Chris Solari Detroit Free Press Published 9:30 AM EST Nov 19, 2018 LINCOLN, Neb. — Rocky Lombardi stuck to his script. “I didn’t see any drops.” You didn’t see any drops? “No.” Of course, Michigan State’s quarterback saw them. Every one of the 88,793 bundled-up fans in Memorial Stadium did. His coaches did. Even his defense did from the sidelines. At least seven of Lombardi’s 25 incompletions touched his intended receivers’ hands —some high, some wide, some right on target. But he wanted to put the blame on himself and not spread it around. That’s simply a quarterback protecting his teammates and avoid division. That’s all the Spartans can do right now as a group. MSU arrives at the final game of a tumultuous regular season in a tenuous spot. Not just at quarterback, where coach Mark Dantonio continues to try and juggle Lombardi and Brian Lewerke. But with an entire offense that continues a drop also … [Read more...] about Michigan State football’s Dantonio has tough decisions ahead
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Jeff Seidel Detroit Free Press Published 6:56 PM EDT Oct 6, 2018 EAST LANSING — Free Press columnist Jeff Seidel tackles the tough questions after Northwestern’s 29-19 victory over Michigan State on Saturday at Spartan Stadium. What is wrong with Brian Lewerke? Statistically, he wasn’t horrible on Saturday. He completed 31 of 51 passes for 329 yards with a touchdown. But he was not sharp. "It's not in the yards sometimes, it's in the production and the points behind it," MSU coach Mark Dantonio said. Lewerke threw too many bad passes. And he didn’t see some open receivers. Cody White was out with an injury, but this was more than that. “He's got to play better obviously than he did,” Dantonio said. What's the problem? To begin with, MSU does not have a consistent running game, and that makes everything harder for a quarterback. It can even mess with a quarterback’s head. Lewerke admitted that he might be pressing a … [Read more...] about Michigan State football: What’s wrong with Brian Lewerke?
Chris Solari Detroit Free Press Published 5:19 PM EDT Sep 20, 2018 EAST LANSING — It’s a snap decision that Michigan State football plans to take as much time as possible with. Who will start at center Saturday at Indiana? Coach Mark Dantonio said it will be a game-time decision between junior Tyler Higby and sophomore Matt Allen when the 23rd-ranked Spartans travel to Bloomington to face the 3-0 Hoosiers (7:30 p.m., Big Ten Network). More: How will Indiana attack Michigan State's defense? Spartans unsure 'Brain farts' contributing to Michigan State football's limited offense “We certainly have to try and figure that out as we go,” Dantonio said before MSU’s bye week, “and that's one of the things we figure out in the next couple weeks here.” It’s not the only problem point on the offensive line for the Spartans (1-1), but it is where everything in the offense begins. In MSU’s 16-13 loss at Arizona State, Higby got shoved … [Read more...] about Michigan State football: Starting center game-time decision
Chris Solari Detroit Free Press Published 1:24 PM EDT Sep 20, 2018 Looking ahead to the Spartans’ Big Ten opener Saturday at Indiana. Fast facts Matchup: No. 23 Michigan State (1-1) at Indiana (3-0). When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Where: Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, Indiana. TV/radio: Big Ten Network, WJR-AM (760). Line: MSU by 5. Injury report MSU P Jake Hartbarger (right leg), out; CB Tyson Smith (illness), out for season; TE Jonathan Brys (transfer), out for season; CB Josiah Scott (left leg), doubtful; DE Dillon Alexander (right leg), doubtful; LT Cole Chewins (undisclosed injury), questionable; LG David Beedle (leg), questionable; RB LJ Scott (leg), questionable; DE Jacub Panasiuk (left arm), questionable; DE Mufi Hill-Hunt (knee), questionable; TE Noah Davis (undisclosed), questionable; TE Trenton Gillison (undisclosed), questionable; LB Ed Warriner (undisclosed), questionable; questionable; LB Chase Kline (undisclosed), questionable; OL James Ohonba (undisclosed), … [Read more...] about Michigan State football vs. Indiana: Scouting report, prediction
Chris Solari Detroit Free Press Published 3:32 PM EDT Sep 19, 2018 EAST LANSING — Rocky Lombardi hoped he would get the keys to Michigan State football’s offense. He still does. But his first extended college football playing experience wasn't quite what he expected. The redshirt freshman quarterback's baptism came when he replaced injured senior punter Jake Hartbarger in the fourth quarter of the Spartans’ 16-13 loss at Arizona State. And with Hartbarger now out for 6 to 8 weeks, Lombardi will take over as 23rd-ranked MSU’s punter as it heads into Big Ten play Saturday at Indiana (7:30 p.m., BTN) “Not the college debut I expected,” Lombardi said with a chuckle after practice Tuesday. “But I’m grateful for an opportunity to get on the field and show what I got.” More: 'Brain farts' contributing to Michigan State football's limited offense Using a quarterback to punt is not unusual in throughout football history. In the … [Read more...] about Michigan State football QB Rocky Lombardi ready to be punter