Michigan State suspended senior linebacker Max Bullough for violating team rules, making him ineligible to play against Stanford in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.
In a news release yesterday, Spartans coach Mark Dantonio said Bullough had been suspended for the rest of the season. He did not say what rules the two-time captain violated.
“It is extremely disappointing for all parties involved,” Dantonio said. “There are no winners here.”
At a news conference at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., Dantonio mostly stuck with the official statement on Bullough’s suspension. But when asked how Michigan State will cope without its emotional leader and defensive quarterback, Dantonio said: “We’re gonna play. We’re gonna rise up and play.”
Bullough, from Traverse City, Mich., had 76 tackles and 91/2 tackles for loss this season, earning him first-team all-Big Ten and third-team All-America honors. He has 299 career tackles and made 40 consecutive starts.
Dantonio said senior Kyler Elsworth and sophomore Darien Harris are splitting first-team reps at middle linebacker in practice. Elsworth said the past couple of days have been “tough” on the team, but that he had talked to Bullough, who told him to stay focused on the game.
The fourth-ranked Spartans (12-1) face No. 5 Stanford (11-2) in Pasadena, Calif., their first Rose Bowl appearance in 26 seasons.
“Max will forever remain a Spartan and valued member in this team’s achievements,” Dantonio said in the statement.
Michigan to start Morris in place of Gardner at QB
Michigan coach Brady Hoke made it official: True freshman Shane Morris will start for the Wolverines in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on Saturday.
“He has had a really good preparation,” Hoke said of Morris. “We tried to see if
Devin (Gardner) could go, and it just wasn’t possible.”
Morris has played in only three games. He was thrown into this situation when Gardner was injured against Ohio State. Media reports said Gardner had suffered a broken foot, and Hoke came close to confirming that.
“I think that’s what they’re worried about, the slight fractures, that kind of stuff,” Hoke said. “I don’t know. They’ve X-rayed it a couple different times. They MRI-ed it. It’s probably just a little more than just the turf toe.”
Morris is more of a pocket quarterback than Gardner, and he’s also a left-hander. On the offensive line, it means right tackle Michael Schofield will protect the blind side, not left tackle Taylor Lewan, and the receivers have had to adjust to a different spin on the ball.
But there is confidence from his teammates and coaches, even though Morris is bound to be nervous.
“It’s our job as a team, as seniors, to calm him down, to let him know that we got his back,” receiver Jeremy Gallon said. “I know everything is going to be all right. It’s a football game. He’s been doing it since he was young. It’s nothing new. Faster tempo.”
Gamecocks’ Clowney arrested again for speeding
South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was pulled over for going at least 25 mph over the speed limit, his second such ticket in three weeks.
Clowney was stopped around 10:30 a.m. yesterday going 84 mph in a 55-mph zone on I-26, about 5 miles from the Gamecocks’ campus, police in Columbia, S.C., said. The stop occurred about an hour before the Gamecocks flew to Orlando, Fla., for the Jan. 1 Capital One Bowl against Wisconsin.
“He needs to go to driving school, doesn’t he?” coach Steve Spurrier said of the junior, who will leave early for the NFL draft after the bowl game. “At least he’ll have enough money to pay for it a week or so from now.”