In Search Of A Rivalry–Michigan vs MSU Game Thread
Oct 20th, 2018 by Kindle

There is something different in the air this week. Perhaps it is the cold wind sweeping along the Great Lakes region, bringing freezing temperatures and the depths of fall with it. But there are other forces at work here.

If you have turned up your heater or rewatched Jalen Watts-Jackson run a botched punt into the end zone this week, perhaps you re ready to watch this annual confrontation that MSU has owned in recent years.  (Coach Mark Dantonio is 8-3 versus M, while Michigan has shuffled from Rich Rodriguez to Brady Hoke to Jim Harbaugh.)

Fast facts

Matchup: Michigan (6-1, 4-0 Big Ten) at Michigan State (4-2, 2-1).

When: Noon, Saturday.

Where: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing.

TV/radio: FOX; WJR-AM (760), WWJ-AM (950), WTKA-AM (1050).

Line: Wolverines by 7.

WEATHER: Wet.  Windy.

MSU wearing all green today

Injury report


Out: P Brad Robbins, DB Benjamin St-Juste, DE Luiji Vilain. Questionable: DE Rashan Gary, WR Tarik Black.

Michigan State

Out: P Jake Hartbarger, CB Tyson Smith. Doubtful: LG David Beedle, WR Cody White, CB Josiah Scott. Questionable: WR Darrell Stewart Jr., WR Cam Chambers, WR Felton Davis III, WR Brandon Sowards, WR Jalen Nailor, RB LJ Scott, RG Kevin Jarvis, CB Josh Butler, DE Dillon Alexander, DT Mufi Hill-Hunt, TE Noah Davis, LB Ed Warriner, LB Chase Kline, OL James Ohonba. Probable: FB Collin Lucas.

Quote Of The Week:

MSU’s Joe Bachie:  “I hate losing more than I like winning!”

In Uniform:

LJ Scott


Players share pre-game trash talk of field prior to today’s game.

VIDEO: Michigan, MSU players in pregame confrontation via

Michigan says it was told MSU was going to do its walk at 9:50 am. UM players believed they were allowed to take the field at 10 am. Walk was, per U-M’s understanding, late. No one asked them to leave the field apparently.

Michigan knew MSU was going to do its walk. Happens every game. Also saw them coming out of the tunnel. No one moved.

  My video of the Michigan incident was shot at 10:02 a.m. MSU was supposed to be on the field at 9:50, but Michigan players already were on the field when I arrived around that time.

Chris Solari~~Michigan RB Karan Higdon was barking at MSU players the entire time as they went back to the locker room. A referee was stationed between him and the roped-off Spartans.

Dantonio says MSU changed players’ numbers during practice this week “just in case anyone was watching. They were jumbled up.”


In our lifetimes there have been many great memories for MSU fans.  Win or lose today, we are likely to have another memory of a lifetime.

Homecoming! This notification for TUS is to let you know we are out of the office and in East Lansing!
Oct 6th, 2018 by JustABum

TUS chaperons MSUs pre-game walk to Spartan Stadium.


Hey, it’s homecoming ! If you have connectivity while tailgating or on the way to East Lansing, checkout the game on reddit, or listen to the Spartan Sports Network! If you are not attending the game, well there’s always WJR and a muted Foxsports 1.

The second game of the 2018 B1G season. MSU hosts the purple kitties as USMCret has dubbed Northwestern. Will weather play a role. Will injuries define today’s outcome? Does MSU play 60 minutes of good football? What do you think the final score will be?



Also-ran trophy up for grabs for one team that cannot run and another than cannot stop the run
Sep 22nd, 2018 by Jeffrey Lubeck


The Old Brass Spittoon Trophy game has not had an iconic run as trophy’s go.  However, it will be played for again tonight as the Spartan football team takes on the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington.

First played for in 1950, MSU controls the series (46-16-2).  The trophy was created by MSU staff who feared the Spartans  (8-1) would have a letdown after beating Notre Dame the week before.  An old Spittoon was found in a Lansing junk story, shined up and made into a trophy.

