From The Spartan Sideline, Ducks Edition: Michigan State vs. Oregon Preview and Prediction

Michigan-State-Spartans-Logo-jpgArguably, the Michigan State Spartans will compete in their biggest September regular season game in history on Saturday afternoon, when they head to take on the Oregon Ducks in front of a rowdy Autzen Stadium crowd.

Not only will this game be a clash of two top titans in 2014, but it will likely be a matchup which goes a long way towards determining if either school makes the first college football playoff, which will take place after the season. A loss may puncture either the Spartan or Duck case quick, putting some additional pressure on the match up.

What are the keys to this seemingly larger than life non-conference clash? Spartan Sideline is ready for week two, and a much bigger challenge from the opposition. Continue reading

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Local Big Ten Review: Old And New On Display For Michigan, Michigan State This Weekend

big-ten-logo-pentagramThe Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans have been headed in different directions for the past few years, and this weekend, that dynamic will be showcased again in a big way.

Saturday, the Wolverines will take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish for the last time, while the Spartans will head out west to tangle with the Oregon Ducks in a heavyweight battle. In a way, the match ups are an indication of where all four programs are heading.

One side will be competing in a match up with playoff implications, fighting for national acclaim. The other will be competing in a battle for relevance. While the winner between Michigan State and Oregon will take a leap forward in the polls and national consciousness and the loser might even do the same, the outcome of the other game won’t matter nearly as much. Continue reading

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Roundtable: Do the Detroit Red Wings Need Daniel Alfredsson?

It seems unclear about whether or not Daniel Alfredsson wants to come back to play hockey for the Detroit Red Wings or even when he might make his decision. We take a look at the Red Wings’ roster to see if Alfredsson is needed and who we’d like to see make it if he is absent.

Is Daniel Alfredsson needed for the Wings or should Ken Holland move on? 

Chris Burke: They need him. The youth movement is exciting, but the Wings also need to make sure they have some reliable veterans on the roster — no, Danny Cleary does not count. Alfredsson can still put up points, especially if Detroit mixes and matches him in the lineup with a couple of those kids, so he plays 60ish games and then is ready for the playoffs. Let’s also not forget that he is a right-handed shot, hence his added value as a point man on the power play.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: Danny DeKeyser Looks Terrified in a Blue Angel Jet

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser may look fearless on the ice, but in a jet that is touching six G-Forces… that is a different story and he, like I know I would be, looks a little terrified.

It must have been a cool experience for DeKeyser and it certainly seemed to leave a lasting impact on the men and women who serve Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

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VIDEO: Kyle Lobstein Strikes Out 10 in Detroit Tigers’ Comeback Win Over Cleveland

J.D. Martinez was the Detroit Tigers’ hero on Tuesday night — his three-run bomb in the ninth inning turned a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 win. But it was rookie starter Kyle Lobstein who gave the Tigers a chance for that dramatic victory.

With the Tigers’ offense faltering early, Lobstein turned in another impressive start. This time, he lasted 5 1/3 innings, striking out 10 Indians and allowing two runs.

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From The Spartan Sideline, Gamecock Edition: Michigan State vs. Jacksonville St. Preview

Michigan-State-Spartans-Logo-jpgThe Michigan State Spartans will kick off their 2014 football season in uncharted territory for the program. Following an outstanding 2013 year, the Spartans are the hunted, being undisputed Big Ten and Rose Bowl champions.

Now, for the first time in two decades, a title defense begins in East Lansing. Standing in the way first are the Jacksonville State Gamecocks, a team that went 11-4 a year ago and had plenty of their own personal success.

How can they upend the Spartans on their big night? What can Michigan State do to set up a huge game with the Oregon Ducks next weekend? Spartan Sideline returns to break down all the action. Continue reading

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2014 Michigan State Football Preview 2: Breaking Down the Expected Roster Contributions and Depth

Michigan-State-Spartans-Logo-jpgOn August 29, the Michigan State Spartans kick off their 2014 season as defending Big Ten champs and Rose Bowl champs. We’re previewing their season with a two part piece. Last week, we talked schedule and results.

Entering the 2014 season, the Michigan State Spartans will lose plenty on defense roster wise, but otherwise look to be in excellent shape, returning the meat and bones of a very stout team on both sides of the ball.

Considering their modest returns early in 2013 and positive growth throughout the season, the opportunity exists for huge strides to be made on offense. The Spartans have had time to jell, and now have the confidence that can only be gained through game experience to rely on. The defense should remain stout, and the offense should have an easier time putting things together early on this year.

What is the outlook for starters and backups position by position? Here’s a look at the roster.


Quarterback: Connor Cook, Damion Terry. Cook and Terry are options 1 and 2 for the Spartans, but it might be closer to 1 and 1A. Had Cook not taken the job with both hands last season, Terry was likely in line to be the starter. Now, Cook has his team behind him entirely and will look to lead the offense. Expect a quietly solid season from the veteran. In the end, Cook might be closer to a Heisman Trophy candidate than Langford, who’s getting a tiny bit of national love.

