Spartan Red Zone

A Look at Michigan’s Open Scrimmage

Despite coach Dantonio’s consistent remarks on the importance of each and every game this season, Spartan fans are always interested in the status of their rivals from Ann Arbor.

On Saturday night, the Wolverines opened up the gates of the Big House for the fans to watch an 8 p.m. open scrimmage.

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Way-Too-Early Predictions: Michigan (Oct. 25)

This is supposed to be the year where Michigan turns their program around. With the exception of 2012, the Spartans have done well in handling their in-state rival over the past half-decade. The Wolverines have not scored a touchdown against the Spartans since 2011. In 2012, Michigan was able to narrowly defeat the Spartans in Ann Arbor 12-10, surviving off four field goals.

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Position Group Breakdown: Offensive Line

With the Spartans’ first game against Jacksonville State looming less than three weeks away, Impact Sports takes a preseason look at the 2014 offensive line unit.

In case you missed it, here are the breakdowns of the safety, cornerback, linebacker and defensive line units.

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Spartan Red Zone – #17 – 8/15/14

Host Dan Tyler welcomes Impact Sports’ football beat writer and host of Secret Society, Bradley Allen, to the studio for the latest episode of Spartan Red Zone.

Tyler and Allen discuss both the Big Ten and Michigan State media day as well as the lofty expectations for the upcoming season.

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Over 15,000 Fans with High Hopes Gather for Meet the Spartans

For the 12th time, Spartan Stadium opened its doors to fans for a meet and greet with Michigan State’s football team. Fans got an opportunity to tour the facilities, enjoy food and, if they wanted to wait in the long lines, meet the players.

Coaches and players signed autographs and took pictures with thousands of fans for just over two and half hours.

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Spartan Red Zone – #16 – 7/26/14

Hosts Dan Tyler and Andre Sims welcome junior cornerback Trae Waynes to the studio for the latest episode of Spartan Red Zone.

Waynes discusses offseason workouts and preparation, the new members of the “No Fly Zone,” as well as filling in for Darqueze Dennard.

Give the episode a listen to hear about those topics and more.

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Way-Too-Early Predictions: Nebraska (Oct. 4)

The Spartans will open Big Ten play with a night game at home against Nebraska. In 2013, MSU went on an unprecedented 9-0 in conference play. The 2014 season will prove difficult, if not impossible for Michigan State to remain undefeated in the Big Ten — having to open up against Nebraska, play Michigan and Ohio State in back-to-back games, and traveling to Maryland and Penn State.

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Position Group Breakdown: Defensive Line

Over the last month, Impact Sports has given a preseason look at the Spartans’ safety, cornerback and linebacker units.

Now the attention turns to the defensive line, which is a group that is expected to be amongst the best in the nation.

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Cornerback Ezra Robinson to Transfer

In an unexpected, yet understandable announcement by Michigan State Friday, redshirt sophomore Ezra Robinson previously stated that he received a release from his scholarship and is exploring his transfer options.

Robinson, who was redshirted in 2012 and played largely on special teams in 2013, was expected to be in the mix for the corner slot previously owned by Jim Thorpe Award winner Darqueze Dennard last year.

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Way-Too-Early Predictions: Eastern Michigan (Sept. 20) and Wyoming (Sept. 27)

The Spartans face off against Eastern Michigan after a bye week and will then take on Wyoming during homecoming week. These games will wrap up the non-conference season for MSU, as Mark Dantonio hopes to earn two victories while the team builds up momentum heading into the Big Ten season.

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Mike Sadler Named Preseason First-Team All-American

Mike Sadler was one of the best punters in the nation last season, pinning a nation-leading 24 punts within the opponent’s 10-yard-line. Despite his impressive numbers and knack for converting fake punts in clutch situations, he was not named a finalist for the Ray Guy Award last season, given each year to the nation’s top punter.

Going into 2014, however, Athlon Sports projects that Sadler is a front runner for the Award, naming him as their preseason First-Team All-American.

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Way-Too-Early Prediction: Oregon (Sept. 6)

In what is arguably the biggest non-conference game in Michigan State football history, the Spartans will travel across the country to face Oregon in a game between two top 10 teams that has playoff implications.

A victory in a game of this magnitude and national exposure could solidify MSU as an elite football program. The Spartans open as a 13-point underdog.

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Position Group Breakdown: Linebackers

Over the last two weeks,  Impact Sports previewed 2014’s “No Fly Zone,” comprising of the cornerback and safety units.

This week, the focus is on the linebackers — one of the most impressive units of the 2013 season that will feature some new faces next season after the departure of a few key players.

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Darqueze Dennard Inks $8-Million Deal with Bengals

The 2013 Jim Thorpe Award winning cornerback, Darqueze Dennard, hoped to be a top-10 pick in the draft this year. And in one of the best NFL Drafts for defensive backs, Dennard fell to the 24th pick, being selected by the Cincinnati Bengals.

Dennard officially signed a four-year contract with Cincinnati last Thursday. The deal will net Dennard $8 million.

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Way-Too-Early Predictions: Jacksonville State (Aug. 29)

Michigan State is coming into the 2014 season as the defending Big Ten Champions with a 10-game winning streak. They have not lost at home since November 2012. With a win in the 100th Rose Bowl and a preseason ranking in the top 10, the ceiling for MSU football is a National Championship, but where is the floor?

If the Spartans lose their first game, it will be the biggest disaster a Big Ten team has experienced in non-conference play since No. 5 Michigan lost to unranked Appalachian State in 2007.

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Breaking down the Class of 2014: Linebackers

After losing Max Bullough and Denicos Allen to graduation, the Spartans will get to see some fresh faces at the linebacker position this fall. Wrapping up the incoming freshman class on the defensive side of the ball, let’s take a look at the linebackers in the class of 2014.

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Breaking down MSU’s 2015 Commits

With a wide range of offensive and defensive threats arriving on campus this fall, Michigan State football hopes to continue bringing in talent and building its program. With the recent verbal commitment from Noah Listermann, the Spartans are building a solid recruiting class for 2015. Here is a look at who has committed thus far:

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Position Group Breakdown: Cornerbacks

Last week, Impact Sports released the first of an eight-part series, previewing Michigan State’s safety unit for the 2014 football season.

This week, the focus is on the other part of the “No Fly Zone,” the cornerbacks. Last season, this unit, along with the safeties, helped give the Spartans the third-best pass defense in the nation, allowing just over 165 yards per game.

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Spartan Red Zone – #15 – 6/8/14

Hosts Dan Tyler and Andre Sims talk everything — from the new College Football Playoff beginning this season to potential recruiting conspiracies and more.

How does the new playoff format affect a team’s mindsets this season? Are recruiting sites, like Rivals.com, changing player rankings depending on what school they commit to? Who are the top 10 players in the Big Ten this season?

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Breaking down the Class of 2014: Defensive Linemen

Michigan State turned their recruiting class of 2014 into one of the best with several big-name signees on the defensive line, and it was not an easy task to sign a few of them.

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