MSU (1-1 and ranked #24 in the land) plays its first game after a bye week and after losing as timed expired in the Wilting In The Desert Classic.  Nothing like losing a game at 2:21 AM Eastern time after playing 4 hours in 100+ heat.  Indiana is 3-0 to start the season.  The Hoosiers record seems somewhat impressive.  That is until you take a moment to consider the quality of Florida Atlantic, Virginia, and Ball State.

One interesting aspect of the game is that the numbers suggest MSU cannot run the ball very effectively, while the Hoosiers cannot seem to stop the run very effectively.  Will this aspect have any impact on tonight’s game?

BYE Week
Sep 14th, 2018 by Ghost Of Biggie

The question as we head into the weekend is, Can MSU beat BYE.

They are said to be a very elusive opponent, almost ghostlike. Picking up who to block for offensive lineman is a study of indecision  when the defenders are ephemeral. Their lack of substance makes BYE very quick, also making them near impossible for our defense to tackle. The one bright spot is we should be able to use brute force to drive a wedge downfield on kickoff and punt returns. Were it not for their lack of depth BYE would be an odds on favorite to win the National Championship. They are significantly better than the Detroit Lions who are also ghostlike in their presence on the football field and in the coaching ranges.  Prediction. MSU ties BYE in 70 overtimes when the game is called as the weekend comes to an end.

Sun Devils & Spartans – Game Thread.
Sep 8th, 2018 by JustABum

Game Information

  • Who: No. 15 Michigan State (1-0) vs. Arizona State
  • When: 10:50 p.m. ET
  • Where: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Ariz.
  • TV: ESPN
  • Radio: Spartan Sports Network (WJR-AM 760 Detroit; WJIM-AM 1240/WMMQ-FM 94.9 Lansing); Sirius Ch. 98, XM Ch. 207 (Internet Ch. 964)

Living In The Past

Big Ten football teams clamor to play in the Rose Bowl, traditionally against a Pac-12 opponent. But playing in Pac-12 territory at Arizona State’s Sun Devil Stadium has become a game of thorns for the Big Ten, yet to manage a win in nine tries spread over half a century ahead of Saturday’s appearance by No. 13 Michigan State.

The Spartans are among those with a desert loss that jump started one of the greatest years in ASU history. Even two decades before 1986, the Sun Devils were advanced enough under Frank Kush in the Western Athletic Conference days to be trouble for the much-more established Big Ten.

ASU has won at home by an average margin of 23.5 points over the Big Ten, although to be fair none of the nine games were against Ohio State or Michigan. ASU opened the 1986 season with a 20-17 home over Michigan State, won the Pac-10 and in its first Rose Bowl appearance beat Michigan, 22-15, finishing No. 4 in the final Associated Press poll. Wisconsin fans no doubt still believe the No. 20 Badgers were jobbed out of a potential game-winning field goal by Pac-12 officials in the chaotic final 20 seconds of what went down as a 32-30 ASU win in 2013.

Big Ten teams at Sun Devil Stadium

1968 – ASU 55, Wisconsin 7

1969 – ASU 48, Minnesota 26

1977 – ASU 35, Northwestern 3

1986 – ASU 20, Michigan State 17

1988 – ASU 21, Illinois 16

2004 – ASU 44, Iowa  7

2005 – ASU 52, Northwestern 21

2012 – ASU 45, Illinois 14

2013 – ASU 32, Wisconsin 30

Mark Dantonio’s record against PAC 12 opponents is slightly better than this AZCountry article cares to inform their readers. MSU played Cal, Oregon, Stanford and Washington State on the west coast, from what I recall.  Games played during the day did not end well for MSU. Cal scored early often and Oregon pretty much kicked MSU’s backside all the way back to E.L.. Evening games at the Rose Bowl and  Holiday Bows were MSU victories.

The Present

What it all means for Saturday night is perhaps nothing or maybe a lot.

It will be close to 100 at kickoff, 30-40 degrees hotter than in Lansing, with the Spartans playing on a three-hour time difference. Except for one indoor practice due to lightning, the Sun Devils have practiced outdoors since early August, trying to make the most of their acclimation advantage.

