University of Michigan football loses in upset to MSU

Zak Everett, Reporter

Michigan State upset arch rival Michigan 27-24 to capture the Paul Bunyan Trophy. Michigan State walked into the Big House as a three-touchdown underdog, and was coming off one of the ugliest losses in recent memory last week to Rutgers, while Michigan was coming off a huge win, beating a then top 25 Minnesota team on the road. This looked like it was all set up for Michigan to beat Michigan State for the third year in a row, but to everyone’s surprise that didn’t happen. This wasn’t a fluke either. Michigan State was the better team throughout the game: in fact, Michigan State led the entire game.

If I had to point to one reason MSU won, or one reason Michigan lost (depending on how you look at the game), it was how Michigan State targeted Michigan’s corners. Michigan’s Defensive Coordinator Don Brown plays man-to-man defense. He loves to leave his corners on an island. The problem with that is when you can’t get a consistent pass rush, you are going to leave your cornerbacks alone against talented receivers for too long. 

Michigan is also very young and inexperienced at cornerback, and Michigan State took advantage of that. Michigan state had five plays that went 30+ yards to Michigan’s zero. Freshman receiver Rocky White had a great day, getting 196 receiving yards and a touchdown. Rocky Lombardi also arguably had his best performance of his career going 17-32 for 323 yards and three touchdowns. 

Michigan State jumped out to a 7-0 lead, and while Michigan responded tying the game twice once in the mid way through the third quarter at 17. Michigan State then responded with 10 straight points to take a 27-17 lead to seal the game. Michigan got a late touchdown but failed the onside kick, and Michigan State snapped its two-game losing streak against Michigan and got the upset victory.