Joe Bolden

Michigan LB Joe Bolden has no regrets for Michigan State tent-spike

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It was all blown out of proportion, Michigan linebacker Joe Bolden says of his pregame driving of a tent spike into the field at Michigan State last fall. The pregame act did not go unnoticed by Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio, who took issue with it after the Spartans’ blowout victory over the Wolverines, for which former Michigan head coach Brady Hoke apologized.

“Simply motivation that backfired, got blown out of proportion in a way, so it is what it is,” Bolden said when asked about the incident during Big Ten media days this week.

Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook said Michigan State felt disrespected and he played with a bit of an extra chip on his shoulder as a result. Bolden understands that, but seemed to shrug it aside this week.

“Things were said, and somebody said they ran the ball when they wanted to take a knee, well, I’m a competitor, it’s a rivalry football game, I”m running the ball, too,” Bolden said. “If I’m a head coach I”m running the football. I have the utmost respect for coach Dantonio and his staff.”

Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list includes Wright, Oakman, Nkemdiche, Bosa & more

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You know we are starting to turn a page toward the next college football season when spring games are in the air and some award gets an early jump on watch list season. Today the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation got award watch list season underway with 42 players being named to the watch list for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which is awarded to a defensive player based largely on performance on the field and character.

Six players on this year’s first watch list were on the watch list for the trophy last season. Duke’s Kelby Brown, Michigan State’s Shilque Calhoun, Florida’s Vernon Hargreaves, West Virginia’s Karl Joseph, Notre Dame’s Jaylon Smith and Oklahoma’s Eric Striker are among the players represented. Other prominent names for the award on the watch list include Baylor’s Shawn Oakman, Robert Nkemdiche of Ole Miss, Ohio State’s Joey Bosa, and Arizona’s Scooby Wright III. The watch list includes a total of 37 players from power five conferences, with the Big Ten leading the way with 10 players.

2015 LOTT IMPACT TROPHY WATCH LIST

LB Kevin Anderson, Stanford

DB Dante Barnett, Kansas State

LB Joe Bolden MichiganDB

DB Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Minnesota

DL Joey Bosa, Ohio State

LB Kelby Brown, Duke

DL DeForest Buckner, Oregon

S Michael Caputo, Wisconsin

DE Shilque Calhoun, Michigan State

S Jeremy Cash, Duke

S Su’a Cravens, USC

LB Leonard Floyd, Georgia

CB Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech

DB Nate Gerry, Nebraska

DL Adam Gotsis, Georgia Tech

LB Deon Hollins, UCLA

DB Dylan Haines, Texas

CB Vernon Hargreaves, Florida

DB Ryan Janvion, Wake Forest

DB Jonathan Jones, Auburn

S Karl Joseph, West Virginia

LB Bronson Kaufusi, BYU

S Derrick Kindred, TCU

DB Jordan Lomax, Iowa

DL Dean Lowry, Northwestern

LB Blake Martinez, Stanford

LB Viliami Moeakiola, Arizona State

LB Calvin Munson, San Diego State

DT Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss

LB Jared Norris, Utah

DE Shawn Oakman, Baylor

DE Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State

LB Joshua Perry, Ohio State

LB Reggie Ragland, Alabama

DB Jalen Ramsey, Florida State

DE Sheldon Rankins, Louisville

LB Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame

DB Weston Steelhammer, Air Force

LB Eric Striker, Oklahoma

LB Jeremy Timpf, Army

LB Scooby Wright III, Arizona

DT Anthony Zettel, Penn State

Vandals give Michigan State’s spartan statue maize and blue makeover

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Michigan fans are feeling pretty good about the future of the football program with Jim Harbaugh now in command, as they probably should. But perhaps some Michigan fans got a little carried away with the enthusiasm last night, taking their school pride a bit too far over the line on a rival’s campus.

