EAST LANSING (CCN) — Red-shirted freshman Rocky Lombardi made his first college football start a memorable one Saturday afternoon in East Lansing as he threw for threw for 318 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Michigan State Spartans to a 23-13 victory over a Purdue team that was fresh off an upset over then No. 2 Ohio State. Lombardi, starting in place of injury MSU star Brian Lewerke, was xx-for-46 passing and connected on TD strikes to Darrell Stewart for 11 yards and to Jalen Nailor for 48 yards. Matt Coghlin booted three field goals for MSU and Mike Panasiuk came up with a huge blocked field goal with 3:42 left. The victory improved MSU to 3-2 in Big 10 East Division play and 5-2 overall. Purdue's 49-20 upset over Ohio State last week had given the Boilermakers four straight victories overall and had them at 3-1 and tied atop the Big 10's West Division coming into the contest in East Lansing.
(CCN) — The College Football Playoff Selection Committee will reveal its first set of rankings for the 2018 season on Tuesday, and it's expected that the Michigan Wolverines will be No. 5 behind Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and LSU. Winning out would squeeze them into the national playoff scene since Alabama and LSU still have a game to play against each other. Northwestern took a giant step toward becoming the Big 10's West Division champion when beating WIsconsin 31-17 on Saturday. Wisconsin came into the game in a four-way tie for first place but Northwestern emerged alone atop the standings when Iowa lost 34-20 to Penn State 34-20 and Purdue lost 23-13 at Michigan State. The Penn State-Iowa matchup was between top 25 teams with Penn State coming in at No. 17 and Iowa at No. 18. In a top 25 battle of teams with 6-1 records, No. 7 Georgia beat No. 9 Florida 36-17 and No. 14 Washington State nipped No. 24 Stanford 41-38. Five top 25 teams lost on Saturday. California upset No. 15 Washington 12-10, Mississippi State upset No. 16 Texas A&M 28-13, Syracuse upset No. 22 North Carolina State 51-41, Houston upset No. 21 South Florida 57-36 and Georgia Southern upset No. 25 Appalachian State 34-14 just one week after the Mountaineers cracked the top 25 for the first time in school history. Other top 25 teams in action included No. 2 Clemson whipping Florida State 59-10, No. 8 Oklahoma winning 51-14 over Kansas State and No. 12 Kentucky nipping Missouri 15-14.
It had been a full week and not a single Michigan State fan had sent me a text. Then my phone started blowing up. They were back. Being all MSU again.
So what if the Green and White had won eight of the last 10 football games. The Maize and Blue have now won two of the last three. John Beilein's basketball team also went to the national finals last March for the second time in six years. UM's hockey team made it to the Frozen Four last season. UM's softball team won the Big 10 championship. UM won Big 10 titles last year, too, in men's cross country, women's field hockey, men's soccer, women's swimming and diving, women's gymnastics and women's tennis. But there were my Spartans' friends with their mean texts. Usually, they've got jokes. Now, they were being downright nasty about the big cheese over in East Lansing. READ MORE
EAST LANSING (CCN) — Michigan State University's football coach, Mark Dantonio, called it "B.S." but allegations leveled by the head coach of the arch rival Michigan Wolverines have led to a $10,000 fine to MSU by the Big 10 Conference's commissioner. A statement released Wednesday by Commissioner Jim Delaney said as follows: "We are fortunate the series of events that occurred prior to the Michigan-Michigan State game did not escalate into a much more serious matter. While traditions hold great importance on our campuses, traditions do not supersede the values of good sportsmanship or the requirement for player safety. We expect more from our coaches, students and administrators and will continue to work with our institutions to prioritize good sportsmanship moving forward.” READ MORE
ANN ARBOR (CCN) — Michigan Wolverines football Coach Jim Harbaugh reacted to a statement by Michigan State University's athletic department by calling for an investigation into the controversial incident before Saturday's game in East Lansing. Harbaugh called for the investigation during the "Inside Michigan Football" radio show when learning that MSU officials had issued a statement after he doubled down on his post-game comments during a Monday press conference in Ann Arbor. READ MOR
EAST LANSING (CCN) — New quarterback Shea Patterson led the Michigan Wolverines to their seventh straight victory Saturday at East Lansing with his 79-yard touchdown pass breaking a 7-7 tie en route to a 21-7 triumph over the arch rival Michigan State Spartans. Patterson's TD connection came in the third quarter to Donovan Peoples-Jones. MSU had tied it before halftime on a trick play where quarterback Brian Lewerke caught his first TD pass. Lewerke had one of his worst passing days by completing only 5-of-26 attempts for just 66 yards. UM also held MSU's running game to only 15 yards. While holding MSU to only 94 yards in total offense, UM was led by Karan Higdon running for 158 yards to with Patterson's 14-of-25 passing racked up 212 yards to eight different receivers. He had an 11-yard TD strike to Nico Collins to go with the 79-yard TD bomb. Ben Mason punched in a 5-yard TD run for the other UM touchdown.
