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A holiday homecoming for Michigan State football LB Cal Haladay at Penn State

EAST LANSING — Cal Haladay grew up an hour and a half from Penn State’s Beaver Stadium. And Michigan State football’s trip there will be a homecoming in many ways.

His brother and two sisters both went to school in Happy Valley. Their father, Greg, was an All-American heavyweight wrestler for the Nittany Lions from 1986-90. Together, they all saw plenty of football among the cacophonous 106,000-plus fans who religiously make the trek to the mountains of Central Pennsylvania.

Come Saturday, though, Haladay knows where his family’s allegiances will be.

“They all wear the green, for sure,” he said Tuesday, “because they support me through everything.”

Michigan State linebacker Cal Haladay (27) reacts after an NCAA college football game against Illinois, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Champaign, Ill.

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Haladay and his teammates have been through plenty this fall. And they have one final chance to earn a bowl berth and extension into next month when the Spartans (5-6, 3-5 Big Ten) close the regular season in a must-win upset situation at No. 10 Penn State. Kickoff Saturday is at 4 p.m. (FS1).

“We gotta go take care of business,” said Haladay, a two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week in the past three games. “And that’s what we’ve been talking about — stay focused on Penn State. That’s all that really matters right now.”

That has been a challenge in recent weeks, with a glut of injuries on MSU’s defensive line and suspensions to eight defensive players, including linebacker Jacoby Windmon. The depleted defense led Mel Tucker for the second straight season to suspend full-speed tackling during game week.

It was something Tucker picked up during his decade in the NFL, to help protect players’ bodies in preparation for…


Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/holiday-homecoming-michigan-state-football-110702006.html?src=rss

Author : Detroit Free Press

Publish date : 2022-11-24 11:07:02

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