PREVIEW: Ohio State Buckeyes seek bounce back vs. Michigan State

Published: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 9:36 AM


            Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio talks on the Big Ten Network at Big Ten Media Days at McCormick Place in Chicago on Monday, July 24, 2017. David Jablonski/Staff
Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio talks on the Big Ten Network at Big Ten Media Days at McCormick Place in Chicago on Monday, July 24, 2017. David Jablonski/Staff

Who: No. 12 Michigan State (7-2, 5-1) at No. 13 Ohio State (7-2, 5-1)

When: Noon Saturday

Where: Ohio Stadium in Columbus

TV/Radio: FOX/1410

Series history: Ohio State leads 30-15. The Buckeyes on 17-16 last season in East Lansing, Mich. The Spartans won 17-14 two seasons ago in Columbus. This is the sixth time in the last eight meetings both teams have been ranked in the top 20.

Last game: On Nov. 4, Ohio State lost 55-24 at Iowa, and Michigan State won 27-24 at home against Penn State.

Coaches: Ohio State’s Urban Meyer is 68-8 in his sixth season. Mark Dantonio is 97-44 in his 11th season at Michigan State. Dantonio is 3-5 against Ohio State as the Michigan State head coach.

Ohio State notes: The Buckeyes rank 20th in the country in rush offense (235.3 yards per game). … Center Billy Price will break the school record for consecutive starts. This will be his 51st. He tied Luke Fickell last week. … The Buckeyes rank eighth in the nation with 74 tackles for a loss. … Johnnie Dixon leads Ohio State with eight touchdown catches. Four of his last seven catches have been for touchdowns. He ranks third in the nation with 24.2 yards per catch. … Running back J.K. Dobbins averages 101.6 yards per game. … Safety Jordan Fuller leads the team with 52 tackles.

Michigan State notes: Brian Lewerke ranks fifth in the Big Ten in passing yards per game (245.2). … Felton Davis is tied for the Big Ten lead with eight touchdown receptions. … The Spartans rank third in the nation in rush defense (87.0 yards per game). … Michigan State’s losses are to Notre Dame (38-17) and Northwestern (39-31 in triple overtime). … The Spartans made the biggest one-year jump in the four-year history of the College Football Playoffs this week, moving from No. 24 to No. 12 after beating Penn State.

Quoted: “A great challenge waits for us down in Ohio,” Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said. “We have 26 players from the state of Ohio. Ten of them start for us. It’s exciting for them to go down and play in front of really, as close to their hometown probably as they can get, and I’m sure they will be motivated for that.”

Next game: On Nov. 18, Ohio State hosts Illinois at either noon or 3:30/4 p.m., and Michigan State hosts Maryland at a time to be announced.

Prediction: Michigan State 30, Ohio State 27

Arkansas interim AD Julie Cromer Peoples leading search to replace Bret Bielema

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 10:17 PM

Arkansas football-Julie Cromer Peoples-football coach

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas fired football coach Bret Bielema after five seasons on Friday evening. He was informed he had been let go by interim athletic director Julie Cromer Peoples following the Hogs’ 48-45 loss to Missouri.

Cromer Peoples addressed the media following the announcement, and said she will lead the search for Bielema’s replacement starting immediately. She added there is no timeline for finding a new coach, and there will be no formal committee as part of the coaching search.

“I do feel that I’ve been given the authority to go find the best football coach for us,” Cromer Peoples said. “We’ll launch the coaching search this evening. I’ll be working and running point on the coaching search. I’ve been fortunate over the last 20 years to build a network of people in the college athletics ranks and in football. I’ll lean on that network as well as others I’ve gotten to know in my time here at Arkansas who particularly are interested in finding a coach who fits with our state and fits within our region.”

Cromer Peoples took over in her interim role for Jeff Long after he was fired earlier this month. Long had been athletic director at Arkansas since 2008.

Asked if she felt it was a necessity to have an official athletic director hired before hiring a football coach, Cromer Peoples emphatically stated the Hogs already have what they need to hire their next coach.

