Maize and Blues: Michigan's Anemic Offense Dooms Them in East Lansing
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For the first time since the 1959-1962 stretch, Michigan State has beaten their "Big Brother" for four straight seasons. This leaves Michigan fans just wondering if the Wolverines will have another mid-season meltdown that has plagued them the last two seasons after losses to the Spartans.
I can admit I was proven wrong. Statistically, Michigan State came into this game with the top ranked defense in all the land, but because they have endured such a meager schedule up to this point, I wasn't buying into their overall quality as a defense.
I was definitely wrong.
To hold Michigan's offense to 250 total yards is a great feat, just because of how many offensive weapons the Wolverines have. This Spartan defense sacked Denard Robinson on multiple occasions and contained Michigan's running game like no other.
So what does this game say about Michigan at this point in the season?
Well, this game really proved that Michigan has some work to do on both sides of the ball. Offensively, this team was nothing more than anemic. Denard Robinson was just 9-of-24 passing for 123 yards, and carried the ball 18 times for 42 yards, which is a 2.3 average.
Once again, Robinson's ill-advised decision-making led to the demise of the Wolverines after throwing an interception for a touchdown with just over four minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Defensively, Michigan did well containing the pass, only surrendering 120 yards to Spartan quarterback Kirk Cousins, but containing the run was a different beast for Michigan to deal with.
Much like the last two seasons against the Spartans, Michigan struggled containing Michigan's State's running game, as Edwin Baker ran for 167 yards on 26 carries.
How many games will Michigan lose this season?
This game didn't bode for an incredible amount of offense by any means, but in the second half, Michigan State did a good job of controlling the clock and wearing Michigan's young defense down in the running game.
I was rather surprised at how closed this Michigan offense was today. It seemed as if offensive coordinator Al Borges didn't exploit his playbook. Maybe it was just because Michigan State's defense is so good. It was just, for lack of a better word, weird to see such a talented Michigan offense falter so much today.
Not to worry, although, Michigan faithful. Brady Hoke will not allow this team to falter. He understands the Michigan way, and he understands how important it is to these players, alumni and fans that Michigan is a national powerhouse. This team will regroup and get better.
The Wolverines have a much-needed bye week next, when the team can regroup, and Denard Robinson can heal whatever injuries he endured today. Michigan then faces Purdue the week after in the Big House, a game in which I can foresee Michigan unleashing some frustration.
The rest of the Wolverines' schedule is rather favorable, so I expect this team to rally around each other and win. Don't count out the Wolverines for a Big Ten Championship Game appearance yet.
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