WEEK 12 PROJECTION vs. RESULTS
Final Score: 44-10, Michigan by 34 over Michigan State
SP+ Projection: Michigan by 12.7 (+21.3)
CD Projection: Michigan by 17 (+17)
WEEK 12 RECAP vs. MSU
That game had a little bit of everything, but it ended with a Maize & Blue avalanche. After Michigan State scored early to take a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, Michigan roared back 44-3. This year’s Spartan team is not up the Mark Dantonio standard of this decade. However, I am sure that doesn’t make Jim Harbaugh’s third victory over MSU any less sweet.
Michigan’s offense was led by a career day for Shea Patterson. The senior quarterback was 24 of 33 for 384 yards and 4 touchdown passes. Today also marked the first game in 2019 that Michigan passed more than it ran in a victory. Josh Gattis called 55% pass plays in a 34-point blowout. This could signal another major step forward for #SpeedInSpace in the final two games. Offensively, 7.4 yards per play is their best mark of the season, and the 51% success rate is third best.
On defense, the narrative held pretty much as predicted. Michigan State had a solid game plan and back of tricks coming out of the gate. However, once they had shown Don Brown all that was hidden, MSU could not get much moving. The Spartans averaged 5.2 yards per play in the first quarter as they took their 7-0 lead. In the third quarter they accumulated almost as much yardage as the first (74 total yards), but needed 19 plays to do it. In the fourth quarter, Michigan State could only muster 28 yards on 13 plays (2.2 yards per play). Perhaps the most encouraging signal sent by the defense came from the bone-jarring hit Khaleke Hudson put on an MSU wide receiver on a crossing route. That signal was sent directly to Indiana and Ohio State, who decimated the Wolverines’ coverage with similar routes last year.
Whatever did not go well in the first bye week (before the Wisconsin game) definitely got corrected for the second bye week. Jim Harbaugh and his staff had Michigan executing as well as we’ve seen in 2019. This crescendo in November is a welcome sight. In his first four seasons, finishing each season on a low note has been a legitimate criticism of Harbaugh. Now the challenge is to give the proper respect and preparation for a very good Indiana team. Preparing for a road trap game will fall directly on Harbaugh and his staff. For now, enjoy the State Championship. It’s GREAT…to BE…a Michigan WOLVERINE!