While the Michigan football team was getting manhandled by No. 2 Alabama in the Cowboys Classic on Saturday night, Michigan State players were sitting at home watching.
But a handful of them decided it would be smart to get on Twitter and critique Michigan senior quarterback Denard Robinson on his performance, setting off a firestorm of criticism.
The tweets were deleted, but not before being captured by MLive.com. Some of them included:
• “DENARD IS SOOOOO BAD!” wrote safety Kyle Artinian. “And it makes me feel so good.”
• “I can play quarterback for the school in blue,” added linebacker Jamal Lyles. “(Spartan tailback Le’Veon Bell) for Heisman > the other guy in the great state of michigan.”
• “Is this guy really a QB I’ll say my mans (walk-on quarterback Tommy Vento) is a better QB lol,” linebacker Denicos Allen tweeted. “S/O to my boy vento by the way.”
Robinson passed for 200 yards on 11-of-26 passing, but threw two interceptions. He completed a 71-yard pass to redshirt junior wide receiver Jeremy Gallon in the second quarter, but that didn’t impress Spartan running back Nick Hill.
“Even a blind squirrel can get a nut ever once in a while …” Hill tweeted.
Allen, realizing the firestorm he’d set off, put in the final word on Sunday afternoon.
“Lol well apparently I hurt a lot of feelings sorry guys lol I guess we have to wait till October 20th to play some real football #GoGreen,” he wrote.
“I heard about it,” Robinson said on Tuesday. “But I’m thinking about Air Force, I’m not even worrying about it now.”
But did it bother him?
“No,” he said. “It doesn’t bother me at all.”
Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio was prepared for the question during his Tuesday press conference and roundly rebuked his players.
“Our guys need to keep their mouths shut,” Dantonio said, adding that the tweets were “disrespectful.”
“You need to approach this game with humility,” he said. “When this becomes personal, that’s when it crosses the line.”
In his two career games against Michigan State, Robinson hasn’t seen much success. In Michigan’s 34-17 loss in 2010, he threw three interceptions. In a 28-14 defeat last season, Robinson was just 9-of-24 passing with an interception.
But for Dantonio, not only are the personal attacks uncalled for, he also remembers being lambasted by Alabama recently — Michigan State lost the 2011 Capital One Bowl, 49-7, to the Crimson Tide.
“I didn’t see much different when we played Alabama a couple of years ago,” Dantonio said.