EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan State coach Bobby Williams maintained his silence Tuesday about why quarterback Jeff Smoker is suspended, saying only that Smoker won't be playing this Saturday when the Spartans face archrival Michigan.
"It's an indefinite suspension, which means it's open-ended. He could come back or he may not come back," Williams said. Smoker was suspended last Thursday for an unspecified violation of team rules.
Williams said sophomore Damon Dowdell is scheduled to start at quarterback for Michigan State for the second straight game. He praised Dowdell's play against Wisconsin last weekend.
"I was really happy with the way Damon managed the game," Williams said.
Still, Williams acknowledged that the Spartans' three-game losing streak -- including Saturday's 42-24 loss to Wisconsin -- has the team very frustrated. The Spartans are now 3-5 overall and 1-3 in the Big Ten, where they're tied for eighth place.
"These guys went into the season with very high expectations and we haven't met up to the expectations we had for ourselves," Williams said. "Things just haven't gone our way."
Williams took the blame for his team's performance. But despite the chants of "Fire Bobby!" at Spartan Stadium last weekend, Williams said he doesn't think the losses will cost him his job.
"I am certainly not pleased with my performance this year, with our record ... But I feel we are moving the program in the right direction, with the things we are doing behind the scenes," he said. "And I fully intend to be the coach here, because I know that eventually this thing is going to turn around and go in the other direction."
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.