Yesterday was not a day that Michigan fans want to relive at all, as the Wolverines were completely dominated by the Spartans in a 29-6 loss.
With the victory, Michigan State now controls their own destiny in the Legends Division as they lead the conference with a 5-0 record. Next week is a bye for the Spartans before two consecutive tough road games against Nebraska and a struggling Northwestern team before the home finale against Minnesota. A division win would lead to a matchup in the Big Ten Championship Game against Ohio State with a BCS Bowl on the line.
Back to the game, Michigan showed that they still have a lot of work to do to return to their previous glory, but this wasn’t about Michigan’s shortcomings. This game was about Michigan State’s ability to key in on those shortcomings and exploit them all game long.
I’ve said it once, twice, three times and I’ll say it again, if Michigan State’s offense can score just 21 points in a game, they will win. The Spartans have a National Championship caliber defense and they showed it on Saturday afternoon.
Michigan had a total of -48 yards rushing on Saturday, the worst in school history. Seven sacks for -49 yards and 22 carries for +1 yard. One yard rushing the whole game is complete dominance, no matter what. Brady Hoke had this to say after the game:
A lot of negative yardage plays. There were some pretty good runs once in a while, but when you snap the ball for a 20-yard loss and get sacked I don’t know how many times, your yardage part of it isn’t very good… You put yourself behind the 8-ball, not executing and then you’re forced into doing things you don’t want to do.
The defense was able to batter Devin Gardner all day and his late fourth-quarter interception was caused by nothing more than not having the strength to force a pass into coverage. Michigan State came right up the gut on the Michigan offensive line whenever they wanted to and Gardner had nowhere to go.
As for the heavily criticized offense they played great despite the weather circumstances. Connor Cook put up decent stats in the rain, 18/33 for 252 yards and one touchdown and interception, while Jeremy Langford lead the team on the ground with 26 carries, 120 yards and a touchdown. Bennie Fowler had the touchdown reception along with six receptions and 75 yards while Tony Lippett had five receptions and 62 yards.
In the end, linebacker Denicos Allen said it best, “When we get on the field, it’s us versus them… You can call us what you want — little brother, big brother — but when it’s on the field, we show who’s the big brother and who’s the little brother.”
So what do you think college football fans, does MSU deserve to be a legitimate contender to Ohio State or was yesterday’s game less impressive than I’m giving credit for? Let us know at DetroitSportsBloggers.com or on Facebook and Twitter.