RichRod: Stay the course Print
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Wednesday, 15 October 2008 12:27
NCAAF Headline News

 It's a sign of the times that even before Michigan was beaten by Toledo, there was already a Web site calling for the firing of first-year coach Rich Rodriguez.
Yes, someone wanted him gone before he coached in his sixth game.
Still, an embarrassing 13-10 loss to the Rockets was particularly galling for Wolverines fans. It was the first time Michigan has lost in 25 games against a Mid-American Conference school, and it came in the first time the two teams met.
Toledo, which was paid $500,000 to make the 43-mile trip to Ann Arbor, came into the game with a 1-4 record, a week after a 31-0 homecoming loss to Ball State.
The news doesn't get any better for the guys in winged helmets, either.
Michigan (2-4, 1-1 Big Ten) has its worst record through six games since 1967 - the school's last losing season. And the next two games are against No. 3 Penn State and No. 20 Michigan State, with games against three more one-loss teams to follow. That may be enough to end Michigan's 33-year bowl streak, the longest in the nation.
an interview for Monday Night Football wearing a Penn State T-shirt.
The Web site makes it handy for RichRod haters. It has a clock counting down the four years left on the contract of LSU coach Les Miles, a former Michigan assistant.
For now, it's up to Rodriguez to turn things around.
``It's easy to waver,'' he said this week. ``I know there's a lot of people disappointed, a lot of fans disappointed. ... We've got to stay the course.''
Oh, by the way, while Michigan tries to forget the 13-10 loss, Toledo is reducing the $19 price for its general admission tickets to its next home game, Oct. 25 against Central Michigan. They'll cost $13.10.
DEADHEAD: Dude, Penn State CB Lydell Sargeant is a fan of the Grateful Dead, too.
A drummer in his spare time, Sargeant and several teammates met several members of the iconic rock band before a concert Monday at the Penn State's Jordan Center. Sargeant is especially a fan of Dead drummer Mickey Hart.
``It was cool. The Dead, they're probably outdated a little bit as far as my age group,'' Sargeant said. ``We just shot the breeze, asked questions. They're really cool, down to earth guys.''
It's been an eventful week for Sargeant, who had two interceptions in the Nittany Lions' 48-7 rout of Wisconsin on Saturday.
The concert was two days later. He didn't get a chance to jam with Hart, though.
that good,'' Sargeant admitted.
BOO BIRDS: Purdue coach Joe Tiller on fans who boo college players: ``They are believers of stinking thinking. ... If their life revolves around their ability to rip a young person, then there's something intimately wrong with that person. There's something wrong with their own self esteem.''
CROSSING THE BORDER: Michigan State, which plays Ohio State on Saturday, relies heavily on natives of the Buckeye state.
Coach Mark Dantonio is a native of Zanesville. RB Javon Ringer is from Dayton and QB Brian Hoyer is from North Olmsted.
In all, 24 current Spartans are from Ohio - including P Aaron Bates, WR B.J. Cunningham, OL Rocco Cironi, LB Greg Jones, DT Justin Kershaw and DBs Danny Fortener and Chris L. Rucker.
``You get a little extra geared up for that,'' Dantonio said. ``It adds a little bit of significance to it and makes it a little bit fun.''
NO GIFTS: If Northwestern is to contend for the Big Ten title, it will need to force more turnovers. The Wildcats had zero takeaways in their first loss of the season to Michigan State last week, the fourth time this season Northwestern has forced one or fewer turnovers.
Coach Pat Fitzgerald said his team missed several opportunities to get the ball.
back to stripping the ball in practice, working on recovering the ball, working on getting your hands up and tipping the ball as a front, breaking on the ball and catching the ball. It's always a point of emphasis for us. But we need to take the ball away; we need to gain some possessions for our offense. Our inability to do that on Saturday was really costly.''
DOWNHILL FROM HERE: Carson Wiggs' first field goal at Purdue was one for the record books.
The 53-yarder was the longest in school history, and it helped Purdue avoid getting shut out in a 16-3 loss to Ohio State last Saturday.
Wiggs, a freshman, got the job after Chris Summers missed two field goals and an extra point against Penn State. Wiggs responded with the fourth-longest field goal in the nation this year.
Wiggs' three career attempts have been from 60, 53 and 52 yards.
Summers held on to his punting job, but even that went downhill against the Buckeyes. He had a punt blocked and returned for the game's only touchdown.
SYMPATHY CALL: Illinois coach Ron Zook has some idea of what Tommy Bowden's going through this week.
Zook, who says he has known Bowden for years, said he called Bowden after he was pushed out by Clemson on Monday. Florida fired Zook in 2005 midway through the season.
now in his third year with the Illini. ``And it'll be the best thing that will ever happen to him. Everything happens for a reason.''
QUICK-HITTERS: Joe Paterno has now led Penn State to a 7-0 start 11 times. ... Players of the week: Penn State QB Daryll Clark; DEs Willie VanDeSteeg of Minnesota and Aaron Maybin of Penn State; Michigan State K Brett Swenson. ... Penn State K Kevin Kelly needs just six points to become the leading kick-scorer in Big Ten history. ... Purdue's Curtis Painter became only the fourth Big Ten QB with 10,000 career passing yards.
AP Sports Writers Cliff Brunt and Larry Lage, and Associated Press Writers David Mercer, Tim Martin, Joe Esse and Genaro Armas contributed to this report.

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