Spartans upset No. 7 Wolverines 14-10 to reclaim Paul Bunyan Trophy
The Spartans' 14-10 win over No. 7 Michigan was close throughout-the game's largest lead was the 11-point margin Michigan State held for much of the second quarter-and between the rivalry and the weather, the entire second half seemed destined for a wild finish. Over the last 10 meetings, the Spartans are actually 7-3 overall and 9-1 against the spread. Validation? Versus Michigan? The Spartans are past the point of needing it.
O'Korn was 16 of 35 for 198 yards passing Saturday night and threw three interceptions. The game and momentum then changed on a Ty Isaac fumble. Whether it was Jim Harbaugh, offensive coordinator Tim Drevno or passing game coordinator Pep Hamilton, there was never any adjustment to call more short passes, slants, or any sort of misdirection plays that might move the pocket, give O'Korn more time and maybe utilize his skills better. The Wolverines slid all the way down to No. 16.
PLANNING A PAYBACK: Michigan won last year's matchup 32-23, ending a three-game losing streak in the series. Starting for the second time, Dowell recovered a fumble late in the first half to end a MI scoring threat, then had two interceptions in the second half. The Wolverines are now 1-4 against Michigan State and Ohio State under Harbaugh, and the Michigan faithful are starting to get restless. They held the Spartans scoreless in the second half - MI has allowed 14 points in the second half through five games and no points in the fourth quarter.
Michigan's Hail Mary pass from the 37-yard line fell incomplete.
"We're not done yet", linebacker Joe Bachie said. "I'm not going to say anything like Hart said, but it's definitely nice to get the win". He has just 29 yards over the last two games after putting up 336 to start the season.
FORT WORTH, Texas - Kenny Hill avoided a defender in the backfield and lunged forward through two more for a 3-yard touchdown run with 2:53 left and TCU remained the Big 12's only undefeated team. Lewerke also led the Spartans in the rushing game with 42 yards on the ground finishing the game with 254 yards of total offense. MI receiver Grant Perry led all receivers with five catches and 61 yards receiving. Michigan State heads to Minnesota next Saturday for another night game. He was asked about that record against rivals, and chose not to address it. Win or lose, teams will use this recipe until Speight or O'Korn steps it up.
Facing third-and-3 with 2:13 to play, Brian Lewerke dropped a shotgun snap, picked it up off the turf and took off to his left.
"We're becoming a good team", he said. "Coach D uses that as motivation".
Michigan and Michigan State fans reacting to an increase in security tonight after threatening letters were sent to Michigan State University's athletic department. "We were trying to run the ball".
"It's no secret", O'Korn said. "There was one point where there was a torrential downpour, but there's no excuses". That leads to up-and-down performances by his running backs and wideouts, because of the pressure put on by opposing defenses.