Wide Receiver: Tony Lippett, Macgarrett Kings Jr., Aaron Burbridge, Monty Madaris, DeAnthony Arnett, Keith Mumphery. A deep group, perhaps the deepest spot on the team. Lippett made fantastic strides in 2013 and looked poised for a breakout season, while Kings, Burbridge and Arnett figure to play solid roles as well, and Mumphery is a senior leader. Watch for more depth Tres Barkdale and A.J. Troup to stand out, as well. Both have been raved about plenty as the offseason has progressed.

Running Back: Jeremy Langford, Delton Williams, Gerald Owens, Nick Hill, Madre London. Langford is the unquestioned leader and starter, but expect the Spartans to have plenty of depth here as well, perhaps using Williams and Owens in a smash mouth role, while Hill is likely the speed man. London, a freshman, could see time here as well, but only if he makes a significant impact.

Tight End: Josiah Price, Jamal Lyles, Andrew Gleichert, Paul Lang, Dylan Chmura. Yet another position with great young depth, Price is the starter after making plenty of great catches last year and stepping in. Lyles is developing as well as a devastating blocker and capable catch, and Gleichert is probably a blocker. Chmura is interesting as a redshirt freshman and the son of former NFL tight end Mark Chmura. Watch for his inclusion at times, given he has been talked up significantly over the past few months. A stacked deck here.

Offensive Line: Jack Conklin, Travis Jackson, Jack Allen, Donovan Clark, Kodi Kieler. All were listed on the first Michigan State depth chart. The beat should go on for Michigan State’s line, which helped pave the way to plenty of success last season. In Kieler’s spot, watch out for Miguel Machado, who has impressed. Also, Brian Allen will back up his brother at center and Brandon Clemons will back up Clark. All told, Michigan State should be deep and strong again. Kieler is the question mark, but has earned the spot.


Cornerback: Trae Waynes, Darian Hicks, Jermaine Edmondson, Arjen Colquhoun. With Darqueze Dennard off to the NFL, many will be concerned about the Spartans’ ability to find a lock down corner. Expect Waynes to take his place almost seamlessly. Hicks will play on the other side, and Colqhoun and Edmondson will also contribute. Michigan State has long

Linebacker: Taiwan Jones, Jon Reschke, Ed Davis, Riley Bullough, Shane Jones. The biggest question on defense will be how Michigan State deals with the departure of Max Bullough, Denicos Allen, a pair of erasers. Jones appears to be a solid option to step up, and Davis saw plenty of snaps last season, which should make his inclusion fairly seamless. Also impressing have been young Reschke and Jones. If all else fails (which realistically, it shouldn’t), the Spartans still have a Bullough to turn to in a reserve role.

Safety: Kurtis Drummond, R.J. Williamson, Demetrious Cox, Mark Meyers. Another stacked position, the Spartans figure to get a big year from Drummond,a fifth year senior, and Williamson. There to push Williamson is Cox, who has been a hard-hitting play machine throughout camp according to most. A strong group will be led by Drummond, the unquestioned leader.

Defensive Line: Shilique Calhoun, Joel Heath, Lawrence Thomas, Marcus Rush. With Calhoun anchoring things, expect the linemen to play a significant role in Michigan State’s success again. Rush isn’t to be discounted on the other side either, and Thomas has taken over a vacancy in the middle along with Heath. Also worth watching? James Kitteridge, who will see time, freshman Malik McDowell and Demetrius Cooper, who could become the next terror off the edge.

Special Teams: Michael Geiger, Mike Sadler. Expect the Spartan special teams to remain elite in 2014. Both Geiger and Sadler were fantastic last season, and Sadler will be punting as a fifth-year senior in the award discussion. Geiger steadied the kicking position, and will only get better as a sophomore.

Overview: There’s no lacking for capable depth and bodies. Michigan State once again looks the a deep, physical team that they have evolved into recently. There’s a few concerns regarding graduation on the defense, but expect newcomers to step in and step up. Offensively, the Spartans could excel instead of struggle, given the confidence gained over the past year. If that happens, something special could be brewing in East Lansing.

Max DeMara is a senior editor at The Detroit Sports Site. You can find him on Twitter @SportsGuyTheMax

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GIF: Reggie Bush Breaks Off 86-Yard TD Run

Reggie Bush and Joique Bell could be one of the better 1-2 punches in the league this year, as they reminded everyone on Friday night against Jacksonville. After a penalty backed Detroit up inside its own five, a couple of Bell runs picked up a first down … and set the table for Bush.

The Lions’ speed back then made a nice cut to his right and burst past Jaguars safety Jonathan Cyprien for an 86-yard touchdown. Continue reading

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