MSU’s Spartans Can Salvage Dismal Season With A Pre-New Years Day Game In The Pinstripe Bowl.

December 27, 2019

By Tony Dixon, for COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP(c)

Ypsilanti, MI —

The Spartans of East Lansing (6 – 6, 4 – 5 Big Ten) have certainly had an up and down season so far, but can put this year to rest with a positive spin, if they can turn aside the hopes of Wake Forest (8 – 4, 4 – 4 ACC).

MSU picks up the torch that has been dropped by the other Michigan based college football teams; Hope, Concordia-AA, Ferris St.*, Central Michigan and most recently Eastern Michigan, who all dropped their bowl or playoff games. (*Ferris St. did win their first playoff game, but dropped the second game.)

In Wake Forest’s Demon Deacons, the Spartans will find a foe that has a capable offense, two near 1,000 yard receivers and a chance to win nine games for the first time since 2007. But, much like MSU, this season could have been a lot better that it turned out for the Forest, their season ending loss to Syracuse is still a sore point.

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They will be missing their true thousand yard receiver, Sage Surratt (66 catches, 1001 yards and 11 TDs), but Kendall Hinton (70, 953 and 3 TDs) is a still a weapon that the Spartan’s defense will have to keep in check. QB Jamie Newman (2,693 yards, 23 TDs and 10 INTs) leads a potent offense and should have a number of players ready to assist in the absence of Surratt. Running backs Cade Carney (556 yards, 5 TDs) and Kenneth Walker (555 yards and 4 TDs, including a long of 96 yards) will keep the pass rush honest.

MSU will counter with an offense that is led by QB Brian Lewerke (2,759 yards, 16 TDs and 12 INTs.) who will be trying to locate Wide Receivers Cody White (58/825, 5TDs) and Darrell Stewart Jr., (47/694, 4 TDs). Running back Elijah Collins leads the MSU rushing attack (892 yards, 5 TDs), but the next runner with over a 100 yards is…the QB Brian Lewerke! The Spartan’s offense has been much maligned but have averaged 22 PPG vs the 23 PPG that their defense has surrendered. To give credit where due, the defense did run into a few buzz saws during the Big Ten season that included losses to Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin and U-M.

— The Michigan Music Hall Of Fame, “Preserving The Past, Promoting The Future” —

The stats show an edge to the Demon Deacons who average 33 PPG while giving up 29 PPG as well as in Total Offense with a 473 YPG average. The Spartan’s defense which averages 319 YPG will be tested throughly. But, there is a quirk that both teams will face…both appear to be first half teams, they score most of their points in the first two quarters. MSU only scored 35 points total in the 3rd quarter for the season. So maybe a good, paint peeling halftime speech will be needed, if the Spartan’s are behind or even ahead at the half.

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Tony Dixon is a Co-host for The College Football Wrap-Up(c), MISPORT-TV’s original content vehicle that reviews the past week’s college football games played by Michigan based colleges and universities across all divisions and conferences. The show also utilizes the TPR(c) (Team Performance Rating) to measure a team’s performance in the past game and also to quantify it’s performance over the seasons games. The teams are then ranked according to their TPR number, the higher the number, the stronger the performances.

With A 2019 Quick Lane Bowl Appearance, EMU Continues It’s Rise.

December 26, 2019

By Tony Dixon, for COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP(c)

Ypsilanti, MI —

With bowl trips becoming the norm for the EMU football team’s season ending wrap-up, the Eagles are solidifying the Coach Creighton era as easily the best football coaching stint in the school’s history. Creighton has certainly led an increase in pride, execution and even brand awareness in Michigan’s hot bed of college football excellence that is Washtenaw county.

With that said, the Quick Lane Bowl does NOT look to be a walk in Riverside Park for  the Eagles and their fans and alums.

The Eagles (6 – 6, 3 – 5 MAC-West) face will face a quality foe in the Univ. of Pittsburgh (7 – 5,  4 -4 ACC). The Panthers are strong defensively, as you would expect with Coach Pat Narduzzi leading the team. The former DC for MSU’s Spartans was/is known for a solid, if not suffocating defense and in this year’s Panthers, the trend continues. The defense gives up an average of 22 points per game. The numbers break down to 107 YPG Rushing and 196 YPG Passing for a Total Offense Average of 302 YPG defensively.

The Eagles will counter with an offense that averages 29 PPG on the strength of 281 YPG Passing and 122 YPG Rushing for an average of 403 YPG of Total Offense.

