Sorry everyone, but this will be a short quick read, because words really cannot describe what happened yesterday in Ann Arbor. Michigan State took it to a 17th ranked, undefeated Michigan team 34-17, squashing all this talk about how the Wolverines can’t be stopped and how Denard Robinson may run for 2,000 yards. Instead, all the talk was about how MSU completely handled a so-called high powered offense, shutting the Wolverines down in the 2nd half, by holding them to only 7 points. Michigan State improved to 6-0 for the first time since 1999, moving up to #11 in the Coaches Poll. Like I said before, it was also the first time that MSU has beaten Michigan three times a row, since 1965-1967. I was very proud to be a Spartan yesterday and I cannot even do this game justice by writing about it, so I am just going to take some time and thank a few people.
First, I would like to thank the whole defense for ending Denard Robinson’s Heisman campaign early and all the hype that came along with it. The defensive line was impressive all game, holding the “vaunted” #3 rushing attack to 162 yards (or 162 below their season average). The linebackers, as usual, were all over the field, making plays in the run and pass game. Finally, a great big thanks to the secondary and the three interceptions they produced yesterday. When MSU needed a big play on defense, it was the secondary that stepped up and delivered. Safety Trenton Robinson had a huge interception in the end zone to halt a scoring drive for U of M, while Chris L. Rucker came out of nowhere to snag a Robinson pass and put an end to any momentum the Wolverines were beginning to muster.
Thank you O-Line! You guys have been under appreciated and overlooked this whole year and I would like to give you some props. The run game would be nowhere near as good as it is right now without this impressive offensive line. This unit showed up again yesterday, manhandling and wearing down a pretty decent front four for the Wolverines. Thank you Edwin Baker, Le’Veon Bell and Larry Caper. It is now a three handed monster that teams will have to deal with as the season goes on. They took advantage of their outstanding offensive line, rushing for a combined 249 yards. They continue to create big plays for the offense, with their ability to run through tackles, their explosion through the hole and their toughness in gaining yards after contact. A great example of this imposing unit was on a 4th quarter play, where MSU was facing a 3rd and 3, with four minutes to go in the game. Everyone in the stadium knew that MSU was going to run the ball, including Michigan coaches and players. Therefore, U of M had 9 defensive players in the box, in which Larry Caper broke off a 5 yard run for a first down. The offensive line blew the Wolverines off of the ball, while Caper broke a tackle at the first down line and continued through to gain 3 more yards. That play summed up the whole game, with MSU just being more physical than their counterpart.
Last, thank you Kirk Cousins and the wide receiver core, for taking advantage and beating up on a weak and downright terrible secondary for the Wolverines. Cousins was again outstanding against a top-ranked team, throwing the deep ball with great accuracy and hitting open receivers in stride. Then, when the wideouts did get the ball in their hands, they knew what to do with it. They made several Wolverine defenders miss at the point of attack, allowing themselves to gain more yards and in some cases, critical first downs.
Michigan State put up 536 yards of total offense. Cousins ended the day with 284 yards on 18 completions, with 1 touchdown. Baker led the Spartans rushing attack with 149 yards on 22 carries. He also broke a 61 yard touchdown run in the 2nd quarter. Mark Dell, who was spectacular yesterday, caught 3 balls for 93 yards and 1 touchdown. The defense for the Spartans held U of M to 377 yards of total offense, well below their season average.
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Written by David Lesmeister