Michigan State upset the No. 7 Michigan Wolverines in the Big House on Saturday, 14-10. In the third quarter, Michigan scored a touchdown to pull within four, but the Wolverines didn’t get any closer than that. Michigan State was able to run down most of the clock at the end, before a Michigan Hail Mary fell incomplete.
A key play that helped kill the clock: this run by MSU QB Brian Lewerke:
The play was reviewed and it stood as a first down. This isn’t as big as the controversial first down spot from last year’s Michigan-Ohio State game, but Wolverine fans will surely be talking about this as one of the reasons UM lost. That, and Michigan’s inability to score on the final drive of the game, with John O’Korn having to heave up a last-second Hail Mary attempt that was no good.
Michigan’s offense looked miserable early. Starting quarterback Wilton Speight hasn’t played, and ESPN’s Chris Fowler reported he has three fractured vertebrae and is likely out for the season. O’Korn started the game 10-of-19 for 112 yards in Speight’s place. This sums up the majority of the night pretty perfectly:
The last time MSU visited Ann Arbor, the Spartans won on a botched-punt runback on the last play of the game. That was one of the most shocking finishes to a game in the history of college football, and MSU’s return trip was exciting at the end, too.
MSU has regularly been a problem for its in-state rival when it’s faced the Wolverines as an underdog. The Spartans have ripped off a whole series of upset wins against UM since 1990, and they almost beat them in East Lansing last year, when the Spartans were terrible and would finish the year 3-9.
This year, the Spartans entered 3-1, while Michigan entered 4-0. The Wolverines have looked a bit iffy in games against Cincinnati, Air Force, and Purdue, so it’s not that shocking of a final score, especially since this is a rivalry game.
Entering Saturday, the all-time series was 69-35-5 in Michigan’s favor, though the Spartans have won seven of the last nine meetings. General rule of thumb for Michigan in this series might be to tell Vegas not to pick them, perhaps!
Michigan obviously still has a lot of its Big Ten schedule in front of it, with games against Penn State, Wisconsin, and Ohio State still to go. So there’s still a shot for them to make it to to the Big Ten Championship in December — this loss just makes it a little bit trickier, with no margin for error.
For MSU, upsetting the Wolverines, who several had pegged to potentially be undefeated for most of the season, is certainly a huge improvement from a 3-9 season just a year ago. Not bad at all for Mark Dantonio, to say the least. Speaking of Dantonio, he’s 8-2 in his last 10 games against Michigan. Sparty has games against Penn State and Ohio State remaining, too.