Desmond Howard On Michigan State: "They're Not A National Brand"
Oct 09, 2017, 00:31
Michigan Football (4-0, 1-0) will host Michigan State (3-1, 1-0) on Saturday night at the Big House.
This year, the Spartans entered 3-1, while MI entered 4-0. The Wolverines won in East Lansing a year ago. The only TD they gave up was a short-field situation after special teams gaffes. Michigan State took care of the ball well, thanks to the sure-handed Lewerke and a conservative game plan that didn't risk any chances with the wet conditions and a lead to protect.
Following heavy offseason attrition, Michigan State entered the fall with unknowns all over the field and relying on relatively young and inexperienced players.
Michigan State redshirt sophomore QB Brian Lewerke completed 11-of-22 passes for 94 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 61 yards and an additional score in Saturday's 14-10 upset of Michigan.
Nevertheless, the Wolverines had a shot to win in the final minutes after forcing the Spartans to punt for the 11 time. The Wolverines are undefeated on the season (4-0), and they're looking to keep their playoff hopes alive against the in-state rival Spartans. MI needed a miracle of its own on Saturday to beat the Spartans, but it wasn't to be.
Michigan State kept its top running back, Scott, out of the game. The Spartans and Wolverines combined for just 552 total yards in the contest.
Michigan's offense looked miserable early. For all the MI fans who wanted to see O'Korn take over for the injured Wilton Speight, the senior looked like a quarterback who hadn't played regularly in almost three years and was making his first start of the season. This time, the Spartans relied on their opportunistic defense, including two interceptions by safety David Dowell.
Then O'Korn found a wide-open Eddie McDoom ... but he dropped the ball.
MI quarterback John O'Korn's pass attempt into the end zone fell incomplete and the clock read triple zeroes. It fell to the ground incomplete, ending any hopes of a MI miracle. What they do is smother offenses and they are more suffocating as the game goes on. The play calling last night was horrendous. On the second possession of the half, it led to UM getting the ball at the Michigan State 33.
After losing a fumble on its first second-half possession, MI finally got on the board with a touchdown, taking advantage of good field position as Khalid Hill ran it in for a one-yard score with 8:09 left. MI turned the ball over five times including three interceptions thrown by John O'Korn.
With 3:00 to play in the first quarter, Michigan State trailed 3-0 before Wolverines sophomore linebacker Devin Bush Jr. was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Bachie played a big role again, a week after he recovered a fumble in the win over Iowa.
Regardless of the outcome Saturday night, MI showed it wasn't the No. 7 team in the country. Kansas State put its offense on the field, up 27-24 with 5:43 to play, but, rather than putting the game away, the Wildcats punted the ball away after a three-and-out.
As a MI fan, I've wondered for most of the season why McDoom hasn't seen as much playing time when he looked like a potential star a year ago. Another home loss to Michigan State was certainly not in the plans, especially for a team that has road games at Penn State and Wisconsin and a home date with Ohio State to come.
Costly penalties also did the Wolverines no favors in this game and for the 8th time in 10 games MSU beats MI.
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