Michigan Football: Winners and Losers from Wolverines' Loss vs. Michigan State

Nick Kostora@@nickkostoraContributor IIIOctober 17, 2011

Michigan Football: Winners and Losers from Wolverines' Loss vs. Michigan State

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    The Paul Bunyan Trophy resides in East Lansing for the fourth year in a row.

    The Michigan State Spartans exposed the Michigan Wolverines in every facet of the game.

    Denard Robinson and the Michigan offense never developed any kind of rhythm and the Spartan defense showcased why they are one of the premier units in college football.

    Michigan State was not perfect, but they did what it took to get the victory.

    Let's look at the winners and losers from the showdown at Spartan Stadium.

Winner: Edwin Baker

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    Edwin Baker the "Touchdown Maker" stepped up this week in a big way for the Spartans.

    He rushed for 167 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries.

    Baker set the tempo for the entire Spartans offense.

    Kirk Cousins and the passing game never really got going as MSU only produced 120 yards through the air.

    However, a balanced attack was not necessary with Baker averaging 6.4 yards a carry.

Loser: Mike Martin

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    Where has Mike Martin been all season for the Wolverines?

    The star defensive tackle has under-produced from Game 1 and he was at it again against the Spartans.

    Martin accounted for only two solo tackles and zero sacks. For the season, he is yet to record a sack in any game.

    As a 2010 Second Team All Big Ten selection, Martin was expected to be a dominating force in the middle for Michigan. Thus far, that has not come to fruition.

Winner: Michigan State Senior Class

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    To beat Michigan in four consecutive years is an accomplishment that should not be taken lightly by the Michigan State seniors or anyone else for that matter.

    Detractors will highlight the fact that Michigan has been going through a rebuilding phase, but that should take nothing away from what the Spartans have done.

    The last two seasons, Michigan has come into this game undefeated before losing to Michigan State.

    Winning four straight games in any rivalry is difficult and that holds true in the battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy.

Loser: Michigan Senior Class

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    This group of seniors for Michigan has been through a lot.

    They have had two losing seasons, never beat Michigan State or Ohio State, changed head coaches and they are yet to win a bowl game.

    It is indisputably tough to win right away when going through the coaching carousel as this group has done.

    At Michigan, however, more is expected out of a graduating class.

Loser: Denard Robinson

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    Denard Robinson is an explosive athlete. Any analyst in college football will tell you as much, but against Michigan State, his quarterbacking ability was put in serious question.

    The wind was an obvious factor, but Robinson consistently overthrew receivers or missed them completely.

    He made a few plays running the ball, though backup Devin Gardner seemed to be the preferred option for Coach Brady Hoke when it came to throwing longer passes.

    Robinson's standing as the starting quarterback is not in question after one bad performance, but his ability to play the position at a high level certainly is.

Winner: Devin Gardner

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    It is tough to find a winner that came out of this game for Michigan, but Devin Gardner may be the exception.

    He did not play well against the Spartans. He was 3-for-7 for 45 yards.

    Within that fact, however, is the reason he is a winner. He attempted seven passes.

    Gardner having a chance to play and actually throw the ball in an important rivalry game is a testament to the trust Brady Hoke already has in him.

    Gardner is clearly raw and has plenty of room for improvement, but having the chance to take snaps in such a meaningful game can go a long way in his development.

Winner: Keshawn Martin

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    Keshawn Martin is the perfect example of a boom or bust player.

    In the first quarter, he dropped a long pass from Kirk Cousins that likely would of resulted in six points.

    How did he respond to this mistake? By catching two touchdowns in the third quarter.

    Martin only returned one punt for 13 yards, but his versatility and play making ability were clear assets to the Spartans victory.

Loser: Brady Hoke

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    Brady Hoke had his first test against Michigan's biggest in state rival and lost.

    There is no way to not consider him one of the game's biggest losers.

    Beating Notre Dame is great, but even Rich Rod did that pretty consistently.

    Hoke will have time to correct mistakes, but this loss will sting for awhile.

    His next chance to really redeem himself will come when Michigan plays their biggest rival, Ohio State, at the end of the season.