I just got home after the Michigan - Michigan State game in Ann Arbor. After
four straight losses to MSU, the Wolverines eked out a victory, 12-10, without scoring a touchdown. With this victory today over the in-state rivals, the Michigan Wolverines became the first team in college football to reach achieve 900 victories. It was fitting that this victory was against MSU and also a victory that broke that prevented the Spartans from getting their longest victory in this series.
It has been a tough year for the Spartans. After a banner 2011 season, there was great expectations this year. They have struggled to a 4-4 record and 1-3 in the Big Ten. Their defense has kept them in games but they have had trouble mustering enough offense. They did, however, score the only touchdown of the game. They also completely shocked Michigan with by faking a punt and running for a first down which led to their second score, a field goal, that gave them a 10-9 lead. Their defense was tough. They held Michigan to four field goals. For the third year in a row, they held Denard Robinson in check. He ran less than one hundred yards which is below his average. MSU did this with their talented defensive line and line backers. They all played their roles, stayed in their lanes, and hit Denard hard. Denard did break one long run. It looked like he was gone but the State defenders pursued, had the angle, and forced him out of bounds.
Michigan's defense was their strength as well in what was a great defensive
battle. They held State's great running back, Le'Veon Bell, to 68 yards which is about an equal amount under his average this season. State did do a great job keeping Denard in check. But, when it counted, with two minutes left in the game and Michigan down by one, Denard did what he had to do to get Michigan in position for Brendan Gibbons to kick the winning field goal with five seconds left in the game. It was great drama and a fitting end. If Michigan was to win this game, it should have been at the end of this tough and hard fought game.
No one on the Michigan team had experienced beating Michigan State. No
one on the Michigan State team had ever experienced losing to Michigan. Rivalries need the give and take. We won two, you won three, we won, and then you one. That is what fuels rivalries. Winning, or losing, six or more in a row takes most of the excitement out of a rivalry.
900 hundred wins is a great milestone in this storied program. It was a good win. It was a great game that could have gone either way. State could have won 10-9. They would have been elated. But, it went our way today. We were all happy to again be in the win column against our cross state rivals.
Go Blue. Go State. Good game.