Michigan 49 Michigan State 0 – Game 8 Recap


Final Score: 49-0, Michigan by 49 over Michigan State
SP+ Projection: Michigan by 19.5 (+29.5)
CD Projection: Michigan by 27 (+22)


GAME 8 RECAP vs. Michigan State

Another team decided to create a game plan to stop the Michigan run game. While Michigan managed to hit the magic number 50% success rate on the ground, the Spartans held the Wolverines to 2.8 yards per run play (stats removed once the score was out of hand). Fortunately for Michigan, JJ McCarthy may be the best QB in the country. McCarthy had no problem throwing the team on his back and slaughtering the Spartan defense, finishing 21-27 for 287 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2+ quarters of action. Colston Loveland caught 2 of those touchdowns on twin 22-yard receptions, while AJ Barner and Roman Wilson also found the end zone. JJ and the starters were so efficient that Michigan’s depth players were able to play almost the entire second half.

On the other side of the ball, Jesse Minter and Steve Clinkscale finally put the finishing touches on a shutout for the Michigan defense. For the second time in B1G Ten play, the defensive unit outscored the opponent’s offensive unit thanks to another Pick-Six by captain Mike Sainristil in the 3rd quarter. Linebacker Junior Colson had a great bounce back game, leading the team in tackles with 11. Edge player Braiden McGregor led in the tackles-for-loss (TFL) column with 1.5. Eight different players made a play in the Spartan backfield as the Wolverines accumulated 8 TFLs total on the night.

All of the special teams units combined to execute cleanly with no major mistakes, which was the primary objective against an overmatched rival. The main item of note was that Tyler Morris seems to have seized control of the punt return role. He also made a good decision to field a bouncing punt, and did so cleanly and avoided taking a major hit in the process. I look forward to future explosive plays from Morris as a returner.

A road game against a bitter rival amidst major off-field distractions posed a major threat to derail Michigan’s special season to this point. Instead, the Wolverines seemed even more locked in and focused on the task at hand. It was another dominant performance in a season full of similar games against overwhelmed foes. This one was the most complete decimation to date, and I am glad they saved such a beat down for Sparty. Next is a bye week to rest and heal for the pivotal November stretch of B1G Ten games. Onward!

About Clint Derringer

@clint_derringer on Twitter U-M B.A. Sport Management & Communications ‘05 U-M M.S. Program & Project Management ‘18