Michigan State has been climbing a bit of an uphill battle on their way to a Big Ten championship last season. Always flying under the radar and playing with a chip on their shoulders, the Spartans opened some eyes last season by coming together to make a run for the Big Ten title by overcoming rough play early on, handing Ohio State their first loss under Urban Meyer and then shutting down Stanford in a defensive battle in the Rose Bowl. Now on top of the Big Ten, will the Spartans be able to stay there? If nothing else, quarterback Connor Cook is full of confidence heading in to the spring.
“Heading into 2014, our expectations are so high that I feel like anything less than a Big Ten championship and a Rose Bowl would be a failure,” Cook told Bruce Feldman in an interview for CBSSports.com. “But it’s different now. I feel like we’re going to have more of a swagger heading into this season.”
Michigan State will be moving to a new division in the fall as the Big Ten expands. The Spartans will remain in the same division as in-state rival Michigan, but will also be in the fray with Ohio State, Penn State, Indiana and newcomers Maryland and Rutgers. The increased exposure in the east could not have come at a better time for the program as they currently hold the Big Ten’s title belt. And if they can get out of the Big Ten’s East Division, the odds may be pretty good they can play their way right back to Pasadena, or perhaps enter the College Football Playoff discussion.
“We won the Rose Bowl. We know what we’re capable of.,” Cook explained. “It’s everyone’s dream to win a national championship, and we feel like we can do that but you just have to take it one step at a time. The main goal at our program, which is what it is every year, is to win the Big Ten championship. If you win that, you’re in a BCS bowl. But it’s still the main goal is to win the Big Ten championship and then really everything else will take care of itself.”
Cook also discussed his trianing and how he is preparing for the upcoming season with Feldman, as well as a number of other topics. You can read the full interview on CBSSports.com.
The personnel situation in Arizona’s backfield has gotten dicey all of a sudden.
J.J. Taylor picked up the injured Nick Wilson‘s carries in last weekend’s loss to Washington and rushed for 97 yards, but will be lost for a significant period of time because of a broken left ankle sustained in the same game. Now Wilson, who missed the UW game because of an ankle injury, is listed as questionable for the UCLA game because of that lingering injury issue.
Wilson originally sustained the injury early on in the Week 3 win over Hawaii, meaning the dreaded high-ankle sprain may be in play.
Taylor and Wilson are currently 1-2 amongst Wildcat running backs in rushing yards with 261 and 257, respectively. Wilson was UA’s leading rushers the first two games of the season, with Wilson taking that honor in Week 3.
Overall, though, quarterback Brandon Dawkins leads the team in yards (391), rushing touchdowns (seven) and yards per carry (8.9).
Dawkins will be making his fourth straight start in place of Anu Solomon, who began the season as the starter but hasn’t played since injuring his knee during practice leading into Week 2.
Unfortunately, it appears the dreaded high-ankle sprain has bitten one of the most snake-bitten running backs in the country.
In Georgia’s Week 4 loss to Ole Miss, Nick Chubb sustained an ankle injury in the second quarter and couldn’t return. Kirby Smart has held his cards close to his vest this week when to came to Chubb’s availability for the Week 5 game against Tennessee, even as most, if not all of the signs pointed to the running back being sidelined for the key SEC East matchup.
Friday, Chubb’s father all but ended the mystery over his son’s availability, while simultaneously indicating that a Week 6 return should be in the cards — provided it’s not the usual lingering high-ankle sprain.
“I don’t think he’s going to play,” Henry Chubb told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He’s got that high-ankle sprain. He twisted it trying to make a cut against Ole Miss. He’s in good spirits and all. He understands it. The doctor said he’d need a couple weeks, so he’ll probably play next week.”
Chubb returned from a devastating knee injury that knocked him out for more than half of the 2015 season, rushing for career regular-season high of 222 yards in the 2016 opener in his first game back. In his three games since the opener, however, Chubb has run for just 200 yards total.
Still, his 422 yards are far and away tops on the Bulldogs. With Chubb out for at least this weekend, the running-game load will fall to Brian Herrien (184 yards) and Sony Michel (106).
The 2016 presidential election could be coming to a college football stadium near you.
According to the Kansas City Star, a women’s advocacy group, UltraViolet Action, will fly airplanes over five stadiums this Saturday to protest what the group describes as “Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s ‘long record of misogyny.'” The five stadiums are Michigan Stadium, Ohio Stadium, Kinnick Stadium, Lincoln Financial Field and Wallace Wade Stadium.
The most high-profile of the five games will be in the Big House, with No. 4 Michigan playing host to No. 8 Wisconsin.
The planes that the group have commissioned to do the flyovers will tow behind them banners that read “Trump Says Women R Pigs. Disagree? Vote.” The stadiums selected reside in the so-called swing states of Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
The Star writes that “UltraViolet describes itself as a ‘powerful and rapidly growing community of people from all walks of life mobilized to fight sexism and expand women’s rights, from politics and government to media and pop culture.'”
Unfortunately, the news when it comes to Vince Biegel could actually be a little bit worse than what was originally feared.
Yesterday, the Wisconsin linebacker’s father revealed that his son would be out as long as a month after undergoing surgery to have a screw inserted into his foot. In a press release, UW confirmed that Biegel did indeed undergo surgery Thursday night, and put the timeline at an ambiguous “several weeks” for a return.
The decision to undergo a medical procedure on what’s been a lingering issue was made after the player met with UW team physicians Wednesday and Thursday.
“I really hate any time a player has to miss time due to an injury, especially a senior like Vince,” head coach Paul Chryst said in a statement. “Vince has such a passion for football and loves playing the game. This team is very important to him and he is very important to our team. What you appreciate is that you know he will do everything in his power to get back on the field as soon as possible.”
At the bare minimum, Biegel will miss the next four games, a stretch that includes matchups with No. 4 Michigan, No. 2 Ohio State, Iowa and No. 15 Nebraska.
Biegel had started 29 games in a row for the Badgers. At least initially, Biegel will be replaced in the starting lineup by redshirt freshman Zack Baun.