After a strong showing in the first half against Penn State, Michigan collapsed once again and now themselves at a lowly 2-5 record.
While Wolverine fans continue to struggle to watch this team play, the players and Head Coach Rich Rodriguez are staying positive.
"I think a lot is always made out of the emotional part of it. I addressed that yesterday. It's a ballgame. It's an event. It's not who they are. It's not life altering or anything. It's a game."
While Rodriguez has kept his rule of "24 hours and let it go" rule concerning past games, Michigan now has Michigan State to look forward to this week. The Wolverines have not lost to the Spartans since 2001, and many players have already predicted a victory this weekend.
"That's just, we're not going to lose to State," Junior Brandon Graham said, shaking his head. "We're going to work hard. We're going to win."
Standing in the way of a possible Wolverine victory will be the status of Quarterback Steven Threet. When Threet is in the game Michigan's offense has (at times) revealed much of its true potential. While not considered a runner, the 6'6", 230 lb Threet has proven to be a very solid option threat in the spread offense.
Threet injured his non-throwing elbow in the Penn State game, and was taken out. After being treated by the medical staff, he returned to the game, only to take another hit and exit once more.
That led to Nick Sheridan entering the game, with Michigan deep in it's own territory.
While the former walk-on has impressed many by making the team, it is obvious he cannot start on the D-I level. The offense seems to be dazed and confused when Sheridan enters, and that has yet to bode well for the Wolverines.
Coach Rodriguez has said that Justin Feagin, a more prototypical spread quarterback, has earned playing time, though he admits that Feagin does not know enough of the offense and has been limited at QB in practice.
"I don't think it's fair to burn a redshirt for just two or three plays a game. You have to weigh how many plays he would be in the game and also how mentally and physically ready he is, so we're still working with that each week." Rodriguez said.
Michigan will have many questions entering the State game this weekend.
Can they contain Javon Ringer? Ringer has rushed for 1,179 yards and 14 TD's so far this season.
Can the offense sustain drives after the first quarter? Michigan scores a majority of its points early in the game. And the spread offense is not designed to come from behind either.
Will Steven Threet play effectively? Threet has injured both elbows and though he's going to play Saturday, a big hit could effectively knock him out once more.
Will Brandon Minor continue to start? Minor had a great game Saturday, rushing for 117 yards and two TD's in the loss. Minor is strong, hard hitting, and quick. He hits the line and doesn't lose yards often, something McGuffie can't seem to do just yet.
What Michigan defense will show up? In the first quarter the wolverines were a group of disciplined, hard-hitting players. The secondary has been burned too often for the big play, but Michigan State isn't quite a Penn State offensively.
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