Michigan Wolverines remain No. 5 in latest college football polls; Upset victory over Purdue doesn't get MSU back in either top 25 ranking

(CCN) — The Michigan Wolverines remained No. 5 in both the AP poll and the USA Today Coaches' Poll. Both top 25 rankings were released Sunday night and Michigan State's 23-13 upset victory over Purdue wasn't enough to get the Spartans back into either top 25 ranking. Ohio State, which lost 49-20 to  Purdue a week ago, advanced from No. 12 to No. 8 in each poll despite not playing this week. UM was also idle from action this weekend. Both polls again had unbeaten Alabama No. 1, followed by unbeatens Clemson, Notre Dame and LSU. Georgia was No. 6 in both polls, Oklahoma was seventh in both polls and Central Florida was No. 9 in both polls. The AP poll then had Washington State, Kentucky, West Virginia, Florida, Penn State, Texas, Utah, Houston, Utah State, Iowa, Fresno State, Mississippi State, Syracuse, Virginia, Boston College and Texas A&M. The Coaches' Poll had West Virginia No. 10, followed by Washington State, Kentucky, Penn State, Florida, Texas, Utah, Houston, Iowa, Washington, Utah State, Mississippi State, Virginia, Fresno State, Syracuse and Boston College. Getting top 25 nobs from the unranked distinction a week ago were Houston, Utah State, Mississippi State, Virginia, Fresno State, Syracuse and Boston College.

Red-shirted freshman quarterback Rocky Lombardi leads MSU Spartans to 23-13 upset over Purdue Boilermakers


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.  

Michigan Wolverines now looking like a lock for national college football playoffs if they can win out

 (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.  

Michigan Wolverines complete weekend sweep over St. Lawrence in hockey at Yost Arena in Ann Arbor

ANN ARBOR (CCN) — The Michigan Wolverines won 3-1 Saturday night in college hockey action at Red Berenson Arena inside Yost Arena in Ann Arbor to complete a weekend sweep over non-conference rival St. Lawrence. The Wolverines won 3-1 on Friday night in Ann Arbor. Coach Mel Pearson's UM squad was coming off a loss in Kalamazoo to Western Michigan to settle for a weekend split of their home-and-home series last week. The Wolverines, who were ranked No. 4 in the pre-season poll after making it to the Frozen Four last spring, were ranked No. 12 in the nation going into the St. Lawrence series. Coach Pearson was pleased with Saturday night's effort in front of a near-capacity crowd of 5,421 fans, saying, "Good effort tonight. We were ready to play and came out and dictated the tempo and were able to get an early goal."  Sophomore forward Josh Norris got UM on the board just 5:52 into the game by redirecting a shot by sophomore Quinn Hughes.  Defenseman Hughes scored on a power play to give the Wolverines a 2-0 lead before the first period was over. After St. Lawrence pulled within a goal, freshman forward Jake Olmstead scored for UM to build another two-goal edge.

Michigan State completes sweep over nation's No. 8 college hockey team

ITHACA, NEW YORK (CCN) —  The un-ranked Michigan State Spartans pulled off a weekend sweep over the No. 8 team in the nation Saturday night by beating Cornell 4-3. The Spartans went ahead to stay on a three-goal flurry in a 5:45 span of the middle period and rode the red-hot goaltending of junior John Lethemon the rest of the way. Lethemon, who made 32 saves in a 5-1 victory a night earlier, turned in a career-high 36 saves on Saturday night in front of 3,885 fans in the enemy rink. Junior Taro Hirose, who had a goal and two assists in a four-goal blitz on Friday night in the final period when MSU broke a 1-1 tie, scored what proved to be the game winner 48 seconds into the final period. It capped another one-goal, two-assist night for Hirose. Mithcell Lewandowski also had a goal and two assists for the Spartans who got their other tallies from junior Logan Lambdin and junior Patrick Khodorenko. New MSU Coach Danton Cole was elated afterward, telling the media: "Obviously, it felt really good. I thought the guys played really hard. A good part of this game was probably the best game we played so far this year — we were skating, moving the puck, our forecheck was good and our backcheck was really good. There were some weird things that happened to get it back to 4-3, but even at the end I felt that we were in control. We felt good on the bench, I really liked the confidence we had even at 4-3. It was fun. It's a tough building and we came in and played two really good games. I'm proud of the guys."