— The Michigan Music Hall Of Fame, “Preserving The Past, Promoting The Future” —

In senior QB Mike Glass III, EMU has a solid passer that leads a balanced group of receivers that includes; Dylan Drummond who lead the team with 51 catches for 483 yards and 3 TDs. He is complimented by Quian Williams who has 50 catches for 593 yards and 5 TDs. Shaq Vann is the Eagles workhorse in the ground game with 667 yards and 8TDs, Willie Parker is the next most popular name to call for the ground game with 142 yards and 2 TDs.

On the defensive side of the ball, EMU is more generous than the Panthers averaging 30 PPG against. Foes of the Eagles have averaged 202 YPG on the ground and 226 YPG Passing for a Total Offense of 428 YPG against.

Pitt’s QB Kenny Pickett (2,737 Passing Yds., 10 TDs and 9 INTs.), if given time will be looking down field for his favorite wide receivers, Taysir Mack (62 catches for 711 yards and 2 TDs) and Maurice Ffrench [no typo, that is how his last name is spelled], (84 catches, 685 yards, 3 TDs).

On the ground, the Panthers are led by A.J. Davis (532 yards/4 TDs) and V’Lique Carter (271 yards/0 TDs).

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These two teams appear to be pretty evenly matched, at least on paper, with perhaps the ‘Strength Of Schedule’ metric providing any real difference in the stats. Pitts S.O.S. is at 59, or the 59th hardest schedule in the FBS ratings. The Eagles ‘Strength Of Schedule’ is 108th in the country…so the Panthers played foes whose cumulative strength was almost twice EMU’s foes strength.

The Quick Lane Bowl is December 26th, 2019 at 8PM, at Ford Field in Detroit, MI. The game will be broadcast by ESPN.

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Tony Dixon is a Co-host for The College Football Wrap-Up(c), MISPORT-TV’s original content vehicle that reviews the past week’s college football games played by Michigan based colleges and universities across all divisions and conferences. The show also utilizes the TPR(c) (Team Performance Rating) to measure a team’s performance in the past game and also to quantify it’s performance over the seasons games. The teams are then ranked according to their TPR number, the higher the number, the stronger the performances.

Central Mich.’s New Mexico Bowl Clash With SDSU Looks Like A Close Game

December 20, 2019

By Tony Dixon for COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP(c)

Ypsilanti, MI —

The highlight of tomorrow’s college football viewing could easily be the New Mexico Bowl (2PM, ESPN), a game featuring the rejuvenated Central Michigan Chippewa’s against the Aztecs of San Diego State.

The Chips, who were a less than stellar 1-11 in 2018, find themselves kicking off the opening weekend of the official college football bowl season of 2019, a pretty good one year turnaround for their new coach and their new attitude. Coach Jim McElwain and his staff, took a solid defensive foundation and juiced up a languid offense, flipping 1-11 into 8 – 5 and first place in the MAC’s-West Division.

CMU’s offense doubled it’s offensive production going from 15 PPG in 2018 to almost 32 PPG in 2019. They were led by two near thousand yard rushers (Jonathan Ward – 1082 and Kobe Lewis – 977). The senior Jonathan Ward is a bullet point for the opposition’s defensive coaches, he has good speed, agility and definite power at 6’2, 200 pounds. He also has that determination that you want to see in your featured running back. Kobe Lewis, is a sophomore that does not have the same size, but has the speed and moves that give the backfield that thunder & lightening combination.

— The Michigan Music Hall Of Fame(c) “Preserving The Past, Promoting The Future” —

Under center, senior QB Quinten Dormady (2,148 – 14TDs, 6 INTs) is part of a two-headed monster at the quarterback position along with junior David Moore (1,143 – 5TDs, 4 INTs).

The CMU defense is led by sophomore LB Troy Brown (85 Tackles, 16 TFL, 1 Sack), a linebacker from Flint (Carson-Ainsworth), senior DL Sean Adesanya (15.5 TFL, 7 Sacks) and redshirt freshman DL LaQuan Johnson, also from Flint (Burton-Bendle) (13 TFL, 6 Sacks).

In the San Diego Aztecs, the CMU offense will find a stern test. SDSU only gives up an average of 13 PPG, with the strength of their defense being against the run (72 YPG average). CMU averages 187 YPG on the ground and with a near thousand yard rusher in the backfield. On almost every offensive down, the Aztecs will have to think ‘defend the run’ first, then look for the more exotic stuff.

