its in-state rival over the last decade and losing to every ranked team on the road for a dozen years.
The Wolverines, though, were even more fired up to win after a pregame spat with the Spartans.
Spartans, Wolverines showing respect before big matchup
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio began his news conference this week by talking about how well Michigan is playing, and how the No. 6 Wolverines certainly deserve a lofty ranking.
He later pointed out that recent matchups between the Spartans and Wolverines have been played in good spirit.
Lewerke rallies Michigan State over No. 8 Penn State, 21-17
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Each Michigan State player brought a poker chip to Happy Valley and coach Mark Dantonio encouraged the Spartans to push them all to the center of the table Saturday.
As the evening wore on against No. 8 Penn State, it was clear the Spartans were all-in.
Izzo says he never tried to cover up sex assault allegations
ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — Michigan State coach Tom Izzo insisted Thursday he was never part of an effort to cover up allegations of sexual misconduct within the school's athletic department.
The Hall of Famer said the idea that he would be involved sickens him.
Shaky offensive line a big part of Spartans’ struggles
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Mark Dantonio had plenty of reasons for his frustration after Michigan State's loss to Northwestern.
One particular stretch stood out.
Down by three in the latter half of the fourth quarter, the Spartans twice had the ball and went nowhere. Quarterback Brian Lewerke was under heavy pressure, and Michigan State couldn't even make a first down.
Michigan State’s Hartbarger likely done for the season
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio says punter Jake Hartbarger's leg injury from last month is likely to end his season.
Hartbarger hurt his lower leg Sept. 8 at Arizona State. Shortly after that, Dantonio said the fifth-year senior would be out six to eight weeks, but on Tuesday, he said Hartbarger was unlikely to return in 2018.
The plan for now is for Hartbarger to get a medical redshirt and play again next year.
Spartans, Wildcats have plenty of room for improvement
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Two years ago, Michigan State and Northwestern combined for 94 points. Last season, they threw for over 800 yards.
Their next meeting is this weekend, but both teams have issues that could prevent another shootout.
"I think, for our football team, we got to get some players back who are hurt," Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said. "I think we're going to do that."
Top Big Ten defenses thrive with focus on stopping run first
In an era of high-scoring, pass-happy offenses, some of the Big Ten's top teams keep it old school: Their defenses are big, stout and focus first on stopping the run.
The conference has three of the top seven run defenses and four of the top 18 in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Dig deeper and six of the league's 14 teams are in the top 50.
No. 20 Michigan State again looks strong against the run
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — One thing Mark Dantonio can often count on is that Michigan State will be able to stop the run.
No. 20 Michigan State still struggling to finish strong
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — For a third straight game, Michigan State was outscored in the fourth quarter.
If that worries coach Mark Dantonio, he did a pretty good job hiding it.
Dantonio was generally unruffled after the Spartans beat Central Michigan 31-20 on Saturday. It was a reasonably routine win for Michigan State, but the ending left a lot to be desired. The Spartans were outscored 17-0 in the final period.
No. 21 Spartans try to avoid letdown against CMU
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — After starting Big Ten play with a win over Indiana, No. 21 Michigan State takes a break from the conference schedule for a matchup with Central Michigan.
Coach Mark Dantonio isn't exactly thrilled about it.
"I think that that's not a perfect scenario to go into. I'd rather play our out-of-conference games and go into it," Dantonio said. "You need to prepare yourself for that mentally and focus accordingly and that's what we'll do."
No. 24 Michigan St. gets tricky to hold off Indiana 35-21
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio went deep into his bag of tricks Saturday night.
Brian Lewerke made each one look like magic.
The junior quarterback threw two touchdown passes, had his first career reception and made a perfectly timed pitch to kicker Matt Coghlin for a 6-yard touchdown run, helping the 24th-ranked Spartans pull away from Indiana 35-21.
No. 24 Michigan State again has to shake off an early loss
Win or lose, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio understands the importance of moving on.
That's part of the reason his program has been so successful.
"I've said this before: What are you going to do after big moments? What are you going to do after you win a big game? How are you going to respond the next week?" Dantonio said Tuesday. "Same thing when we've lost a game, when we've lost a moment. You know, how do you handle yourselves? What's the next step for you as a person?"
No. 25 Michigan State struggling to find its stride
After a closer-than-expected win over Utah State in the season opener, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio pointed out that this was nothing new for the Spartans.
"You want to pound somebody 50 to nothing, that's not happening too often," he said. "It certainly hasn't happened here in my time. We're just eking, just trying to find those inches."
Then last weekend, Michigan State found itself in another close game — and came up short.
No. 15 Michigan State faces tough road game at Arizona State
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Michigan State's season opener was far from perfect. The 15th-ranked Spartans committed too many penalties, had a second-half interception returned for a touchdown and needed to score in the final two minutes to hold off Utah State.
The bottom line: They won, which is all that really matters.
No. 11 Spartans have room for improvement after dicey opener
It was a little early for Michigan State to be playing a nail-biter.
No. 11 Michigan State opens against experienced Utah State
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — They will take the field at Spartan Stadium with a talented quarterback, a wealth of returning starters and high hopes for the season to come.
The Utah State Aggies, of course.
And yes, all of the above applies to No. 11 Michigan State as well.
"Lot of experience on the football field Friday night," Spartans coach Mark Dantonio said. "So it will be exciting."
Michigan State CB Josiah Scott expected to miss 2 months
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State already has one significant injury heading into the 2018 season.
