Stopping Marquise Walker, Michigan”s star wide receiver, is a heady task for any team to undertake. Especially one that has already lost three players from its secondary.
Michigan State is searching everywhere to find replacements for the three defensive backs that are currently injured.
Saturday, Michigan State will be without cornerbacks Tyrell Dortch, Jason Harmon and DeMario Suggs.
“We”ve lost quite a few guys since the beginning of the season,” Michigan State coach Bobby Williams said yesterday. “Four really good players. These guys were legitimate starters and really making their head-way.”
In the past few weeks, Walker has jumped into the Heisman Trophy race. After spending his first three seasons in other receivers” shadows, he has made a name for himself in this season”s first seven games.
And after a circus catch in Saturday”s win over Iowa, Williams understands the task that lays ahead for his Spartans.
“They”re going to be a huge challenge for us, he said. “We”re down to people playing different positions, true freshmen playing and moving players from the offensive side to the defensive side so we”re kind of caught here.
“(Walker”s) a guy that definitely you have to be concerned with and he”s a good football player.”
All yours, Joe: After weeks of waiting and wondering when Penn State coach Joe Paterno would break Bear Bryant”s all-time wins record, he finally did it last Saturday in a 29-27 win over Ohio State.
Now that the monkey is off his back, Paterno is finally glad to be receiving questions other than those about the record.
“That is the best thing about getting the record, now they can ask Bobby (Bowden),” Paterno said.
Paterno attained his 324 wins all as head coach of the same team something no other coach in the top five of the all-time wins list can say. His staying power is unheard of .
Paterno believes it would be nearly impossible to break the record with the pressure to win caused by today”s fans and administrators.
“The way the game is now with the universities and other people, the media, the talk shows and the booster clubs and everybody is really impatient,” Paterno said. “He just has one bad year and everybody is on his back. It is going to be tough for somebody to have the kind of durability in the situations as a college head coach like Bobby (Bowden), Bryant and I have.”
Behind Paterno, Florida State”s Bowden has the most wins with 320. With the recent success of the Seminoles, Paterno knows that his stay at the top may be limited.
“Bobby Bowden is right around the corner and Bobby is a great coach and a guy,” Paterno said. “Whether somebody can beat out Bobby when he breaks the record, that is debatable, because I think it is going to be tough.”
Now at 2-4 (2-3 Big Ten), a bowl game is not out of the question as the Nittany Lions end the season against Southern Mississippi, at Illinois, home against Indiana, at Michigan State and a game from Sept. 13 against Virginia that was postponed.
Top recruits commit: One of Michigan”s top targets finally committed Monday, but not to the Wolverines.
Gerald Riggs, Jr., son of former Pro Bowl running back Gerald Riggs, chose Tennessee over the Wolverines. Riggs will have to battle with an already crowded backfield at Tennessee, which landed top prospects Cedric Houston and Jabari Davis last year.
Also on Monday, quarterback Ben Olsen committed to Brigham Young. Olsen is considered the top pro-style quarterback by most analysts.