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The SDSU offense is less explosive than CMU’s averaging 19 PPG, and 329 yards of Total Offense in a fairly balanced attack (134 YPG Rushing/196 YPG Passing). With these numbers the goal for Coach McElwain’s staff should be a fast start, with points of any kind early and often. CMU’s defense should be able to handle the Aztec’s offense if they get ahead and force SDSU into a one-dimensional (throwing the ball) style of play.

The Aztec’s offense is led by senior QB Ryan Agnew (2,175 – 11 TDs – 5 INTs) who has played in 11 of the 12 SDSU games. His back-up, Carson Baker, a redshirt freshman was 19 of 24 for 172 yards and 1 TD in the only game that he appeared in this season, a game that Agnew did not play in.

SDSU has 4 RBs who along with the scrambles of QB Agnew, have at least 120 yards rushing each. But, only sophomores Chance Bell and Jordan Byrd have at least one 100+ yard game on their resume for this season. The Aztec’s top performing back, Juwan Washington, had a total of 500 yards for the season.

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Overall, this game is a good match up of styles, CMU’s averages 446 YPG of offense, while SDSU’s defense only gives up an average of 289 YPG.

SDSU’s offense averages 329 YPG, while CMU’s defense is around 352 YPG allowed.

As stated before, if CMU can score early (TDs or FGs) and often, the advantage will really shift to their side of the field. But, if they allow themselves to be slowed down by the SDSU defense, it could become a game that they will have to really work hard at, in order to end this successful season with a bowl victory.

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Tony Dixon is a Co-host for The College Football Wrap-Up(c), MISPORT-TV’s original content vehicle that reviews the past week’s college football games played by Michigan based colleges and universities across all divisions and conferences. The show also utilizes the TPR(c) (Team Performance Rating) to measure a team’s performance in the past game and also to quantify it’s performance over the seasons games. The teams are then ranked according to their TPR number, the higher the number, the stronger the performance.

UD Titans Basketball Falls Short To Visiting Toledo, 80 – 72

Calipari Nets 20 As Titans Play Tough In Saturday Setback To Toledo

DETROIT (12/14/2019) — From Official Release

The University of Detroit Mercy men’s basketball team saw nine players score and played some inspired ball despite being shorthanded as the Titans fell, 80-72, to Toledo on Saturday at Calihan Hall.

The Titans played the game without sophomore Antoine Davis(flu) and senior B.J. Maxwell (arm).

Graduate senior Brad Calipari led the way with 20 points draining five more 3-pointers, a career high, while sophomore Willy Isiani had 11. Junior Dwayne Rose Jr. had 10 points and sophomore Alonde LeGrandfinished with six points, six rebounds and seven assists.

The Titans (1-9) led for a majority of the first half and 36-33 at the break. Detroit Mercy was then up 58-51 with when Toledo (8-2) went on a 17-5 lead to jump out in front.

A plethora of Titans would join in the scoring fracas as play was frenetic and fast-paced. Back-to-back blocks by sophomore Chris Brandon as well as a 3-pointer from Isiani put the Titans in front by seven 29-22 in the first half.

Detroit Mercy would then go on a 7-1 scoring run to close out the last three minutes of the first, making the score 36-28 before going into the break up three.

In the second, the Titans saw their lead dwindle down to one, but raised it back to eight on two occasions, the latest at 53-45 as Rose Jr. drove to the rim for a score with 13:28 on the clock. That is when Toledo started to make its run and eventually took the lead.

The Titans had just 10 turnovers and hit 13, 3-pointers, while going 11-of-13 at the line and handing out a season-high 15 assists. Brandon finished with two points, a season-high nine rebounds and a career-best four blocks.

More>>>

Ferris State Football Is Stunned By West Florida, 28 – 14

Ferris State’s D2 Playoff Run Comes To Finish In National Semifinals

Re-posted From FERRISSTATEBULLDOGS.COM Release –

Big Rapids, Mich. – The Ferris State University Bulldogs’ NCAA Division II Playoff run came to a finish on Saturday (Dec. 14) night as West Florida pulled out a 28-14 run over FSU in the national semifinals at Top Taggart Field.

In a battle between the last two national runner-ups, the Bulldogs took a 14-7 lead in the third quarter and were driving towards another potential score near the end of the period before a fumble bounced thru the endzone and resulted in a touchback.