“When you’re not in condition, mental errors appear – dropped balls, missed tackles,” ASU coach Herm Edwards said. “A lot of it has to do with speed and also possessing the ball on offense. If you give me 85 plays against a defense, I’ve probably got a chance to succeed. When you get past the 70 mark of (offensive) snaps, fatigue sets in because defense are built to chase the ball. You have to get (defense) off the field.”

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio is counting on heat and humidity earlier this week to help his players prepare, but the reality for the Spartans could be the same as that for their Big Ten predecessors.

Naturally plagiarism comes in to play in this post, The point being, let the boys play and we will see who comes out on top.


What?! Ghost Of Biggie gone over to the Dark Side?
Aug 28th, 2018 by Ghost Of Biggie

This requires explanation. Summer has been a roller coaster ride. In May Ryan bought a home in Manistee to use as a vacation rental income property. We all worked to prepare it for renting when the whole family stayed there 4th of July week. During that week Ryan had a video interview with Citrix a large international business software company. He was offered a position at their Raleigh NC offices as a Senior Software Engineer with compensation he couldn’t refuse.

Sooo, several weeks ago we found ourselves helping him move to an apartment 2 blocks from his new position. Thus I have lost Ryan, my football seat mate for most of his 33 years. He will come back for some big games. Flight is already scheduled for SCum. Frontier has dirt cheap fares between Raleigh and DTW.

As you may know Winston-Salem, Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh are the homes of 4 major universities, Wake Forest, UNC, Duke and NC State. We took some time to drive the short distance to visit the Duke campus.

55 years ago Duke was one of a number of schools academically recruiting me. Had I visited there before East Lansing I might have been tempted  by Duke’s beautiful tree covered campus and gardens. It’s complete faithfulness to Georgian style architecture and use of the same stone for all buildings old and new creates an enticing atmosphere. It is the first campus I have visited that compares favorably to MSU. I wish State had maintained the architectural style of Circle Drive for all it’s new buildings instead of giving in to late 20th century office building.

About the shirt. My first   basketball coaching job in Beecher was at the brand new Dolan Jr High. You guessed it, the school’s logo and colors were the distinctive Devil and Dookie Blue. I could not resist buying the shirt.

Don’t worry I haven’t gone to the Dark Side and I still think Sheshevski doesn’t know how to spell his own name. I plan to wear the shirt with a big red X taped over it when we play Duke. All of this and some other things have made August into a bad CW song. I hope the month ends Friday on a positive note.

In case you wondered my new seat mate is someone I have known intimately for 50 years, my wife.

Aug 23rd, 2018 by 79 Spartan






















“The legendary “Race Across The Sky” 100-mile run is where it all started back in 1983. This is the race where legends are created and limits are tested. One hundred miles of extreme Colorado Rockies terrain — from elevations of 9,200 to 12,600 feet. You will give the mountain respect, and earn respect from all.”

Several of you may remember my nephew, Casey from Dallas, Texas when we went to the Spartan Football playoff game in big D a few years ago.

Last weekend, Kathy and I drove to Leadville to be on Casey’s Crew (mostly cheering him and others on) while he participated in this Ultra Marathon race in the mountains of Colorado.

The race started with 950 runners on Saturday at 4am with 44 degree temps and a steady rain for the first 4 hours. We caught up with him at Twin Lakes check in point around noon where he stopped briefly to change shoes and eat a burrito. The weather cleared for the day with the sun shining amid 68 degree temps. Perfect for the runners. We then drove to the 50 mile mark, the mid-way point, called Mayfield which can  be accessed by driving for 17 miles on a dirt/rocky road and then hiking a mile or so to the check point. It is here that the runners turn around and then run back up over Hope Pass and the rest of the 50 miles course to the finish line in Leadville.

Keep in mind, the runners run all day and night (headlamps used during the night) without stopping for anything other than food or restroom breaks. Around 2am Sunday, the skies opened up with rain and the wind blew hard just to challenge the runners even more – as if they needed it.

It should be noted that nephew Casey suffered from childhood asthma and wasn’t a very athletic kid as a result.

Behind Casey you can see his finish time, 28hrs 23min when I took the photo.

