Michigan State has bounced back with vengeance.
On Saturday, a group made up of about 20 players on the University of michigan's football squad stood in a circle, with their heads and arms interlocked during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" ahead of their rvalry match against Michigan State. "It's something Coach (Mark) Dantonio preaches all the time".
With one win, the Spartans got to both play spoiler to their archrivals and regain their national relevance that was lost so abruptly last season. "It played a huge role in this game".
The Spartans didn't have a first down in the second half until their final drive of the game, a possession that started with 2:13 and ended with a punt from the MI 47 that went through the end zone with 34 seconds left.
The Spartans (4-1, 2-0 Big Ten) have beaten MI eight times in a 10-year stretch for the first time in a series that dates to 1898. Our goal was four turnovers coming in and we exceeded that, so that was great to see. The Spartans were 3-9, including a 32-23 home loss to the Wolverines, then endured a tumultous offseason. Things got much worse in the offeseason, as three Spartans were dismissed for the role in an alleged sexual assault.
U-M moved the ball easily on its opening drive, marching 64 yards in 16 plays that took 6:56 off the clock.
With rain and storms forecasted to hit the Big House at some point in the 3 quarter, the Wolverines knew they had to come on fire in the 2 half.
Lewerke was 11 of 22 for 94 yards and a TD and ran 15 times for 61 yards and another score. Lewerke also led the Spartans in the rushing game with 42 yards on the ground finishing the game with 254 yards of total offense. For the first time in a rivalry that stretches back to 1898, the Spartans have beaten their rivals eight times in a 10-year stretch.
"We talk about this every week".
"The bye week will be about our academics, about getting as healthy as we possibly can be, there will be a little bit of young player development, and then obviously we'll spend some times cleaning up things that have given us issue", head coach James Franklin said after beating Northwestern, 31-7, on Saturday. All this also makes the under the strong play tonight. He finished 19 of 26 with a career-high 248 yards and one touchdown. Karan Higdon gained 65 yards on 12 carries for the Wolverines (4-1, 1-1).
Michigan's Hail Mary pass from the 37-yard line fell incomplete.
It was a crushing blow to the Wolverines' championship aspirations.
Jim Harbaugh's arrival attracted attention, locally and nationally, and his fans were confident he would find a way to beat the Spartans unlike his predecessors Brady Hoke and Rich Rodriguez.
Veronica Woods is a sophomore at the University of MI and she is anxious that, "people are still going to be starting at noon at the latest, and drinking for at least eight hours, that's just too much for one day". "We can't let this bring our team down for the rest of the season". Speight had struggled throughout the season as he only completed 54.3% of his passes while throwing two interceptions. "We'll learn from it, we'll grow from it and we'll move on".
Michigan's only touchdown came in the third quarter with a 1-yard run from Khalid Hill. MSU went into halftime leading 14-3.
Six plays later, Lewerke took off running under pressure and found a seam in the left side of the MI defense. Lewerke scored from 14 yards when he scrambled up the middle and dived into the end zone.
Michigan State was expected to bounce back at least to some extent in 2017, although nobody quite knew how the Spartans would climb with a completely re-tooled roster. But he was hardly the only MI player who didn't take care of the ball Saturday night.
The Wolverines had a 55-yard touchdown pass wiped out by holding penalty on their next possession. Despite the recent slump, the Wolverines are 69-36-5 in the series. Instead, the sophomore dropped Michigan's chance at a almost inexplicable victory in a game they didn't deserve to win.
The Wolverines now travel to IN to face the Hoosiers. One also has to assume that MI will get a big energy boost from the home crowd and will use it to outlast their in-state rival.
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