Michigan State's defense continues to show why it is one of the best units in the nation, absolutely shutting down the visiting Michigan Wolverines in a dominating 29-6 win on Saturday.
The two teams traded field goals for much of the first two quarters, but Michigan State was able to get into the end zone right before the half. With 23 seconds left in the second quarter, Connor Cook found Bennie Fowler for a 14-yard touchdown strike, giving the Spartans a 13-6 lead.
In the fourth quarter, with Michigan's offense still unable to get anything going, the Spartans put the icing on the cake with Cook's one-yard touchdown run, making one Michigan State lineman very, very happy.
Jeremy Langford put the icing on the cake with his 40-yard touchdown run later in the quarter, giving Michigan State the final 29-6 advantage.
After years of Michigan having the upper hand in the rivalry, Chris Vannini of The Only Colors says the tables have turned in the Spartans' favor.
Michigan's point total vs. MSU since 2004: 45, 34, 31, 28, 21, 20, 17, 14, 12, 6. U-M won the first four, and MSU has won five of the last six. This is the first time ever MSU has won three straight against U-M at Spartan Stadium, and they get to go for four next year.
This was a bigger beatdown than the 2011 game, at least from a defensive standpoint. The late TD from Langford resulted in a final score that was indicative of the play on the field. Simply put, MSU looks like the U-M teams of 10-15 years ago that U-M is still trying to get back to, save for the QB.
Anthony Mammel at Maize N Brew said that this game was a further solidifier of Al Borges' fate -- the offensive coordinator needs to go.
There are many reasons why the offense sputtered time and time again this Saturday. Michigan's interior offensive line is atrocious. Devin Gardner is prone to turnovers and has no run game to lean on when times get tough.
With all that said, Borges still needs to go. Michigan capitalized on an errant Connor Cook pass by coming out and running the ball, instantly putting itself in a hole and squandering any opportunity to score. Everyone in football knows what you do when you've got your opponent reeling: get freaking aggressive. Al Borges saw the eyes of Pat Narduzzi and became scared.
The game plan was poor in general. Michigan failed to exploit the flats against Michigan State's coverages, continued to use play action despite it being totally ineffective, and managed to run for the fewest yards in school history. ESPN continued to pound away at the idea that the team with the most rushing yards would win the game, only to watch as Michigan ran for -48 yards. Negative forty-eight.
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