I could say that I am proud of him, which I am, but really I just feel very, very happy for him. He tried the race last year and only finished 62 miles before they gave him the hook. (Runners must make various checkpoints within certain times or they are eliminated by rule and only 45% ever finish in the allotted 30 hour time.)

For their effort the finishers receive this belt buckle. To be worn proudly in Texas I’m sure.


From an extreme sport/recreation standpoint, what is the most extreme thing you’ve ever undertaken?

Spartans Storm the Desert
Aug 8th, 2018 by Trophy

So far only Mr and Mrs ATL Spartan are coming to AZ.  Anybody else?

Coach Dantonio talks to the Media Tuesday 7/24/18
Jul 23rd, 2018 by USMC Retired

Broadcast live on BTN @0930R.


Here is a link to the MLive opinion about what he’ll be asked


Freep just has up the schedule of events and ‘live’ updates


Not sure the year or even the location, but it was awhile ago

This summer at Arcadia Buffs – playing the South Course (Opens on 8/1, we play on 8/6) and will report

WHAT’S IT TAKE~~~~To get a Daryl Rogers (RIP) response on TUS?
Jul 12th, 2018 by Kindle

Daryl Rogers died Tuesday in Fresno, California, in his sleep, at age 83.


Former Detroit Lions and Michigan State football coach Darryl Rogers is dead at the age of 83.

Rogers coached at MSU from 1976 to 1979 and then at Arizona State from 1980 to 1984. He then jumped to the NFL to coach the Lions from 1985 to 1988.

Rogers also coached collegiately at San Jose State and Fresno State, his alma mater.

Next time they show the video of Kirk Gibson rounding first base at Dodger Stadium, cranking his right arm back and forth in a moment of sublime baseball glee after Gibson had just won Game 1 of the 1988 World Series with a home run, remember the celebrities and Hall of Famers who made that slice of baseball history possible.


Dennis Eckersley.

Tommy Lasorda.

And yes … Darryl Rogers.

Indirectly, a football coach set it all in motion.

A football coach who died Tuesday in Fresno, California, in his sleep, at age 83.

Rogers coached the Lions from 1985-88 after running the Spartans from 1976-79. He was a coach who, like one of his California brethren, Don (Air) Coryell, believed the fastest path to and end zone was by way of a forward pass.

But, ah, the difference in Rogers, the difference in his work and in his life, the reason he is most remembered today by a football-turned-baseball player, and by a sports writer who covered him nearly nightly during that amazing 1978 season, is the goodness he regularly displayed, as he did on a chilly January day in East Lansing just ahead of that ’78 season.

Gibson was then playing football and only football, as he waded through the winter of his junior year. He was an All-American. He was a 6-foot-3, 220-pound beast who had run for NFL scouts the 40-yard dash in, yes, 4.28 seconds.


Gibson, who now works as a Tigers analyst on FSD telecasts, recalled the moment Wednesday.

“Darryl walks up to me out of the clear blue,” Gibson remembered, “and says: You want to be a top-five, first-round pick?’”

“And I said, sure. And he says, ‘Go out for baseball.’

“I said: How does that make me a top-five NFL pick and player?

“And he explained.”

Rogers, who had grown up tough in Long Beach, California, was both smart enough and decent enough to appreciate two of life’s realities.

Gibson was of such excellence as an athlete Rogers knew he could play Big Ten baseball, especially after MSU’s baseball coach, Danny Litwhiler, had mentioned Gibson’s work in some earlier American Legion games when Gibson was a teen in Waterford. Gibson could help Litwhiler and, most of all, likely raise a 20-year-old’s market price if he had two sports cooking.

But even more fundamentally, the quality that spurred Rogers to offer baseball as an option was inherent in a man who, quite truthfully, remains one of the best people I’ve known in 40-plus years of covering sports.


Rogers wasn’t about to get proprietary with Gibson. There was no ownership in the head coach’s mind. There was, rather, an easy sense of stewardship he extended to everyone, every day.

Gibson quoted Rogers, who had decided spring football was going to be well, superfluous, for a player of Gibson’s celestial skills.

“I don’t want to see you in football this spring,” Gibson remembers Rogers saying. “You’ll be ready for football next fall. Play baseball and you’ll increase your leverage.”