Coach Mark Dantonio says cornerback Josiah Scott is expected to miss about two months after a non-contact injury. That announcement was the most significant bit of news when the Spartans held their annual media day on Monday. Scott started 12 games last season as a freshman.
"An injury-related situation," Dantonio said. "Two months or less, two months or more, we'll see."
Reschke back on Michigan State roster for now
CHICAGO (AP) — Linebacker Jon Reschke is back on Michigan State's roster, although coach Mark Dantonio says his return to the team remains a work in progress.
DETROIT (AP) — Darryl Rogers, who coached Michigan State to a share of the Big Ten title in 1978 and later took the helm for the Detroit Lions, has died. He was 83.
The Lions said Rogers' family confirmed his death Wednesday.
Rogers coached Michigan State from 1976-79, going 24-18-2. The 1978 team, which included star flanker Kirk Gibson, won its final seven games to finish tied for first in the conference.
Detroit — A little more than a year ago, Jon Reschke's career at Michigan State was finished.
The linebacker, who was a standout at Birmingham Brother Rice, announced in February 2017 that he was leaving the Spartans program and seeking a transfer for his final season of eligibility after making what he called "an insensitive and totally regrettable comment involving a former teammate."
Bob Wojnowski, Matt Charboneau and Angelique Chengelis talk about spring football and the latest news with Mark Dantonio's Spartans and Jim Harbaugh's Wolverines.
Here are some of the highlights from The Detroit News' College Football Show.
► 1:50: Matt Charboneau on the MSU offensive line
► 3:30: Quarterbacks Brian Lewerke, Rocky Lombardi, Theo Day
► 5:40: Running backs LJ Scott, Connor Heyward
► 7:00: Defensive starters, new coaches
► 8:30: Linebacker Joe Bachie, defensive end Kenny Willekes
East Lansing — As the bulk of the Big Ten was just hitting the meat of its spring practice schedule, Michigan State wrapped things up on Tuesday.
The final practice came just days after Saturday's spring game and coach Mark Dantonio was happy with what he saw from the Spartans over the past month and change.
East Lansing – Brian Lewerke did not play much in the Michigan State spring game. He wasn't expected to and he didn't have to.
Lewerke is the Spartans' second-year starting quarterback and in limited action late Saturday afternoon in chilly temperatures at Spartan Stadium, he completed 7-of-12 passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. All in a day's work, or in this case, about a quarter and a half.
It might not feel like spring outside, but for Michigan State's football team, things are wrapping up with Saturday's annual Green and White game at Spartan Stadium.
It will be the 14th of 15 spring practice dates for the Spartans and they'll kick things off at 5 p.m., a later start than most seasons.
East Lansing — For the first time in 14 seasons coaching with Mark Dantonio, Michigan State defensive coordinator Mike Tressel will be the sole defensive play-caller and coordinator, jobs that for the last three seasons he had shared with Harlon Barnett, who took the defensive coordinator job at Florida State in January.
Tressel talked to the media about his expanded role after practice Tuesday.
East Lansing — Contrary to speculation that Michigan State football's annual Green-White spring game would revert to a draft format like in 2016, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio told assembled media at practice on Tuesday afternoon that the Saturday game would be played in the same offense-vs.-defense format as last year.
Michigan State signs DT out of Illinois
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State has signed defensive tackle Dashaun Mallory to a national letter of intent.
The 6-foot-3, 310-pound Mallory is from Bolingbrook, Illinois. Michigan State announced his addition Tuesday.
Coach Mark Dantonio says Mallory is "a big guy who can move and is very instinctive." He says the incoming recruit will give the Spartans depth at defensive tackle.
East Lansing — Michigan State, already well into spring practice, got a late addition to its 2018 recruiting class.
On Monday night, three-star defensive lineman Dashaun Mallory from Bolingbrook (Ill.) High posted on Twitter that he had committed to the Spartans and was planning to sign on Tuesday.
"Due to my academic progress, Coach Dantonio has accepted my verbal commitment to Michigan State!Dreams DO come true! Signing tomorrow !!" Mallory posted on Twitter.
Throughout Mark Dantonio's tenure at Michigan State, the Spartans have had a number of great linebackers, and Ohio has provided a good number of those talented players with Denicos Allen, Greg Jones and currently Joe Bachie among the notables.
In the 2019 recruiting cycle, the Spartans have already gone back into Ohio and offered a number of the state's top linebacking prospects.
The most recent of those offers went to Clayton Northmont's Jestin Jacobs.
East Lansing — There is no quarterback controversy at Michigan State.
Following a sophomore season where Brian Lewerke established himself as a dual threat and was named honorable mention All-Big Ten, there is no doubting his position as the Spartans' No. 1 signal-caller as spring practice gets rolling.
Dantonio says he wants to be part of solution at Michigan St
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — As Mark Dantonio and Michigan State began spring practice, there was no avoiding the questions the school and his football program have been facing.
Dantonio wanted to focus on the future.
"I want to commit to be a part of the solution," the Michigan State coach said Tuesday. "I made my statement on how I feel about things, but hopefully we're healing as a community and healing as a university, and it's a step-by-step process."
Assault cases for ex-MSU players move toward trial
Lansing — Three former Michigan State University football players charged with sexually assaulting an MSU student in January 2017 did not appear in court Wednesday after their attorneys attended a closed session with Ingham County Circuit Court judge Rosemary Aquilina.
A prosecutor said they would continue to move toward a trial. The three are scheduled to make their next court appearance April 4.