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Michigan’s stake stunt a misunderstanding

BY JACOB SHEYKO | OCTOBER 29, 2014 5:00 AM

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It was meant to be a symbol of commitment and teamwork in a tough environment. Instead, it was viewed as a sign of disrespect.

When Michigan linebacker Joe Bolden stabbed a tent stake into Michigan State’s home field, the Spartans took the act personally.

Up by 17 points with under a minute to play, the Spartans could have easily took a knee and ended the game. Instead, they gave the ball to running back Jeremy Langford, who found the end zone and extended Michigan State’s lead to 35-11.

After the game, Spartan head coach Mark Dantonio did not mince words.

“As far as the score at the end, it’s just like we need to put a stake in them at that point,” Dantonio said after the game. “ … The little brother stuff, all the disrespect, it doesn’t have to go in that direction.”

In response to Dantonio’s comments and the backlash, Michigan head coach Brady Hoke issued an apology to Dantonio, players, and supporters of Michigan State on Monday.

On Tuesday, questions persisted and Hoke was less cordial.

“We’ve covered this ground,” he said. “I appreciate the questions, but that’s in the past. It had nothing to do with Michigan State.”

Big Ten coaches apathetic about college football playoff rankings

Before the first college football playoff rankings were released Tuesday night, several coaches around the Big Ten were asked whether they would watch or have their players pay attention to the ranking system.

The consensus was a resounding no.

“No,” Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini said when asked if he would talk to his team about the rankings. “Other than to ignore them.”

Only three Big Ten teams — Michigan State at No. 8, Nebraska at No. 15, and Ohio State at No. 16 — made the inaugural rankings. Michigan State, at 7-1, is likely the league’s best shot at making the four-team playoff.

Dantonio didn’t plan to watch the unveiling of the rankings, either. He said he’s more concerned about watching Ohio State play Illinois this week while Michigan State enjoys its bye week.

“That one will get my attention,” Dantonio said.

Quarterbacks deal with injuries

At this point of the year, every team is dealing with injuries. Two teams with injuries at quarterback are Ohio State and Rutgers.

Despite spraining his medial collateral ligament during Ohio State’s 31-24 overtime victory over Penn State, quarterback J.T. Barrett stayed in the game and eventually led the Buckeyes to the overtime score that sealed the victory.

“It was a tough, gritty performance. It wasn’t a great performance,” head coach Urban Meyer said on Tuesday.   

Meyer also said he expects Barrett to play this weekend. But he noted that Barrett was receiving treatment and will be somewhat limited in practices this week.

Another quarterback battling an injury is Rutgers’ Gary Nova, who suffered a right knee injury late in the first half of the Scarlet Knights’ 42-24 loss to Nebraska.

Head coach Kyle Flood said Nova walked around at practice, which is an upgrade from when he was on crutches Sunday.

“Gary was out there today throwing the ball around a little bit,” Flood said. “We’ll make the decision later in the week. But he didn’t take any reps with the team. Chris [Laviano] and Mike [Bimonte] took all the reps. We’ll go from there, and evaluate him again in the morning, and see how much better he gets.”

Follow @JacobSheyko on Twitter for updates, news, and analysis about the Iowa football team.


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