Gibson went out for baseball. He hadn’t played seriously for a few years. He soon was slamming pitches beyond the Red Cedar River. The Tigers got him that June in the first round, with the 12th overall pick, all because they and Gibson had done an artful job convincing clubs in front that Gibson was going to play in the NFL.

In fact he was going to be the first overall pick in the ’79 draft, which was confirmed when, after he signed with the Tigers, after he had a first summer of minor-league baseball at Lakeland, Florida, he returned to East Lansing, to his teammates and to his coach, and helped the Spartans win that autumn’s Big Ten co-championship by way of individual plays that yet remain among the most remarkable dynamics some of us ever have seen on a football field.

Rogers had unleashed Gibson when he arrived in East Lansing in April of 1976, a few months after MSU had gotten all but a NCAA probation lift-sentence. Rogers had been airing it out as head coach at San Jose State and MSU’s new athletic director, Joe Kearney, who had been at the University of Washington, knew all about the coach who might bring a new brand of football to the grind-and-groan Big Ten.

Rogers spotted, on the first day of spring drills, a quarterback from Pittsburgh, Eddie Smith, who was buried on the depth chart and had been planning on transferring. Rogers asked all of his quarterbacks to line up and throw the football. He decided in a nanosecond that Smith, then a sophomore, was his new QB.

It was Smith who for the next three seasons hooked up so often with Gibson on pass plays that were straight from Cape Canaveral.

A year later, in 1979, everything was upside down. A new president, Cecil Mackey, who wasn’t from the region and who had no love for the sports sphere, had taken charge in East Lansing. Kearney and Rogers jumped together to become the new AD-football coach tandem at Arizona State.

Six years later the Lions called. Rogers wasn’t interested. That is, until he got word a day later about budget cuts, big ones, coming ASU’s way.

Rogers called Russ Thomas, then the Lions’ general manager.

“Is that job still open?”

“Sure is.”

“I’ll take it.”

It wasn’t a great interlude, for any of the parties. The Lions were the Lions and by autumn 1988. Rogers, who had flippantly said after one loss. “What’s it take to get fired around here?” was gone.

The “what’s it take” remark was, for those who knew Rogers, on a par with another line oft-quoted that earned him the enmity of University of Michigan fans.

It came during a an MSU football banquet when Rogers quoted one of his assistant coaches, saying of Michigan, that the Wolverines were “arrogant asses.”

Rogers meant it jocularly, for a captive MSU audience, and even if he should have known better, it wasn’t said with any venom. It was Rogers being Rogers in a way Gibson remembered Wednesday.

“He had a smart-alecky way of getting his point across,” Gibson said. “There were always these great lines. Let me tell you, Darryl was a special guy. He cared about football, but he cared about you, as well.

“There are special people in your life who you want to make sure are not taken for granted,” Gibson said. “Things happen, and it’s disappointing, because I’ve had such a great experience with Darryl Rogers. If you could see some of the emails flying around from some of my teammates.”

The relationship continued. Each year, The Sparty Party, an annual golf reunion arranged by one of Gibson’s old MSU teammates, Mark Tapling, was a staple at some splashy national resort. Rogers was always there, as he was this spring, with one of his old staffers and one of the ’78 team’s favorite assistant coaches, Bob Baker.

Rogers had been there last autumn at Spartan Stadium, the last time I saw him, the last conversation enjoyed with a man who was indelible, when Gibson was celebrated by the Spartans for being inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame.

The ’78 gang turned out that night. Their kinship assured it. The coach flew in from Fresno, with wife, Marsha.

“After that game,” Gibson said, speaking of the night when MSU played one of its few clunkers from 2017, against Notre Dame, “we said to him, ‘We might go over and have a drink at Kellogg (Center).’

“And then I said, ‘Might you come over and have one with us?’

“So, sure enough,” Gibson recalled, “it’s now 12:30, 1 o’clock, and here comes Darryl.

“We loved it.

“And he loved it, too.”

Twitter @Lynn_Henning

»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa
© Copyright, The Usual Suspects - All rights reserved.