“I don’t you need a quote-unquote permanent AD in order to make an offer,” Cromer Peoples said. “I think you need an AD and we have one.”

Cromer Peoples did not name any specific coaches, but hinted she does have a shortlist of potential options. She went through a coaching search while at Indiana in 2011, when the Hoosiers hired Kevin Wilson.

“I think if you’re in this role or in the role of a sport administrator in general, it’s important to understand who is out there, who the coaches are and who the market is,” Cromer Peoples said. “I’ve done that. I’ve been aware of the market for a while and I’m aware of coaches that I think we’ll be interested in talking with.”

On more than one occasion Friday evening, Cromer Peoples mentioned how important she feels it is to find a coach who fully understands the circumstance surrounding Arkansas football.

“I think it’s important, particularly here, that whoever becomes our next head coach understands and relates to our culture,” Cromer Peoples said. “Both here as a university and also in the state throughout the region.”

The post Arkansas interim AD Julie Cromer Peoples leading search to replace Bret Bielema appeared first on SEC Country.

WATCH: Western Kentucky may have delivered the worst special teams play of the year

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 10:17 PM

There was absolutely nothing special about this play by Western Kentucky’s special teams unit on Friday night against FIU.

The Hilltoppers were set to punt the ball and then … well, everything went haywire and it somehow turned into a touchdown for the Panthers. It is something that must be seen to believe.

There is a lot to talk about here, but the best question is if the play was set up for a fake punt or not. Either way, it would have been wise for the Western Kentucky punter to take his losses and not throw the ball forward in an attempt to accomplish who knows what.

This will certainly appear on some highlights, or lowlights, this week.

The post WATCH: Western Kentucky may have delivered the worst special teams play of the year appeared first on SEC Country.

Second half dooms Madison in state semifinal loss

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 10:11 PM


            Madison defenders team up to make a tackle during Friday night’s Division V state semifinal vs. Wheelersburg in Chillicothe. Nick Graham/STAFF
Madison defenders team up to make a tackle during Friday night’s Division V state semifinal vs. Wheelersburg in Chillicothe. Nick Graham/STAFF

Madison High School’s dream of a Division V state football championship ended in agony Friday night.

The Mohawks couldn’t hold a 10-0 lead in the final 14 minutes and lost to Wheelersburg 15-10 in a state semifinal at Chillicothe’s Herrnstein Field.

It was the end of a 10-game winning streak for Madison (11-3), which was making its first-ever playoff appearance.

The Pirates improved to 14-0 and will meet Pemberville Eastwood (14-0) for the state title next week.

Mason Whiteman scored on a 1-yard run on the last play of the first half for Madison, and Graham Reich added a 28-yard field goal in the third period.

Wheelersburg rallied with a 22-yard field goal by Jalen Miller with 1:50 left in the third quarter, a 17-yard touchdown pass from Trent Salyers to Justin Salyers with 10:35 remaining and a 2-yard TD run by Xander Carmichael with 7:09 left.

The Mohawks got intercepted on their final two possessions in the last two minutes.

Madison’s ground attack was limited to 122 total yards. Cameron Svarda ran 17 times for 53 yards.

WATCH: Deng Adel throws down sick dunk in Louisville’s win vs. St. Francis

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 10:15 PM

The Louisville basketball team defeated visiting St. Francis 84-72 on Friday night to improve to 4-0 on the season.

Led by the double-double of Ray Spalding (19 points, 13 rebounds, five blocks), Louisville’s balanced offensive attack had six double-digit scorers.

Deng Adel finished with 13 points and easily had the play of the game with this nasty jam in the second half.

What a flush!

Adel compared this dunk to one of his most memorable ones:

Adel scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half.

Up 11 at the half, Louisville ended up in more of a dog fight with St. Francis than they’d have liked.

However, credit to the Cardinals for closing strong enough to earn the victory.

Next up for Louisville is a showdown at Purdue on Nov. 28 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge that will be televised on ESPN.

The post WATCH: Deng Adel throws down sick dunk in Louisville’s win vs. St. Francis appeared first on Diehards.