The fumble was one of six turnovers in the game for Ferris State in the Bulldogs’ trip to the national semifinals in the past four years. It denied FSU a return trip to the national championship game in McKinney, Texas.

West Florida struck first as the Argonauts marched 75 yards in eight plays on the opening drive of the contest to take an early 7-0 lead on quarterback Austin Reed’s 34-yard scoring pass to Tate Lehtio.

However, Ferris State answered back near the end of the opening stanza when tailback Tyler Minor found paydirt on a six-yard scoring run to finish an 11-play, 61-yard FSU drive.

The score stood until the opening drive of the third period when FSU moved 65 yards in seven plays to surge ahead 14-7 on senior slot receiver Dion Earls‘ 11-yard scoring run.

After a 21-yard West Florida field goal from Austin Williams pulled UWF back within four points, erris State got the ball back and drove down the field and was nearing another score when senior QB Travis Russell found wideout Xavier Wade at the one-yard line on a long throw. However, the ball popped loose thru the endzone, resulting in the touchback and momentum changed.

MORE>>>

2019 – College Football Honors And Awards For Michigan Athletes and Teams

(Press and News Releases From Team, Conference, Division and/Or National Sources)

This post and it’s links will be updated as new awards are announced, so feel free to check back often!

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Ferris State Football Marches On In Division 2 Playoffs, Downs Northwest Missouri St., 25 – 3

December 7, 2019

(Reposted from FERRISSTATEBULLDOGS.COM)

Big Rapids, Mich. – For the second-straight season and the third time in four years, the top-seeded Ferris State University Football team advanced to the Division II National Semifinals with a 25-3 victory over the third-seeded Northwest Missouri State Bearcats on Saturday (Dec. 7) at Top Taggart Field.

With the win, FSU will be the top seed for the national semifinals and host West Florida on Saturday, Dec. 14, with kickoff set for 3:30 p.m. (ET) at Top Taggart Field.

Through 45 minutes of play, just 13 combined points had been scored in the contest as the defensive units owned the day. Ferris State tacked on 15 fourth quarter points to eventually pull away from Northwest Missouri State. The Bulldog defense stonewalled the Bearcat offense all day, as Ferris State allowed only 158 yards on 61 plays for an average of 2.5 yards allowed per play.

— The Michigan Music Hall Of Fame, preserving the past, promoting the future! —

Both teams battled through the first quarter scoreless. The Bulldogs took advantage of good field position early in the second quarter when junior defensive back Sidney McCloud picked off Northwest Missouri State quarterback Braden Wright out near midfield. Ferris State senior kicker Jackson Dieterle drilled a 35-yard field goal to draw first blood with 9:02 remaining in the first half.

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Hope College, Concordia-AA Open Playoffs Respectively. Sadly, Both Exit, But In Very Different Ways.

November 24, 2019

By Tony Dixon, For COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP(c)

Ypsilanti, MI —

Hope College had a great 2019 football season. They reeled of nine consecutive victories, after a season opening loss. They took over the # 1 in the TPR(c)  rankings midway through the season and never looked back. They sped to the MIAA crown, which they won with a perfect conference record of 6 – 0. The team returned to the NCAA Playoffs after a 13 year drought.

Concordia University-AA also had a great 2019 football season. They broke out of the gate and ran off 5 straight victories, culminating with a 3 point victory against Siena Heights, a Top 20 Showdown game, on Homecoming Saturday against a highly rated rival. They finished the regular season at 8 – 2, a far cry from their 0 – 11 first season’s record in 2011. Their achievements were acknowledged with an invitation to the NAIA Playoffs.

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Hope began their NCAA playoff push with a home game against Wartburg (IA) College. They opened the game and their scoring with a field goal…and that was also the end of their scoring, as they fell by a score of 41 – 3.

Concordia began their NAIA playoff push with a road game against another Iowa based institution, Grand View College. This game was a going to be a struggle for CU-AA on multiple fronts (visitor, travel, high-scoring opponent) and in the end…they fell by the difference of a blocked extra point, 31 – 30.

— The Michigan Music Hall Of Fame: Preserving The Past, Promoting The Future(c) —

In other weekend action around the state:

What could possibly top last weeks action…?!!

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Week 11 Game(s) Of The Week Highlight Blockbuster Action Across The State

Games Of Conference, National Importance Are On The Slate For This Weekend!

