Michigan State upsets No. 7 Michigan: The Good, the Bad, the Dirty


Michigan State

The Only Colors

Unranked Michigan State stunned No. 7 Michigan 14-10 in a game that was supposed to continue a turning point for the Wolverines after a decade in which the Spartans have gone 8-2 against self-proclaimed “big brother”. Moreover, Michigan now hasn’t won at home since 2012 when the Wolverines were able to beat an Andrew Maxwell led Michigan State team without scoring a touchdown.

It was really an ugly game on both sides and the rain didn’t help two offenses that were struggling to put points on the board coming into the week. Nonetheless the outcome did make for an interesting, Good, Bad and Dirty recap.

The Good: The Michigan State… defense?

Michigan fans aren’t going to find many things good about this game however what was pretty ironic was the Michigan State defense out playing that vaunted Michigan defense. Sure it wasn’t an apparent difference and it wasn’t that the Spartans just totally dominated John O’Korn and the rest of the Wolverine offense. In fact Michigan had more first downs (17-13) was more efficient on third down and had more total net yards than the Spartans (300-252).

The difference was the Michigan State defense applying adequate pressure to either force fumbles or force John O’Korn to make a mistake in the passing game. In total Michigan State recovered both of Michigan’s fumbles and were able to get O’Korn to throw three interceptions while sacking him four times.

Player of the Game: Michigan State linebacker Joe Bachie

The Bad: Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers…

It doesn’t matter if you’re the worst team in FBS or the seventh ranked team in the country. When you turn the ball over five times, you’re presenting yourself with an almost insurmountable task of trying to achieve a win. The Michigan offense was good for three interceptions thrown and two fumbles, both of which they lost.

In essence the Wolverines are lucky this wasn’t a more embarrassing outcome, thanks to their defense. And sure you can probably make the argument Michigan lost this game more so than Michigan State won it but it’s not like turnovers weren’t already a Michigan issue heading into this game.

Deflated Game Ball: Michigan quarterback John O’Korn

The Dirty: Jim Harbaugh still sucks against Michigan’s rivals

If there’s one thing Jim Harbaugh has done for Michigan is return a sense of hype to the team that was lost during the Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke eras. However at some point you have to end up living up to that hype which is something that may be beginning to elude the Harbaugh program.

During his tenure thus far, Harbaugh is now 1-3 against Michigan’s two biggest rivals, Michigan State and Ohio State. He’s also 13-3 at home midway through his third season with the Wolverines which seems good and it is. However those three losses once again come to either the Spartans or Buckeyes, which isn’t good especially when we’re dealing with a program that puts such an emphasis on these types of rivalry games.

Plus, if Michigan is ever going to hope to play for a Big Ten title, a spot in the playoff and a chance to play for the National Championship, it’s their rivalry games they’ll have to win, something Harbaugh has shown an inability to do.

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