Notebook: Tight end Williams suspended; Lewan recalls physical 2011 MSU game

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By Matt Slovin, Managing Editor
Published October 28, 2013

Michigan sophomore tight end A.J. Williams has been suspended for one game due to a “violation of team rules,” the team announced Monday.

He will serve his suspension Saturday against Michigan State.

According to a report from Dayton, Ohio’s ABC 22, Williams was arrested early Sunday morning in Oxford, Ohio and charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a stop sign violation and underage drinking.

Williams, who is the team’s main blocking tight end, is scheduled to appear in court Thursday, according to a report by The Toledo Blade.

“It’s certainly disappointing when one of your kids makes a very poor decision,” said Michigan coach Brady Hoke in a statement. “A.J. realizes he has let a lot of people down, including himself. As families do, we will help A.J. as he learns a valuable lesson from this.”

Williams’s hometown of Cincinnati is located approximately 40 miles southeast of Oxford, which is home to Miami University.

WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION? BULLYING: In 2011, Michigan traveled to Michigan State, as it will again Saturday, and took a beating.

That fact wasn’t necessarily reflected on the scoreboard — the game was tied at halftime, and the Wolverines eventually fell 28-14 — but rather in the pain pulsating through Michigan’s players bodies afterward. Hoke said in his Monday press conference that it was a defeat his team needed to feel for a while.

Michigan State accumulated six personal foul penalties during Michigan’s last trip to East Lansing. One of the six came when then-Spartan defensive end William Gholston punched offensive tackle Taylor Lewan. Monday, Lewan admitted that a picture of Gholston was set as the background image on his cell phone for an entire year following the game for motivation.

Lewan said the Wolverines were “bullied” in that game and vowed not to let it happen again. Hoke estimated that 27 players on Michigan’s current roster were on that 2011 trip.

“That’s what they did two years ago. They bullied us,” Lewan said Monday. “That’s tough for me to admit. I don’t like getting bullied.”

Even though Gholston has moved on to the National Football League with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the incident remains fresh in the mind of the fifth-year senior.

“If someone came up to you and hit you right in the face, would you take that personally?” Lewan said. “Yeah, I took it personally.”

Fifth-year senior tackle Michael Schofield remembers Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi describing his team’s play as “60 minutes of unnecessary roughness.” He, too, said that it’s now clear the type of physical football Michigan will need to play to win in East Lansing for the first time since 2007.

“It was a battle, a fight,” Schofield said. “We don’t forget it.”

NOTABLE QUOTABLE: Hoke was asked to compare and contrast the Michigan State rivalry and the one with Ohio State. “I think they’re both important,” he said. He also added, “This isn’t an admiration society. It’s a great rivalry with two teams that are 45 miles apart? That might not be enough, but it’s what it is.” … Later, a reporter asked Hoke about the last time he wore green clothing. “That’s a dumb question,” he said.