Damion Terry

Michigan State freshman QB competing in practice


Michigan State may be off to a 2-0 start but the defense has twice as many touchdowns scored (four) as the offense (two). Head coach Mark Dantonio is looking to find some answers to spark the Spartans offense. This week, with Michigan State taking on Youngstown State, part of the search will focus on finding a quarterback that can be effective. Freshman Damion Terry, a four-star dual threat quarterback recruit according to Rivals, is apparently in the mix.

According to a report by MLive.com, Terry was taking reps with skill position players on Sunday and Dantonio has said the job of starting quarterback will have to be earned as we enter the third week of the college football season.

“The bottom line is making plays and having confidence in yourself, and stepping up to the plate and seizing the moment,” Dantonio said according to MLive.com. “We normally don’t practice on a Sunday, but we have our skill guys out there right now. As a matter of fact, I came in to take this call.”

Michigan State ranks 12th in the Big Ten in passing offense and is one of two teams in the conference yet to throw a touchdown pass (Purdue). Only Minnesota has a worst pass completion percentage in the Big Ten as well, with the Spartans combining to complete just 47.5 percent of their attempts through two games against Western Michigan and South Florida. Andrew Maxwell has been starting for the Spartans and has completed 15-of-30 attempts for 114 yards. Sophomore Connor Cook and freshman Tyler O’Connor each have played as well but it is clear Dantonio is looking for somebody, perhaps anybody at this point, to separate themselves from the rest of the unit.

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
Leave a comment

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.