David Defever

Spartans Make Statement against Gamecocks

It has been nearly eight months since Kyler Elsworth made the stop on fourth-and-one. Since Andrew Maxwell, after losing the starting quarterback position, came out to take the final kneel down for Michigan State in the Rose Bowl.

Friday night, the Spartans finally got to play again.

“First off, I thought we made a statement,” head coach Mark Dantonio said to the press after Michigan State’s 45-7 win over Jacksonville State.

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Spartans Win First Game of the Season 45-7

The long anticipated season opener kicked off, for the third straight year, on a Friday night. The Gamecocks of Jacksonville State arrived at Spartan Stadium with their band, and small cohort of supporters.

After an offensive surge in the first half, MSU was off to a slow start in the second half. Tyler O’Connor took the field for the opening drive of the third quarter, which lead to a punt.

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Spartans Lead Gamecocks 38-0 at Halftime

Connor Cook completed his first nine passes for 257 yards and 3 TDs for MSU in the first half of the season opener, as the Spartans marched to a 38-0 lead at the half.

Tony Lippett exploded for two touchdown s huge touchdown receptions from Cook, one for 64 yards and the other for 71. Nick Hill added two touchdown runs of his own.

What first was a shaky start for the Spartan defense turned into a big scare for the Spartan offense. After kicking the ball off to start the game, the Gamecocks nearly caught the MSU secondary sleeping.

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Spartans Fall to No. 4 Duke in Season Opener on Late OT Goal

Sierra Patton made seven saves, but it was not enough as No. 16 Michigan State fell to No. 4 Duke 2-1 in overtime in the season opener Friday afternoon at Ralph Young Field.

Heading into overtime, Michigan State had momentum thanks to Abby Barker’s goal with 7.6 seconds remaining in regulation, but the seesaw affair continued.

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Know Your Enemy: Jacksonville State

By now, you have probably heard all the hype about the biggest game of the season. Michigan State will have to travel across the country to Eugene, Ore. to prove themselves against an elite, non-conference opponent early in the season.

But wait, there is actually a game before that?

So what is Jacksonville State all about?

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Spread-out Attack Powers Spartans in Exhibition Wins

The No. 20 Michigan State women’s field hockey team got off to an undefeated start this past weekend, winning both exhibition games against Central Michigan and Kent State.

Seven different Spartans accounted for the 10 total goals scored on Saturday.

In the opening game, the Spartans faced Central Michigan, a game Michigan State dominated from the first center pass. Goals from Allie Ahern, Abby Barker, Becky Stiles and Kristin Matula, all in the first 10 minutes of play, fueled the Spartans to a 4-1 lead at the half.

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Way-Too-Early Predictions: Penn State (Nov. 29)

Happy Valley will be the last stop for the Spartans, and it may be the most important stop. Michigan State football will reignite their rivalry with Penn State to wrap up the 2014 season.

The last time the Nittany Lions and the Spartans faced off in 2010, Michigan State won, clinching their first Big Ten championship in nearly two decades.

Head coach Mark Dantonio will hope to clinch a Big Ten East Division championship with a win in State College, Pa. during rivalry week.

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Way-Too-Early Predictions: Maryland & Rutgers (Nov. 15 & Nov. 22)

The Big Ten as we once knew it is no more.

After the addition of Nebraska in 2011, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany was excited to introduce two divisions of the conference, the Legends and the Leaders, as well as a conference championship game at the end of the season between the teams with the best records out of each division.

Now the Big Ten is heading east with the divisions now being dubbed simply “East” and “West”.

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Way-Too-Early Predictions: Ohio State (Nov. 8)

The Buckeyes had won 24 consecutive games under head coach Urban Meyer. They were the clear favorites to win the Big Ten Championship and head to Pasadena to play Florida State in the National Championship. However, the Spartans had other plans.

The Spartans upset Ohio State, and went on to win a Rose Bowl Championship, while the Buckeyes went on to lose to Clemson in the Orange Bowl.

Starting quarterback Braxton Miller was just recently sidelined for the season with a shoulder injury, so it is likely that redshirt freshman T.J. Barrett will try to seek revenge on Miller’s behalf at Spartan Stadium.

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What Braxton Miller’s Injury Means for the Spartans

Shocking college football news came earlier this week as reports surfaced that Ohio State quarterback and Heisman contender Braxton Miller would miss the entire 2014 season after reinjuring his shoulder in a Monday practice.

The Buckeyes were supposed to be Big Ten favorites this season, but losing their signal caller and leader certainly changes things.

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Athlete of the Week: Natalie Prisciandaro

For this week’s Athlete of the Week installment, Impact Sports sat down with Natalie Prisciandaro, forward for MSU’s D-I women’s ice hockey team. The Rochester Hills, Mich. native is a junior majoring in nursing.

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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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Jack Allen’s Hands on Approach

Players strive their whole lives to be the famous quarterback or the elite running back, but some kids just end up growing too fast and becoming too large.

These select few are given what used to be the most overlooked position on the team: offensive lineman.

You are never really shown highlights of the offensive line unless a former lineman is working in the announcing booth and points out some intricate detail about the foot or hand speed of the lineman that bores the average fan.

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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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The Pact – #40 – 7/21/14

This week’s debate began once again with soccer, as Lansing United gave us no choice but to keep discussing their success as they head to New Jersey to play the New York Red Bulls U-23 in the NPSL National Semifinals. In their inaugural season, United started in a league of 80+ and now sit in the final four, two wins away from at NPSL National Championship. Forward Brian Cunningham joined the panel to discuss the approach during the upcoming week, what it will be like playing away from the Lansing fans and what his plans after the season are.

The panel continued to roll right into MSU football for the first time in awhile, debating the relevancy of the watch lists and the Spartans who made a list or two. Each panelist proposed their strongest favorite to win a watch list and Fino makes it clear what he takes into account when reading the preseason lists.

Finally, with Rupert Murdoch’s recent $80 billion bid to purchase Timer Warner, the panel discusses what would change in the sports and entertainment world with Fox Sports 1 and ESPN and how they could become legitimate competitors.

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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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