Michigan 44 MSU 10 – Week 12 Recap


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 Five Factors box score


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!

By the Numbers: Week 12 vs. MSU


During the Week 11 Bye, we looked at 2018 & 2019 through 9 games, and we kept an eye on what to expect in the final 3 games.

NEXT UP: vs. Michigan State: 35th, 9.8

PREGAME SP+: Michigan by 12.7, Michigan Win Probability 77%
Bill Connelly’s metric system is now dialed in with eleven weeks worth of data.  With that said, the SP+ spread has moved in Michigan’s direction by only 1.2 points, with a small 2-point bump in Win Probability.

Michigan Offense (43rd) vs. Michigan State Defense (11th) 
Michigan’s offense has not been quite as good as expected, but the Spartan defense hasn’t either.  When I have watched Michigan State games in 2019, it feels an awful lot like watching the Wolverines in 2017.  This defense is good, but they just cannot maintain a high level of play for a full 60 minutes. A lot of that is because the offense does not give them breaks in time of possession or field position.  But, the Michigan State defense is also prone to making mistakes that turn into explosive plays. Offensively, Michigan has shown that they can be effective against top defenses. The Wolverines have played three top 10 SP+ defenses (Wisconsin, Iowa, & Penn State), plus Notre Dame is 23rd.  The key will be whether Josh Gattis’ group comes out of the bye week sharp enough to exploit the inevitable MSU mistakes for big plays.

Michigan Defense (4th) vs. Michigan State Offense (84th)
The match up between Michigan’s defense and MSU’s offense will determine whether this game remains tight, or gets out of hand.  The Spartans will definitely want to turn this game into a rock fight by grinding out first downs and playing the field position game.  As Don Brown has transitioned to multiple fronts, and mixed in more zone coverage, Michigan has allowed some yardage but has tightened up on scoring opportunities.  In this game, MSU would gladly march between the 20 yard lines and milk the clock. The Wolverines must turn the rivalry game energy and emotion into a laser focus on run fits during standard downs.  Once they’ve forced Michigan State into passing downs, Michigan will be looking to create havoc.

PREDICTION: As bad as the Spartan offense has been, SP+ thinks their special teams are worse.  They are currently ranked 108th nationally. This doesn’t bode well for the field position rock fight strategy that I expect from Mark Dantonio.  I was happy to hear Jim Harbaugh using “High Alert” as the program mantra this week. This season was reduced to a one-game season in October. Potentially winning this game is the last shred of opportunity remaining the Spartans.  Dantonio will have them playing at their highest level, but that won’t be good enough. #LeaveNoDoubt
Michigan 24 Michigan State 7 (PRESEASON Michigan 17 MSU 13)

MICHIGAN RESUME UPDATE (11/11/2019), 7-2

  • SP+ Overall: 15th (↓4), 19.9
    • SP+ Offense:43rd (↑3), 32.3
    • SP+ Defense: 4th (↓1), 12.3
    • SP+ Special Teams 70th (↓1) -0.1
  • CFP Rank: 15th (↓1)
  • AP Poll: 14th (same), 744
  • Coaches’ Poll: 14th (same), 731
Week 12 Resume

Preview: Michigan and Michigan State Football

Coach Brady Hoke has talked about winning the Big Ten title ever since replacing Rich Rodriguez. Now in his third season at Michigan, Hoke has in-state rival Michigan State blocking the Wolverines’ path in achieving that goal.

The Spartans enter the game with the top-ranked defense in the country while the Wolverines offense has struggled to block consistently all season. Add to the mix that Michigan has struggled on the road under Hoke and it’s obvious that this game represents a major challenge.

The Wolverines, who enter the game as an underdog, will need to find consistency on both offense and defense, something that has eluded them all season.


Game Day- Michigan Wolverines vs The Michigan State Spartans

Michigan Helmet
#23 Michigan vs. Michigan State

Date: Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012   |   Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Michigan Stadium   |   Location: Ann Arbor, Mich.
TV: Big Ten Network (Channel Finder)
Radio: Michigan Sports Network (Affiliates)

Michigan State Helmet
(4-2, 2-0 Big Ten)
Roster | Schedule/Results
Game Notes  | Depth Chart 
All-Time Series
U-M leads, 67-32-5Last Meeting
Michigan State 28, Michigan 14
(10/15/11 – East Lansing, Mich.)
Michigan State
(4-3, 1-2 Big Ten)

Michigan State Celebrates at the Big House


Michigan State Celebrates with the Paul Bunyan Trophy


Michigan State Fans Taunt Wolverines