MSU President stokes fire of UM-MSU football rivalry: Engler says 'set up' by UM made MSU look bad



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

UM hockey team blanks St. Lawrence 3-0 behind 3rd career shutout by junior goalie Hayden Lavigne


ANN ARBOR (CCN) — Goalie Hayden Lavigne made 16 saves against St. Lawrence to backstop a 3-0 victory by the Michigan Wolverines in a non-league college hockey game Friday night at Red Berenson Arena inside Yost Arena.  "The shutout is big for the team's confidence," Lavigne told the media after the game. "It's nice to come back with a solid performance like that defensively," added Lavigne who won his second straight start since losing on opening night to Vermont with his first shutout for the junior since his freshman campaign when twice blanking opponents. He was 18-11-3 with a 2.81 goals against average last season and 6-6-1 as a freshman with a 2.92 GAA. UM, ranked No. 12 after losing to Vermont on opening night and then suffering a split last weekend with Western Michigan, improved to 2-2 on the season behind goals by Josh Norris, Quinn Jones and  Jack Olmstead. The Wolverines were ranked No. 4 in the pre-season poll after last year's Frozen Four appearance. Coach Mel Pearson called Friday's victory in front of a near-capacity crowd of 5,421 fans a "good solid effort" and told the media afterward: "The power play was good again. Our power play has some skilled guys, so we need to keep taking advantage of those opportunities."

Michigan State hockey team erupts with 4-goal final period to win 5-1 at No. 8 ranked Cornell

ITHACA, NEW YORK (CCN) — The Michigan State hockey team broke a 1-1 tie with four goals in the third period and knocked off the No. 8 ranked team in the nation Friday night on the road. MSU, improving to 3-1 overall and rebounding from a home ice loss to Northern Michigan, beat Cornell 5-2 in Friday's non-league affair in front of 3,840 fans in Ithaca, New York. Junior Taro Hirose scored once and set up two other goals in the third period blitz which saw freshman Dennis Cesana, sophomore Brody Sevens and senior Cody Milan bag the other MSU tallies. Junior Sam Saliba scored MSU's first goal in the opening period. Junior goaltender John Lethemon made 32 saves for MSU which goes for a sweep Saturday night in Ithaca. New MSU Coach Danton Cole was pleased afterward, telling the media: "I thought the guys did a good job. I think a couple areas where we wanted to be cleaner was to get pucks out on the other side of them. If we let them stay in (our zone) and play downhill from our blue line, or not get pucks into their zone at their blue line, and let them turn in transition, they're real tough to handle. I thought we did a better job in the third and we got a couple pucks by them and scored some goals."   

Big 10 fines MSU $10,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct before Saturday's Michigan game


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  

Michigan Wolverines hold media day at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor


ANN ARBOR (CCN) — A contingent of 65 reporters showed up for media day Monday at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor. That's what happens after your last team makes it to college basketball's national championship game.  READ MORE 

Michigan football Coach Jim Harbaugh calls for Big 10 investigation into controversial pre-game incident before MSU game


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

Shea Patterson leads Michigan Wolverines to 21-7 victory at East Lansing over arch rival MSU


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.

Purdue pulls off big college football upset with 49-20 victory on national TV over No 2 Ohio State

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.  

MSU stuns No. 8 Penn State 21-17 on 25-yard TD pass from Lewerke to Davis with 19 seconds remaining

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.

Shea Patterson puts up career high 90 rushing yards in 214-yard effort as UM beats Wisconsin 38-13

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.




Western Michigan stuns UM 5-4 in college hockey upset in Kalamazoo in front of near sellout crowd

 KALAMAZOO (CCN) — Western Michigan's hockey team stunned the Michigan Wolverines with a 5-4 victory Saturday night in Kalamazoo in front of a near-sellout crowd of 3,426 fans after dropping a one-goal game one night earlier in Ann Arbor.  UM, beaten 4-3 on a goal with six seconds remaining last season in a Frozen Four matchup with Notre Dame, was ranked No. 11 in the country heading into the weekend action.  Austin Rueschoff scored 1:51 into the game, UM defenseman Quinn Hughes tied it and Western went ahead 2-1 after one period on a power play tally by  Hugh McGing.  Ethen Frank  gave the Broncos a 3-1 edge at the 2:18 mark of the second period. UM got within 3-2 near the midway mark on a power play goal of its own by Brendon Warren, then struck twice in the final four minutes on goals by Josh Norris and Nick Pastujov to take a 4-3 lead into the final period.  Colt Conrard cashed in during a five-on-three advantage early stages in the final period to tie it at 4-4 and Josh Passolt scored what proved to be the game winner with 13:21 remaining.  

Patterson leads Wolverines to night game matchup with No. 15 Wisconsin at Big House on national TV

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.   

UM Wolverines beat Western Michigan in wild 6-5 decision for first victory of college hockey season

ANN ARBOR (CCN) — A capacity crowd of 5,800 fans watched the Michigan Wolverines win a wild 6-5 decision over Western Michigan Friday night at Red Berenson Rink inside Yost Arena in Ann Arbor. It was the first victory of the season for the Wolverines who are ranked No. 11 in the nation. They lost 5-2 to Vermont in their opener in Ann Arbor on Oct. 6. "One thing I really liked was our bounce-back," Coach Mel Pearson said after beating Western. "They came back and we'd get another goal to extend the lead, so it was some good bounce-back from our guys tonight." UM trailed 2-1 after one period but scored three times in the second period to go ahead 4-2. Western scored early in the third period to trim the margin to 4-3 and UM twice built two-goal margins, only to be answered by the Broncos. The two teams will have a non-conference rematch Saturday night in Kalamazoo.