Michigan vs Michigan State Football — Looking Back – 2019


Looking Back is a Special Feature by Jeff Cummins Highlighting Key Rivalry Games

The fifth installment of the series looking back at the football rivalry between Michigan and Michigan State takes us back just one year, to 2019. It was a Michigan home game on a chilly day, and the Wolverines were heavy favorites. But strange things have happened throughout the history of this rivalry, so nobody in maize and blue was making any assumptions.

Sure enough, Brian Lewerke drove the Spartans 60 yards and capped the drive with a 1-yard TD pass to Max Rosenthal to give Michigan State a 7-0 lead. It was the last time that a team coached by Mark Dantonio would ever have a lead against Michigan.

Wolverine fans were cautious, but still confident, and their confidence was justified in the second quarter, when Michigan took control of the game. Hassan Haskins scored from one yard out, and the game was tied. Then Shea Patterson connected with Nick Eubanks for a 5-yard TD pass and Quinn Nordin kicked a 28-yard field goal to give Michigan a 10-point lead at halftime.

In the third quarter, Patterson connected with Donovan Peoples-Jones, who sprinted down the sideline and dove over the pylon into the end zone, and the game was all but over. Matt Coghlin kicked a field goal for Michigan State that served strictly as window dressing for the final score, as Michigan routed Michigan State, 44-10.

As the game ended, Michigan players paraded the Paul Bunyan Trophy around Michigan Stadium, placing a Michigan helmet on it, a far cry from the days when the Paul Bunyan Trophy was regarded merely as a “locker room trophy.” The 2019 game was the last time Dantonio coached in the series. His lasting legacy, from the Michigan perspective, might be a greater appreciation for the game, and the trophy.

Thanks to YouTube poster WolverineDevotee and Fox Sports for the highlights of this game. As always, I own nothing, and this blog post is written strictly for the enjoyment of readers.

About Jeff Cummins

Jeff Cummins has written about football since 1998, including nine years with The Record of Hackensack, N.J. He frequently contributes feature stories to Touchdown Illustrated, an insert in the national college football game program, published by University Sports Publications, and he has also written the official pregame stories for the game programs of the Rose Bowl, the Cotton Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, the Gator Bowl, and the BCS National Championship game. He has written the preview story for the official program for the NHL Winter Classic at MIchigan Stadium, and numerous college basketball feature stories for College Hoops Illustrated, another game program insert published by University Sports Publications. In addition, he has written stories about theater, music, physical therapy, and newsletter marketing. He’s an avid Michigan football fan and long-time New York Jets season ticket holder, and he can be reached at jeffcummins@optonline.net.