Welcome back to Men on Football…
Once again I've got Paul Rochon and I’ve got Dylan Bair to give their opinions on 10 recent UofM/MSU football games… from a male’s point of view.
Editor’s disclaimer: Paul is, and I quote, the “best couch General Manager alive. More Michigan than Bo. Never wrong, often misunderstood.”
Second editor’s disclaimer: Dylan is, again I quote from Paul, “Pretentious Spartan grad that does way more for the community than you ever will. Thinks he knows things, really doesn’t. More SJW than liberal politicians even pretend to be with enough white guilt to drown a Starbucks. Not that he’d ever support big coffee and their despicable practices.”
October 3, 2009 – No. 22 Michigan (3-1, 1-0 BigTen) travels to Spartan Stadium to face Michigan State (1-3, 0-1 BigTen). After an early 3-0 Michigan lead, MSU rallied for a 20-6 lead early in the fourth quarter. But Michigan wasn't done and did enough to force overtime.
Dylan: “2009 was a rough game on both sides and the Spartans eeked out a win due to (Michigan QB) Tate Forcier simply being Tate Forcier.”
Paul: “In yet ANOTHER overtime game between the two schools, MSU would win their second straight (against Michigan) for the first time since Lyndon B. Johnson was President (1966). It was a weird transitional time for Michigan under Rich Rodriguez capped by an ill-advised fake punt with Zoltan Mesko going nowhere. Late game heroics in the form of two Tate Forcier (hey, I remember that guy!) touchdowns forced overtime, but the Wolverines luck in East Lansing ran dry when a Forcier pass was deflected and picked off to seal Michigan's fate. This game was a good example of this whole Michigan era. Confusing, briefly exciting, and ultimately disappointing.”
October 10, 2010 – No. 17 Michigan State (5-0, 1-0 BigTen) traveled to Ann Arbor to face No. 18 Michigan (5-0, 1-0 BigTen), in a game where most expected an evenly-matched battle. And while it did start that way (3-0 Michigan after the first quarter), it certainly did not finish that way as MSU's defense hounded Michigan QB Denard Robinson from whistle to whistle and Michigan State walked away with maybe the biggest win in program history over Michigan, 34-17. (Side note, I was at this game, rocking my Earvin “Magic” Johnson MSU jersey, sitting right on the 50, behind the Spartan bench, and it was AMAZING).
Dylan: “2010 was an utter drubbing in the running game for MSU as Edwin Baker had a career-defining game that solidified the seriousness of the Spartan program in the 2010s.”
Paul: “Both teams undefeated and ranked side-by-side in the AP poll did plenty to generate excitement throughout the mitten, but it was the Spartans who stood tall on the big stage. Early-season Heisman-candidate Denard Robinson looked lost against a suffocating MSU defense that would pick him off three times and limit him to less than 100 yards on the ground for the first time that season. Kirk Cousins, Edwin Baker, and Le'Veon Bell took control at a Big House that was a sea of green by game's end. It was a humiliating reality check for Michigan and their fans, and very real evidence that the rivalry tides had turned.”
October 20, 2012 – Michigan State (4-3, 1-2 BigTen) travels to Ann Arbor to face Michigan (4-2, 2-0 BigTen) in a defensive struggle that saw very little offense, only one touchdown between the two teams, and basically even numbers throughout in terms of possession, first downs, yardage and even score.
Dylan: “I ignore 2012 because that's hardly a game. It's just pain and suffering.”
Paul: ” ‘The Field Goal Game' Exciting? About as much as a defensive soccer match. Still, it was a tightly contested game full of defensive stops and a massive relief to Michigan, who narrowly avoided losing a fifth straight game against MSU. Spartan-great Le'Veon Bell was bottled up, as was Michigan's offense that couldn't find the endzone even once. A field goal with just five seconds left would seal the 12-10 win for Michigan, their 900th victory in school history. Another year of high expectations would end up disappointing, but at least briefly, Michigan was Big Brother again.”
November 2, 2013 – No. 21 Michigan (5-2, 2-1 BigTen) traveled to East Lansing to face No. 22 Michigan State (7-1, 4-0 BigTen) in another game where they were ranked side-by-side entering the contest. And just like in 2010 when they were ranked 17 and 18 respectively, Michigan State would prove there was no comparison. Michigan would score all of six points in the first half, and never see another point go on the board.
Dylan: “2013 was annihilation and arguably MSU's best victory overall. Utter dominance and a win that would carry over into a campaign that should've ended with a national championship appearance.”
Paul: “The 2012 reprieve was really brief. This game was one of the most humiliating I've witnessed as a fan. MSU dominated in all aspects, but the final score did little to demonstrate how the Spartans truly had their way with Michigan. The Wolverines were pushed around and manhandled to the tune of MINUS-48 rushing yards on the day. That is not a typo. Michigan lost half a football field in yardage on the ground. (Michigan QB) Devin Gardner was battered and beaten for seven sacks and numerous other hits. Against the worst offensive line Michigan has ever fielded, the Spartans toyed with a lifeless Michigan team. The game was truly an embarrassment to Michigan football.”
October 17, 2015 – No. 7 Michigan State (6-0, 2-0 BigTen) travels to the Big House to face No. 12 Michigan (5-1, 2-0 BigTen) in Jim Harbaugh's first year at the helm. Much was expected of this game as both teams were ranked in the top-15 and the fans were waiting to see how Harbaugh and Dantonio duked it out. We all know the finish, but what is lost in that finish is that Michigan State really beat up Michigan in everywhere but the scoreboard, gaining 150 more yards than the Wolverines, having twice as many first downs and holding the Michigan offense to under 250 yards on the day. Enjoy.
Dylan: “2015 despite needing a miracle, MSU outplayed Michigan for most of the game. And while they should've lost due to football rules, the game itself was fairly even but MSU did enough to win. And didn't fumble any snaps as far as I'm aware of.”
Paul: “If it weren't for the current state of affairs and the clearly bright future, I wouldn't be capable of mustering the strength to talk about this game. In Harbaugh's first season, we knew there would be bumps along the way as he stripped the program to its core in a full rebuild. Before the season, expectations were in check and the Michigan-Michigan State game was a presumed loss you hoped to look respectable in. Things changed as Michigan grew better on the field each week following a season-opening loss at Utah. A feeling of quiet confidence permeated the program and the fan base as the game approached. Michigan looked like they would compete ahead of schedule. And compete they did. In fact, they looked like a new team as they frustrated the Spartans all afternoon and held a 23-21 lead with just 10 seconds to go in the fourth quarter. And then a miracle. Trouble with the snap. Jalen Watts-Jackson. Everything turned upside-down in a split second. Another year of little brother chirping on the coattails of a literal miracle. Pure misery and agony as a Wolverine. As time passes it will hurt less but never be forgotten. Little brother would do well to remember that the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away however. That miraculous victory might've been the last to come for many years. Go Blue.”
And that's it for Men on Football. Hope you enjoyed the show!