Michigan vs Michigan State takeaways: Spartans upset No.13 rival Wolverines as three TD underdogs

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The theme for the 2020 college football season was that we shouldn’t assume anything. We should not assume that games will be played, nor should we assume that games that are played will have all the usual faces. And above all, we shouldn’t assume that previous results or performance mean anything from week to week.

Michigan State’s upset 27-24 victory over No.13 Michigan on Saturday was just the final recall. Last week we saw Michigan impressing in a 49-24 road victory over a ranked Minnesota team as Michigan State was busy returning the ball seven times en route to becoming the first. Big Ten team to lose a game against Rutgers since 2017. As a result, most people expected Michigan to have an easy victory on Saturday. The points gap closed with Michigan as a three touchdown favorite, according to William Hill Sportsbook, and that was after shrinking a few points over the week.

But none of that mattered on Saturday. The Spartans beat the Wolverines, and it wasn’t the result of a game of luck or many UM flips. Michigan State put up a four-game, 71-yard touchdown on his second possession of the game to take a 7-0 lead, and he’s never lagged behind.

Michigan State QB Rocky Lombardi finished with 323 passing yards and three touchdowns to lead the Spartans’ offense. Ricky White proved to be his favorite target, scoring eight receptions for an incredible 196 yards (24.5 yards per reception) with one touchdown.

Here are three takeaways from college football’s latest crisis this season.

1. Michigan State Has Never Been As Bad As Rutgers’ Loss Made It Look: Don’t get me wrong, losing to Rutgers is never good, no matter what the box’s score or the context might say. But last week’s 38-27 loss was a bit misleading in that it made Michigan State look like its worst enemy in that loss. The Spartans returned the ball seven times and constantly put their defense in bad positions. When you looked at the numbers, however, you saw that the Spartans’ defense played well on balance, and it showed up against Michigan.

The Spartans held the Wolverines to 452 yards that day, but 93 of those yards came in the dying minutes as Michigan State sat with a two-point lead, happy to let Michigan take 5 yards at a time to the during a game of 18. drive that melted precious 4.5 minutes off the clock. Aside from that drive, the Spartans’ defense allowed just 359 yards on the day.

Offensively, the Spartans were not what you would consider effective. They averaged just 3.3 yards per rushing rushing, and while Lombardi only finished 17 of 32, that reflected the game plan, not Lombardi’s overall accuracy. MSU attacked UM’s defense from the vertical in the passing game, and it worked. It was a much more aggressive approach than what we saw from the Spartans last week against Rutgers when Lombardi averaged 7.4 yards per attempt. On Saturday, he had an average of 10.1.

I don’t think this win means the Spartans will move on to compete in the Big Ten East – although, again, we shouldn’t assume anything – but it did prove that things weren’t as bad as they were. seemed so. last week.

2. Michigan high school will be a problem all season long: I mentioned Michigan State’s aggression in the passing game, and it was no accident. The Spartans saw something they felt they could take advantage of, and they continued to return to the well. While the Michigan defense performed well overall against Minnesota last week, its high school was vulnerable to the big game. The Golden Gophers, missing half their offensive line, still managed to win two games of passes at least 30 yards last week.

On Saturday, the state of Michigan had five. The Spartans completed 30, 31, 40, 50 and 53 yards against Michigan. Ricky White was at the receiving end of all except for the 53 yard connection (that was Jalen Nailor). If the state of Michigan can do this against Michigan’s defense, what will the state of Ohio do?

Plus, while the high school will take the heat for the performance, Michigan’s top seven must share the blame. Last week, the Wolverines defense had nine tackles for loss and five sacks against a makeshift Minnesota offensive line. Against Michigan State, they only managed two tackles for loss and haven’t sacked Lombardi once. It’s much easier to cover receivers when your front seven is under pressure from the QB, and Michigan haven’t had much on Lombardi.

3. The Big Ten is a total crapshoot game: I could live to regret that sentence, but as of the date of publication, the conference appears to be Ohio State and 13 other teams that could be anything. And given how everything else turned out, Penn State could prove that the state of Ohio is no different on Saturday night. But Michigan looked impressive last week and could be a contender in the Big Ten East. It’s hard to imagine that’s still the case after this performance. In the West, Wisconsin looked like a heavyweight against Illinois, but have now had to call off a game due to a COVID-19 outbreak and will be at a minimum in their third-place quarterback if they can return. next week. Minnesota, which won 11 games last year, is 0-2. Penn State could be 0-2 at the end of the night.

Who knows what’s going on from here ?!

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