The bronze spartan statue on the campus of Michigan State was painted blue with a yellow “M” on the chest overnight, strongly suggesting a fan or fans of Michigan left their mark on Michigan State’s statue. Unless someone is making like MIT pulling a prank on Harvard and Yale, we can probably be safe to assume the culprits root for or represent the Wolverines. You can see the damages in this photo here…

This is hardly the first time the statue has been vandalized. In fact, the bronze statue was put in place to replace the original terra cotta statue in 2005. The former statue had also been a target for vandals from Michigan, which led to annual repairs and restoration by Michigan State.

On the football field, Michigan’s intimidation tactics blew up in their faces last season. After senior Joe Bolden drove a tent stake into the turf at Spartan Stadium, with Michigan players jumping around behind him as they stared across the field, Michigan State sent Michigan home with a 35-11 loss. Now former Michigan head coach Brady Hoke apologized for the incident, and Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio did not mince words after the game. The Spartans have won each of the previous two meetings with their big brothers from Ann Arbor, and six of the last seven games between the two in-state rivals.

Brady Hoke offers apology for Stake Gate at Michigan State

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Michigan State players were charged up after seeing Michigan players drive a stake into the turf at Spartan Stadium prior to their Big Ten game Saturday afternoon. That led to Michigan State making sure to put one final touchdown on the scoreboard before sending the Wolverines home with a loss.

Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio was not happy about the behavior either, and he made that point clear with his postgame remarks. Dantonio fired some shots at the leadership of the Michigan football program, which led to Michigan head coach Brady Hoke offering an apology to Dantonio and Michigan State on Sunday.

“I want to publicly apologize to Coach Dantonio as well as the players and supporters of Michigan State for our act of poor sportsmanship displayed pre-game yesterday,” Hoke’s apology opened. “I spoke with Mark earlier today and expressed to him that we meant no disrespect to his team.”

Hoke explained the stake was a symbol for team unity, and he was unaware senior Joe Bolden, or some other player, took the stake out to the field. Bolden was seen driving the stake into the ground before kickoff as the Michigan players rallied around the action and stared down the Michigan State sideline.

“During our regular Friday night team meeting, one of the topics presented to motivate our team was a history lesson addressing commitment and teamwork in a tough environment,” Hoke explained. “A tent stake was presented to the team as a symbol of this concept. The stake was brought into our locker room as a visual reminder, and one of our team leaders chose to take it out on the field. As the leader of our football program, I take full responsibility for the actions of our team. We believe in displaying a high level of respect at the University of Michigan and unfortunately that was not reflected by this action prior to kickoff.”

This has been a tough season for Hoke and Michigan. Anything that can used to inspire a team to come together has to be a good thing. In this particular case, it backfired due to going too far and crossing an imaginary line and Michigan paid the price in the end.

Michigan should stick to planting stakes in its own turf

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On a day that saw TCU rack up 82 points on Texas Tech, Michigan State’s late fourth-quarter touchdown run to extend its lead to 35-11 may have been easy to overlook. But there was a little bit of fire behind Michigan State’s final score of the game, scored by running back Jeremy Langford.

Prior to the game kicking off, Michigan linebacker Joe Bolden drove a stake into the turf of Spartan Stadium, serving as a rally cry for the Wolverines and firing up the road team. As the stake was planted in the turf, Michigan players hoop and hollered while staring across the field at the Spartans.

Probably not the best move to make if you are Michigan. It sure caught the eye of Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio.

“I can only be diplomatic for so long,” Dantonio said following the game. “The little brother stuff, all the disrespect, it didn’t have to go in that direction.”

Dantonio then took aim directly at the way Michigan’s football program is led. Dantonio was not launching a shot directly at his coaching counterpart, Brady Hoke, but higher up.

“We try to handle ourselves with composure” Dantonio explained. “That doesn’t come from a coach. It comes from the program. Throwing the stake down in our backyard out here and coming out there like they’re all that. That got shoved up … It got shoved in the last minute and a half.”

Michigan State continues to keep its Big Ten championship defense plans on track. A massive showdown with Ohio State looms on November 8, with he winner the most likely Big Ten team to have a shot at the College Football Playoff (yes, we see you too Nebraska). For the Spartans, it is one game at a time. For Michigan, much more needs to be done before they go planting stakes in someone else’s field.

Or its own.