EAST LANSING — Harlon Barnett sounded more comfortable in his second week as Michigan State football’s acting head coach. Even after a dubious debut.
Discipline and details are the main points Barnett has been driving home to his players since Saturday’s 41-7 blowout loss to No. 8 Washington, one in which the Spartans allowed the most yards in single-game program history and failed to score until their final drive.
“We had to address the elephant in the room. We definitely addressed that,” Barnett said Tuesday. “We got our butts kicked on Saturday. OK, bam. Now, how do we improve from that and get better from that?”
It’s not the only obvious issues the Spartans (2-1) are dealing with as they prepare to host 3-0 Maryland on Saturday (3:30 p.m., NBC).
Michigan State’s acting head coach Harlon Barnett, left, talks with Dillon Tatum after a Washington touchdown during the second quarter on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing.
The spectre of Mel Tucker’s impending firing also hangs over the program as homecoming weekend arrives. Athletic director Alan Haller sent a letter to Tucker and his agent, Neil Cornrich, on Monday to begin the process of terminating the remainder of the 10-year, $95 million contract the 51-year-old coach signed in November 2021.
Barnett said Haller told the team in a meeting only with the players after Monday’s practice, then went into the football offices and informed the coaching and support staff of his decision to proceed with the firing process.
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“(Haller) hit me up the day before and said, ‘I want to meet with the team.’ And he didn’t say for what,” Barnett said. “And so he said, ‘In the morning. Before practice or after practice?’ I said, ‘After practice, let’s get…
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Author : Detroit Free Press
Publish date : 2023-09-19 21:38:47
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