By Tony Dixon, for COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP(c)

November 15, 2019

Ypsilanti, MI —

The state of Michigan will have no shortage of quality college football on the field this weekend. Washtenaw county itself will house not only the annual civil war known as Michigan State at U-M. But, it will also be the site of the CFWU’s Mid-States Football Association Spotlight Game between  # 12 Nat. (#5*) Concordia-AA (7 – 2 Overall, 3 – 2 Conf.) who will be hosting nationally regarded Indiana Wesleyan (6 – 3, 3 – 2).

In the MIAA #2* Olivet will be at home facing Albion. The Saints of Olivet will be trying to defend their claim to second place in the MIAA and hopes of a Co-Championship with conference leader HOPE alive. At the same time, Albion’s Brits can wrestle away a share of second place in the conference from the Saints with a victory.

As you would expect both teams feature high powered offenses and strong defenses, as the following numbers will attest.

Kicking off an hour earlier in Adrian Michigan, Siena Heights (#18 Nat., #3* TPR) will be facing off against visiting Marian (IN) the Mid States Football Association powerhouse. Marian is the conference leader, unbeaten (8 – 0, 5 – 0 MSFA M/E) and ranked #2 nationally. 

Speaking of conference bragging rights, the CFWU’s GLIAC CONFERENCE SPOTLIGHT GAME features the Warriors of Wayne State who will journey to Lubbers Stadium in Allendale MI this weekend to try to add their own brand of mayhem to the Grand Valley State calendar. The Lakers are in an unfamiliar position of looking up at both the Warriors and the Bulldogs in the standings. Wayne State (#8* TPR) has a hold on second place in the GLIAC, while the Lakers of GVSU are looking to put last week’s narrow loss in the Anchor Bone Classic behind them.

Meanwhile, the Warriors have proven themselves to be road warriors by winning 4 of their 5 games away from Tom Adams Field this season. Their only conference loss is to GLIAC Champion Ferris St.

The numbers and information on our other Games Of Interest this weekend:

Enjoy your weekend!

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Hope College Remains #1 In TPR(c) Ranks, Moves Closer To Inaugural Trophy Award!

First Ever Stacey Y. Dixon Memorial Award Goes To Ratings Winner!

November 13, 2019

By Tony Dixon, for COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP(c)

Ypsilanti, MI —

As the college football regular season in Michigan nears its end, a handful of teams are looking at the conference standings, with an eye on preparing for the post-season. Whether that post-season is a one-and-done bowl game or a chance at a run of games that could lead to a national championship, the TEAM PERFORMANCE RATINGS (c) or TPR(c) season draws to a close with the end of the regular season.

Barring a total collapse in its style of play in their final regular season game against Adrian this Saturday, Hope College will claim the first ever TPR(c) Championship.

Team Performance Ratings – Week # 10:

  1. Hope College (12.3 point average)
  2. Olivet College (8.8)
  3. Siena Heights (8.6)
  4. Ferris State (8.4)
  5. Concordia-AA (8.3)
  6. Albion College, Grand Valley State (7.9)
  7. U-M (7.8)
  8. Hillsdale College, Wayne State (7.6)
  9. Alma College (7.3)
  10. Michigan Tech. (7.1)
  11. Western Mich. (6.0)
  12. Saginaw Valley State (5.6)
  13. Michigan State (5.4)
  14. Eastern Mich. (5.2)
  15. Central Mich. (4.8)
  16. Davenport-GR (4.7)
  17. Adrian College (4.2)
  18. Northern Mich. (3.3)
  19. Kalamazoo College (3.1)
  20. Finlandia Univ. (1.0)
  21. Northwood Univ. (.9)
  22. Lawrence Tech. (.8)

The Stacey Y. Dixon Memorial Award and it’s accompanying trophy will be given to the Michigan based college or university team that has the highest Team Performance Rating (TPR) at the end of the regular season. Post season statistics are not used in the TPRs because not all teams will participate in a post season game or games.

The late Stacey Y. Dixon (Young) was the second oldest daughter of Dixon Media Group founder, Tony Dixon. She passed in December of 2014 at the age of 36, from complications of gestational diabetes. Plans are in the works to create a fund to do further research into the causes and preventative treatments for this condition.

“Stacey was a joy to know and be around, such a team player. In the early days of our video production service, she was always ready to tackle a project and worked tirelessly to see it to a successful completion,” states Tony Dixon. “This award and the system that it is built upon, is a testament to her drive and dedication to team success.”

“Our rating system and the award that goes to the season’s winner will be an ongoing project and the staple of our branded TV project, ‘COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP(c)’.”

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