EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Mark Dantonio is understandably disappointed that his Michigan State Spartans, picked No. 13 before the season, are 5-6 and fighting for their postseason life Saturday at Minnesota. His team went through similar setbacks in 2009, when a 6-7 record was followed by back-to-back 11-win seasons, the first in school history. Even then, Michigan State didn't lose five conference games by a total of 13 points. Dantonio did promise some tweaks in his system, beginning with preparation for the program's sixth straight bowl game, assuming his team beats the Golden Gophers in a matchup of 2-5 Big Ten teams. He also mentioned changes to become more diverse on offense, starting with his quarterbacks being live for at least limited contact in spring ball. Kick off Saturday is at 3:30 p.m.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - Riley Reiff was one of the last players to leave the field Tuesday at Detroit's practice facility. That was appropriate, because the Lions' rookie offensive lineman could have quite a task on his hands this week - without a lot of time to prepare. Reiff may very well start for the Lions at left tackle Thursday against the Houston Texans. Jeff Backus, a mainstay on the offensive line for over a decade, is recovering from a hamstring injury, his streak of 186 starts in serious jeopardy. Reiff, a first-round draft pick this year, is preparing for whatever role awaits him on Thanksgiving. Backus was hurt in the first half of Sunday's loss to Green Bay, leaving Reiff to fill in. Backus did not participate in practice Tuesday. He's started every game so far in his 12-year NFL career. Kick off Thanksgiving Day Thursday against the Houston Texans at 12:30 p.m. Listen LIVE starting at 11:30 a.m. on 97.7 WTGV-FM.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - The Detroit Lions are benching wide receiver Titus Young for Thursday's game against Houston following what coach Jim Schwartz calls "unacceptable" behavior during Sunday's loss to Green Bay. Schwartz does not characterize the move as a suspension, but says Young was sent home from the team's practice facility Monday and will be inactive against the Texans. The coach does not say what Young specifically did wrong, but says there's no room for selfish behavior in a team sport. Young, a second-year receiver out of Boise State, has 33 catches for 383 yards and four touchdowns this season. He caught one pass for 24 yards Sunday. Young was involved in an altercation with teammate Louis Delmas last offseason. When he was in college, he missed most of the 2008 season for disciplinary reasons.
The 2012 Associated Press All-State High School Football Team (local players), which is selected by Michigan sports writers.
Nate Guitar, Croswell-Lexington
Josh Smith, Marysville
Bo Meldrum, St. Clair; Tyler Sergent, Croswell-Lexington; D.J. Burns, Marine City
Zeshawn Jones-Parker, Lapeer West
Joe Mini, Croswell-Lexington
Blake Biewer, St. Clair; Kevin Fitzsimmons, Marine City; Joe Perry, Lapeer East
Jake McKiernan, Richmond
Kyle Rachwal, Lapeer East
Quentin Buckley, Marine City
Nathan Greaves, Vassar
Eli Kraft, Harbor Beach
Brendan Ballard, Unionville-Sebewaing and Archie Naert, Reese
Cody Peyok, Reese, 5-10, 180, Jr.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Bob Saylor, Reese
(AREA) -- The Harbor Beach Pirates defeated the Muskegon Catholic Central Crusaders Saturday, Nov. 17 in the Division 8 High School Football Semifinals at Alma College 32-27. The Pirates advance to play Beal City for the Division 8 State Championship this Friday, Nov. 23rd at 10 a.m. at Ford Field.
Also Friday, in Division 2 at 1 p.m.-Muskegon vs. Birmingham Brother Rice, 4:30 p.m. Division 6-Ithaca vs. Constantine, 7:30 p.m. Division 4-Grand Rapids South Christian vs. Detroit Country Day.
Saturday, Nov. 24 at Ford Field beginning at 10 a.m. Division 7-Ishpeming vs. Detroit Loyola, Division 1 at 1 p.m.-Detroit Catholic Central vs. Detroit Cass Tech, Division 5 at 4:30 p.m.-Grand Rapids West Catholic vs. Portland, Division 3 at 7:30 p.m.-Grand Rapids Christian vs. Orchard Lake St. Mary's.
In the 8-Man State Championship game last Friday, Nov. 16 at Greenville High School, the Deckerville Eagles defeated the Bellaire Eagles 14-12. Congratulations to the Eagles and their coaches for an exciting season!
The North Branch Broncos Volleyball teams' fine season was ended at the hands of Lake Odessa Lakewood Saturday, Nov. 17 in the Class B Girls Volleyball Finals. Lake Odessa Lakewood won 3 games to 0.
(HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA) -- Brad Keselowski finished 15th in the Sprint Cup finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway and that was good enough to claim his first series championship. Roger Penske also collected his first owner's championship at stock car racing's highest level. The kid who stole the show at the season-opening Daytona 500 ended the year under the biggest spotlight of them all Sunday. Keselowski beat five-time champion Jimmie Johnson to deliver the first Sprint Cup championship to Penske Racing. He began the day with a 20-point lead over Johnson, who faded to 36th. Keselowski finished the season 39 points ahead of Clint Bowyer and 40 up on Johnson. Jeff Gordon won the race.
(EAST LANSING) -- Gary Harris scored 19 points, including 14 in a lopsided first half, to lead No. 21 Michigan State past Texas Southern 69-41 on Sunday in men's college hoops. Coach Tom Izzo's team also got good work from reserves. Harris' fellow freshmen Denzel Valentine and, in his first action after a lower-back injury, Matt Costello combined for 12 points, six rebounds, five assists and four blocked shots. Tuesday night the Spartans tip off against Boise State in East Lansing at 8 p.m.
The Michigan Wolverines are idle until next Tuesday in men's college hoops when they play host to North Carolina State in Ann Arbor at 7:30 p.m.
(DETROIT) -- Greg Monroe had 20 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Detroit Pistons to their first home win of the season, 103-83 over the Boston Celtics on Sunday night. The Pistons (2-9) had blown double-digit leads in each of their first three home games, but were never seriously threatened by Boston down the stretch. Jason Maxiell added 15 points for the Pistons, who had six players in double figures and shot 54.5 percent for the night. The Pistons are idle until Wednesday when they visit the Orlando Magic with tip off at 7 p.m.
(DETROIT) -- Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdown passes, including a 22-yarder to Randall Cobb with 1:55 left, and the Green Bay Packers came through with a 24-20 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday. Matthew Stafford couldn't put the Lions ahead on either of their last two drives in a game he'd like to forget. Stafford threw two interceptions - one of which was returned 72 yards by Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings for a go-ahead score in the third quarter - and lost a fumble. Green Bay (7-3) has won five straight and Detroit (4-6) has dropped two in a row. Thanksgiving Day Thursday, the Lions host the Houston Texans at Ford Field with kick off at 12:30 p.m. Pre-game at 11:30 a.m. on 97.7 WTGV-FM.
NEW YORK (AP) - For the first time in eight days, the NHL and the players' association are heading back to the bargaining table to try again to reach a deal that will end the two-month old lockout. Talks will resume on Monday, the 65th day of the lockout that has already wiped out 327 games and threatens the entire season if a settlement isn't reached soon. After turning down a suggestion from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to take a two-week break from negotiations, the union requested another meeting with the league that was scheduled Saturday. It will be the first bargaining session between the sides since Nov. 11, when a busy week of negotiating wrapped up with a session that lasted just over an over and didn't produce any results. All games through Nov. 30 and the New Year's Day Winter Classic have been called off. Another round of cancellations is expected this week if a new deal isn't reached.