Against the Wolverines, the Spartans scored on nearly the same type of play. But TCU also makes an appearance after a big win over West Virginia. On third-and-4 from its own 41 with 4:20 left in the fourth quarter, MI ran a do-nothing draw with Chris Evans. Had Harbaugh utilized the running backs more frequently in the second half, the writer of this piece may be a little more cheerful on this Sunday morning.
So when the ball was snapped and quarterback Brian Lewerke fumbled it, there was an emphatic cheer at Michigan Stadium.
Then, they had to endure a somewhat embarrassing 14-10 loss by Michigan Football to its arch rival. The Spartans took advantage of a turnover later in the quarter to take the lead.
MI began its last drive with 34 seconds and no timeouts left and picked up 30 yards on the first snap on a 15-yard pass to Karan Higdon and a 15-yard penalty on Chris Frey for tackling him out of bounds. He picked up the second one three plays later. While the MI defense was forcing MSU to punt seven of their eight 2 half possessions (forcing fumble on the 8), John O’Korn continued to hand it right back over to the Spartans while throwing three interceptions.
As good as Bachie was, sophomore safety David Dowell was just as impressive. The betting is going heavily in favor of MI covering the spread with only 23% for the Hoosiers and 77% for the Wolverines. It is the first time they have been there in the playoff era.
A final Hail Mary heave from fifth-year senior quarterback John O’Korn tumbled to the turf, leaving the Wolverines (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) adrift and the Spartans (4-1, 2-0) sailing away with in-state bragging rights for another year. While they do have a chance at a bowl game, just making a postseason game is not enough for the hungry fans in that part of the country, and it may cost Mike Riley his job after multiple sub-par seasons. “He’s going to be a great player for us, both now and in the future”. And MSU coach Mark Dantonio is 8-3 all-time vs. the Wolverines.
MSU’s ensuing drive stalled, but the Spartans’ defense made it a quick turnaround three plays later. The over/under total for the contest is listed at 40.5 points. Rhoda has three touchdown passes and three interceptions in his last two games. Louisville has Heisman quarterback Lamar Jackson at the helm, but has continued to struggle defensively to support its offense. But he completed five straight on the Spartans’ second scoring drive. They have committed only 21 penalties (203 yards) this year.
The Spartans led 14-3 at halftime.
Lewerke was 6-for-14 for 74 yards passing and ran four times for 28 yards in the opening half. He also gained 61 yards on 15 carries.
The Lions’ White Out game will be one of the most anticipated games of the day. O’Korn was 10-for-19 for 112 yards despite that, but U-M’s two fumbles were costly.
Bachie was at it again in the second half, as he recorded his first career interception on the second play of the fourth quarter.
The Defense now on the field for the first time quickly forces MSU into a quick 3 and out and punt. Spoiler alert, the game ball isn’t going to anyone on the offense.