Things are not good at Michigan State at the moment.
The team is currently hovering at .500 for the season going into Saturday’s game against Illinois and the Spartans’ offense in particular is operating at a nails on the chalkboard level (21.8 ppg, 110th nationally) that would be in the dregs of the Big Ten were it not for the ineptness of fellow conference rival Northwestern.
So needless to say, the MSU faithful have really had their patience tested in 2019 and that’s not even getting to recent results the past few seasons nor the number of huge scandals at the school that have brought negative headlines to the program on a consistent basis.
That being said though, it appears that Michigan State is giving no thought to making a change at head coach and firing Mark Dantonio, at least according to AD Bill Beekman in an interview with the Lansing State Journal.
“That is not even a discussion,” Beekman said. “Mark’s our head coach, there’s no question about that.”
Dantonio recently became the winningest coach in school history and is 111-55 overall at MSU. He has led the program to a trio of conference titles and an appearance in the College Football Playoff but recent seasons have been rough aside from a surprising 10-3 campaign in 2017.
The 63 year old’s odd move this offseason to shuffle his offensive staff while retaining all his assistants has brought plenty of criticism and he’s been involved in an ongoing lawsuit that will require him to be deposed after the season is over.
Dantonio is due a hefty retention bonus if he’s still Sparty’s head coach come January and so, unless he decides now is the time to walk away and retire, it appears the university will be cutting a multi-million dollar check early next year because they’re not pushing him out the door anytime soon.
We didn’t start the day with a portal post, but you knew the odds were favorable that we’d get one in sooner rather than later.
On his personal Twitter account over the weekend, North Carolina State’s Xavier Lyas announced that he has “decided to enter the transfer portal in order for me to reach my full potential both academically and football.”
The defensive end’s head coach, though, didn’t seem very impressed with Lyas’ decision. From Dave Doeren‘s Monday press conference, via Rivals.com:
When did you find out about Xavier Lyas and what does his departure kind of do to depth?
“He came in and see me saw me on Sunday. Wish him luck, rather talk about the guys that are here. Somebody put a great screenshot out today, though, that their girlfriend was in the portal, I thought that was pretty funny. It’s life, some of these kids don’t play as much as they want and how it goes.
“So as far as our depth will be fine. We got enough defensive ends we’ll be good.
Lyas was a three-star member of the Wolfpack’s 2017 recruiting class. This season, Lyas is currently third in sacks with four and tied for third in tackles for loss 4½. Additionally, his two forced fumbles are tops on the team.
For the fourth time in a little over a month, a major college football honor is adding to its watch list.
This week, the Biletnikoff Award announced that it has added five wide receivers to its watch list, including three from Power Five schools and two from Group of Five programs. Those included this go-around are Louisville’s Chatarius Atwell, Western Kentucky’s Lucky Jackson, Syracuse’s Trishton Jackson, Tennessee’s Jauan Jennings and San Jose State’s Tre Walker (pictured).
Below are each players’ statistical particulars for the 2019 season:
- Atwell: 46 receptions for 810 yards, eight touchdowns
- L. Jackson: 62-839-2
- T. Jackson: 51-780-8
- Jennings: 50-771-7
- Walker: 59-896-1
Walker is currently 13th in the nation in receiving yards, Lucky Jackson 17th. The latter is also tied for 25th in receptions per game.
The Biletnikoff Award is handed out annually to the nation’s most outstanding FBS receiver. The Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation, which oversees the honor, stresses that “[a]ny player, regardless of position (wide receiver, tight end, slot back and running back) who catches a pass is eligible for the award.”
Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy was the 2018 winner of the award. A wide receiver has won the award every year since it was first handed out in 1994, and all of the players added this week are listed as receivers.
A season that was derailed early on by injury concerns will now end with Alan Bowman redshirting the 2019 season. Texas Tech head coach Matt Wells confirmed on Monday Bowman will redshirt the remainder of the 2019 season to preserve a year of eligibility. The decision is not much of a surprise given the current status of the Red Raiders offense and Bowman’s injury history. Maverick McIvor, who has not appeared in a game this season due to an offseason foot injury, will also redshirt the remainder of the season.
In mid-September, Bowman was said to miss “several weeks” due to a shoulder injury. Although Bowman has now been medically cleared to play for the Red Raiders, the situation in Lubbock appears to be a good opportunity to protect the shoulder a little more unless absolutely needed. The decision to redshirt was Bowman’s, according to multiple reports, and Wells agreed that was in the best interest of all involved.
Bowman appeared in three games this season for the Red Raiders, leaving him one more game to play without jeopardizing a year of eligibility. Texas Tech could still play Bowman in one more game and not have this season count against his redshirt year under the NCAA’s revised redshirt rules from a year ago.
In his three games played, Bowman has completed 101 of 154 attempts for 1,020 yards and six touchdowns with three interceptions. Jett Duffey has led the offense in Bowman’s absence, and he has performed admirably with 1,774 yards and 10 touchdowns to just two interceptions over seven games.
McIvor is a freshman, so he will still have four years of eligibility beginning with the 2020 season.
Houston cornerback Ka’Darian Smith has been suspended by the football program after he was charged for aggravated assault for an incident occurring last week. Smith admitted to the assault to police and was released from jail after posting bond.
“We are aware of the serious allegations regarding Ka’Darian Smith,” a UH Athletics spokesperson said, according to The Daily Cougar. “He has been suspended indefinitely from the Houston football program. We will have no further comment at this time.”
According to police records, the incident leading to the charge occurred last Wednesday, Nov. 6. The alleged victim was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for injuries to the upper body and the head.
Smith responded to a tweet from Houston Chronicle reporter Joseph Duarte, there was more to the story about the alleged victim. According to Smith, the man broke into his room and was stealing from Smith.
How long Smith remains suspended may depend on how long the legal process takes to play out, which is fairly standard for incidents like these.