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Spartans take two in a row from Michigan

Michigan State win their game against the Wolverines in consecutive years for the first time since the mid-1960s.

October 04, 2009|Mike Hiserman

It's only two, but it's something.

Michigan State's victory against Michigan gave the Spartans consecutive victories in the series for the first time since winning three straight from 1965 to 1967.

"We did something that hasn't been done in 42 years," said Michigan State Coach Mark Dantonio. "That's amazing."

Dantonio hasn't shied from the challenge since becoming the Spartans' head coach before the 2007 season. He was miffed two years ago when former Michigan running back Mike Hart referred to the Spartans as his "little brother" after a Wolverines victory.

The coach even had the clocks installed in Michigan State's football facility that counted down the time before the Michigan game.

Dantonio said he doesn't see any problem with giving one game more importance than any other. ". . . That game was the Michigan game," he told reporters last week. "I think you can safely say for most people in this state, that's probably the same thing, at least if you're green."

Unbeaten

Beware playing at Miami when Jacory Harris is at quarterback.

The Hurricanes' sophomore quarterback is now 33-0 at home as a starter, dating to high school.

Harris' teams were 30-0 at Miami Northwestern High, and he is now 3-0 in Miami as a college starter -- the latest victory a 21-20 upset of Oklahoma on Saturday in which he overcame two interceptions and completed 19 of 28 passes for 202 yards and three touchdowns.

It was Miami's first victory in six games against teams ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press media poll, dating to 2005.

Politically correct

Rich Brooks for diplomat.

Those who thought the Kentucky coach might share an opinion after his team played the No. 1- and 3-ranked teams in the nation on successive weeks will surely be disappointed.

After falling to top-ranked Florida, 41-7, a week earlier, the Wildcats were whipped by Alabama, 38-20.

So which team was better?

Brooks wasn't biting. "Alabama's defense is just as good as Florida's. They're a great football team," he said afterward. "I expect to see them in the SEC championship game."

Still a winner

The turf at Boise State's home field was still green in 1985, the last time before Saturday the Broncos played host to UC Davis.

Making his debut at quarterback for Davis in that game was none other than Chris Petersen, now Boise State's head coach.

Davis lost, 13-9, but Petersen completed 23 of 33 passes for 237 yards, ran for 64 yards, and in the process gave Boise television stations a week's worth of footage leading up to his return.

On Saturday, he beat Bob Biggs, the coach who recruited him to Davis, 34-16.

Petersen was 19-3 in two seasons as Davis' quarterback, and his 70.6 completion percentage is still a school single-season record.

Lying low

They used to soar. Lately, they've been grounded.

Air Force won 19 of 21 against Navy from 1982 to 2002, but the Midshipmen have turned the tables since.

Navy's 16-13 win in overtime Saturday was its seventh consecutive against Air Force -- all but decided by a touchdown or less.

"We really want to get a W against Navy," said Air Force cornerback Reggie Rembert last week. "We've been shooting ourselves in the foot a lot the last few seasons."

And they lost by a foot this time.

The game winner for Navy was a 38-yard field goal by Joe Buckley -- which was followed by a 31-yard try by Air Force's Erik Soderberg that sailed wide left.

Long-time first

Cincinnati and Miami (Ohio) -- schools about a 45-minute bus ride from each other -- have a rivalry that dates to 1888.

The makes it the oldest nonconference series in the country, but in 113 games before Saturday neither team had ever been ranked in the top 10 when they played.

With its 37-13 victory, No. 10 Cincinnati still trails in the series, 59-48-7.

Best foot forward

Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder stuck with his kicker and, finally, his kicker stuck one for him.

Josh Cherry was one for six on field goals in the Wildcats' first four games, but the coach gave him a vote of confidence last week, saying, "He's capable. Sooner or later, it will fall in place."

It was sooner. Cherry made his only field-goal try against Iowa State, a 39-yarder with five seconds left before the half. He was also three for three on point-after kicks.

Kansas State needed them all in 24-23 victory sealed when it blocked a point-after try after Iowa State scored with 32 seconds remaining.

--

mike.hiserman@latimes.com

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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