WEST LAFAYETTE, INDIANA (CCN) — The Purdue Boilermakers lost to Northwestern in their opener, then dropped a one-point game to Eastern Michigan. That made them unlikely candidates to upset the No. 2 college football team in all the land, but that's exactly what they did Saturday night in West Lafayette with a 49-20 victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes. Purdue moved to 3-1 in the Big Ten Conference's West Division while Ohio State dropped out of a first-place tie in the East Division with Michigan. It was the most points Purdue has ever scored against the Buckeyes (besting their 1967 total of 41) and their first victory over a No. 2 ranked team since beating Ohio State 28-23 in 1984. Students flooded the field in a wild celebration after the upset in front of a national TV audience. D.J. Knox rushed for 128 yards and scored three touchdowns while quarterback David Blough threw for three more scores. Purdue, 3-3 coming into the game, dropped Ohio State to 7-1 overall and 4-1 in Big Ten play while snapping their 12-game regular season winning streak.
STATE COLLEGE, PENNSYLVANIA (CCN) — Brian Lewerke's 25-yard touchdown pass to Felton Davis with 19 seconds gave the Michigan State Spartans a 21-17 victory at Penn State Saturday. MSU Coach Mark Dantonio converted a fake punt early in the game. tried a fake field goal later instead of going for a tie and went for the end zone instead of preserving a shot at a potential game-tying field goal in the closing minute. Penn State, which blew a lead and lost last week to Ohio State, was ranked No. 8 in the nation coming into the game against No. 22 MSU.
ANN ARBOR (CCN) — Quarterback Shea Patterson had his best day with the Michigan Wolverines Saturday when leading them to a 38-13 romp over No. 15 ranked Wisconsin in front of a national TV audience on ABC TV. Patterson bolted free on an 81-yard run , scored on a 7-yard run and connected on a 2-point conversion pass as UM built a 21-7 lead. He finished with 214 total yards, rushing for a career-high 90 yards and going 14-of-21 passing for 124 more. UM, ranked No. 12 in the nation, beat a ranked opponent for the first time in two years and ended Wisconsin's record streak of 17 straight regular season victories in Big Ten play. The Badgers dropped to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the Big Ten's West Division. UM improved to 6-1 overall and 4-0 in the Big Ten's East Division. The Wolverines have now won six straight since losing to Notre Dame which is 6-0 and ranked No. 5 in the country.
ANN ARBOR (CCN) — New quarterback Shea Patterson will be gunning for his sixth straight victory when leading the Michigan Wolverines to a Big 10 Conference date with Wisconsin at 7:30 pm Saturday in front of a national TV audience on ABC. The game will be at the Big House in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines are ranked No. 12 in the latest college football poll while WIsconsin is No. 15. Patterson lost his UM debut to Notre Dame which is now 6-0 and No. 5 in the country, but the Wolverines have since beaten Western Michigan 49-3, SMU 45-20, Nebraska 56-10, Northwestern 20-17 and Maryland 45-21.