The Spartans weather the storm and beat Michigan What does it all mean?
Michigan State found a way to get by Michigan in the awful conditions. The Spartans really might be back.
Michigan State 14, Michigan 10
Prediction: Michigan 27, Michigan State 16
Line: Michigan -10 o/u: 39.5
Serena beats Venus. Again.
Michigan State found a way. Michigan has the better defense, the more talented players, and has more going for it overall as a program in terms of revenue and attention. But under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State is better at the gut-check moments.
The conditions were awful, nothing was going to work quite right, and winning this was going to require a whole lot of tweaking. Dantonio’s team figured it out. Harbaugh’s team didn’t.
The defenses were great. Michigan State’s defense was better in the slop and the rain. It would’ve been nice to put the game away with three picks of John O’Korn, but the Spartan O didn’t turn the ball over, and Michigan turned it over five times.
Jim Harbaugh is now 1-4 vs. Michigan State and Ohio State. That’s really, really not okay.
It’ll be easy to blame John O’Korn. He only completed 16-of-35 passes for 198 yards and three picks, but he didn’t get any help whatsoever, and he had to press a bit. There wasn’t any running game to help the cause, and when he almost came up with a few magical plays on the final drives, out came the dropsies from the receivers.
Brian Lewerke doesn’t do anything flashy. He couldn’t throw all that well in the rain and wind, but he led the team with 61 rushing yards and a touchdown. And in the bad conditions, he didn’t throw a pick.
Can Michigan State really win the Big Ten East? It still has to go to Ohio State, and it still has to face Penn State, but the team at least knows it can hold up against the big boys. There has to be more firepower, and the running game has to do more, but beating Michigan at Michigan and taking down Iowa is a good start.
Michigan is still alive, but it’s in big trouble. Not only does it have to go to Penn State, but it has a dangerous game at Indiana to deal with, a date at Wisconsin late in the season, and then the showdown against Ohio State. The offense isn’t good enough to be perfect the rest of the way out.