My posts are primarily compromised of recaps: straight facts and a tidbit of my evaluation or opinion.
What we just witnessed in Ann Arbor was nothing short of history. Nothing short of perhaps alchemy. And nothing that won’t be sucked dry by ESPN Classics in the future.
Leading 23-21, a fumbled snap by Michigan punter Blake O’Neill with :11 left would be left on the ground for taking, only for the Wolverines to watch MSU’s Jalen Watts-Jackson return it 38 yards and no time remaining. The Spartans would reign victorious in Ann Arbor, 27-23.
As for Michigan fans: sullen, sunken, aghast.
They knew that accountability had to be held responsible. And the Michigan-Michigan State melee was nothing short of poetry in motion. Exactly how you would draw it up, per se.
Frankly, it was a game constructed off of momentum, if you want the truth.
The Wolverines fended off a 16-play, eight-minute drive by the Spartans towards the end of the opening frame, and took that next possession down the field, topped off by a Sione Houma touchdown run. The theme progressed midway through the second quarter, the Wolverines defense took a blow as linebacker Joe Bolden was called for a questionable targeting call on Spartans quarterback Connor Cook.
You be the judge of the ruling, but even Michigan State fans were flabbergasted by the call.
For a defense shorthanded in the first half without linebacker John Ross, the back seven was exploited at times by Cook and his receiving corps, primarily wideout Aaron Burbridge, who caught nine passes for 132 yards. Cook finished with 328 yards through the air, which immensely tops production of opposing quarterbacks for the Wolverines. Michigan’s secondary was plagued by a batch of holding or pass interference calls alongside a steady trend of failing to get their head around on intermediate to deep routes.
On the other side, it’s all about what could have been for Michigan late in the fourth as quarterback Jake Rudock failed to connect with a wide open Jehu Chesson down the seam, ultimately an overthrown ball. Rudock produced a fair statline with 15/25 for 168 but the tally in the loss column is something the maize and blue lust, not statistics.
With playoff hopes merely wiped, the Wolverines will travel to Minnesota next weekend while the Spartans host the Indiana Hoosiers.