Denard Robinson

Michigan State players go off on Robinson after loss to Alabama


It’s clear at this point that Alabama was the better team and had the better match-up in a 41-14 win over Michigan Saturday night. Even Michigan knows how bad it was.

That certainly didn’t stop a handful of Michigan State players from piling on their in-state rival, though (adding insult to injury was the loss of cornerback Blake Countess for the season). pulled together a few tweets from Spartan players taking direct shots at Denard Robinson, who had a tough night against a salty Alabama defense. Some of the tweets have already been taken down.

“Is this guy really a QB I’ll say my mans (walk-on Tommy Vento) is a better QB lol,” linebacker Denicos Allen tweeted. “S/O to my boy vento by the way.”

“DENARD IS SOOOO BAD!” safety Kyle Artinian tweeted. “And it makes me feel so good.”

“I can play quarterback for the school in blue,” linebacker Jamal Lyles tweeted. “(Le’Veon Bell) for heisman > the other guy in the great state of michigan.”

Not even Robinson’s 71-yard completion to Jeremy Gallon was enough to impress one Spartan.

“Even a blind squirrel can get a nut ever once in a while…,” running back Nick Hill tweeted after the play.

The Spartans have earned the right to talk a little smack on Michigan seeing as they’ve won four in a row against the Wolverines and figured out their own way to slow Robinson. That said, there’s been a lot of talk over the past 24 hours about Robinson being overrated. Not sure that applies since D-Rob is what he is: a great running threat but a below-average passer. He’s been that way since 2010 and thinking he was anything else is just wrong.

Furthermore, there aren’t many teams that come to mind that would have would have stayed competitive with the Tide that night, let alone beat them. In fact, if memory serves correctly, the 2011 Capital One Bowl between Alabama and Michigan State was so ugly — the Tide won 49-7 — that Sparty’s sideline doubled as an infirmary.

Was Washington loss the beginning of the end of the Steve Sarkisian era at USC?

Steve Sarkisian

Steve Sarkisian’s win totals in his six previous seasons are both a positive and a negative.

On one hand, he resurrected a moribund Washington program that went 0-12 under Ty Willingham in 2008 and took them to four consecutive bowl games from 2010-2013. He won nine games his last year in Seattle, then led a talented-yet-thin USC team to a nine-win season and AP No. 20 finish in 2014.

Those are good accomplishments. But the flip side of the argument is Sarkisian has never won double-digit games in a season, something that’s a necessity to keep one’s job at USC. The Trojans’ 17-12 loss to Washington last night — at home, no less — means the road to 10 wins and a Pac-12 title will be awfully difficult.

And worse yet, there are plenty of arguments to be made Sarkisian doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt and a little more time in Los Angeles to turn things around (#SarkAfterDark, his drunken rant at a booster event, certainly doesn’t help). The reaction from national media to last night’s loss looked like this:

Mandel, in his column, argued USC is right where it was two years ago with Lane Kiffin as its coach. And there’s this embarrassing thought, that looks more and more like a truth, for Pat Haden:

This one, however, was the most damning by far for many reasons, most notably that it came at the hands of Sarkisian’s old team. The sense among many Washington fans nearly two years ago was that the Huskies managed to upgrade coaches when the school lured Chris Petersen from Boise State upon Sarkisian’s departure to USC.

They were right.

USA Today’s Dan Wolken similarly wrote that USC needs to drop Sarkisian and bring in Chip Kelly from the Philadelphia Eagles.

This is the state of USC, and it may not get better. The Trojans start a brutal three-game stretch next Saturday at Notre Dame in primetime, then welcome Utah to Los Angeles the next week. A Halloween trip to Berkeley to face Jared Goff and Cal finishes it up. There’s a very real chance USC, for all its talent and all its hype, limps into November with a 4-4 or 3-5 record.

Sarkisian will have to engineer and sustain a major turnaround in these coming weeks, otherwise he’ll give Haden all the ammo he needs to unceremoniously jettison him after two years.

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
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Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.

Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.

“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”

Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.