Michigan State 37, Michigan 33

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31Oct 2021
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Michigan State 37, Michigan 33

Aidan Hutchinson (image via Wolverines Wire)

Do more. Say less. I’m pulling out the phrase from John Beilein’s basketball team from several years ago, but there’s a mentality permeating Michigan that Michigan State is the “little brother” and they’re a giant mess. I see this happening on Twitter, among parents, among former players, among Michigan-centric radio personalities, etc. You absolutely will not find it here. I don’t think Michigan’s players took the opponent lightly – they played hard – but I don’t know if Michigan’s 50/50 fortunes against MSU are going to change until the Spartans program gets more respect. I know a lot of people love him, but I hated when then running back (and current running backs coach) Mike Hart disrespected the Spartans in 2007 by calling them “little brother.” (Of course, MSU head coach Mark Dantonio’s response was equally childish if not more so, considering he was in his 40’s or 50’s at the time.) The rivalry has not been the same since then, and I really do think that comment was more significant than what some want to admit.

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29Oct 2021
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Preview: Michigan at Michigan State

Sep 3, 2021; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Michigan State Spartans running back Kenneth Walker III (9) runs with the ball against the Northwestern Wildcats during the fourth quarter at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

RUSH OFFENSE vs. MSU RUSH DEFENSE
Michigan is now #5 in rushing offense (253 yards/game) and #14 in rushing average (5.46 yards/carry). They’re also #3 in the country with 25 rushing touchdowns. Both of Michigan’s running backs are on pace to gain 1,000+ yards during the regular season, which would be the first time two players top that mark since 2011 (Denard Robinson, Fitzgerald Toussaint). That won’t be easy to achieve considering the tough opponents down the stretch, but it’s still impressive to be on that pace after seven games. Up front the success may depend on the health of the offensive line, where left guard Trevor Keegan and right guard Zak Zinter both missed last week’s game due to injury. Michigan State is #29 in rushing defense (119 yards allowed/game) and #22 in yards allowed per carry (3.27). The top two leading tacklers are senior safety Xavier Henderson (6’1″, 210) and sophomore safety Angelo Grose (5’10”, 180), followed by junior linebacker Quavaris Crouch (6’2″, 230), a Tennessee transfer that Michigan pursued heavily in the 2019 class; they have 60, 53, and 52 stops, respectively. Henderson leads the team in non-quarterback takedowns behind the line with 5 so far this season. Redshirt junior Jacob Slade (6’4″, 315) doesn’t make many plays but he stops things up well, and redshirt freshman Simeon Barrow (6’2″, 285) is more of the penetrator. It’s not going to be easy sledding, but I expect Michigan to have some success running the ball.
Advantage: Michigan

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28Oct 2021
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Tay’shawn Trent, Ex-Wolverine

Tay’shawn Trent

Harper Woods (MI) Harper Woods wide receiver Tay’shawn Trent decommitted from Michigan on Tuesday. Trent committed to Michigan back in March of 2021 (LINK).

I like Trent as a prospect, largely as a jumbo receiver/flex tight end type. I think he’s too slow to be a bona fide receiver, but he could split out in the slot to create some personnel and matchup issues. The Wolverines also obviously liked him to an extent, but he had been conspicuously absent from much Michigan hype lately, such as recruiting other players, graphics, etc. It almost seemed like he had vanished from the class a couple months ago, somewhat similar to fellow decommit Mario Eugenio.

Michigan does need to continue to recruit the receiver position, since there’s not much depth currently on the roster. I would also not be at all surprised if there were attrition in the off-season, considering how few balls are being thrown to receivers in this offense. A new offer went out to East Carolina wide receiver commit Kaleb Webb, and I imagine the Wolverines will continue to recruit other players, not to mention the continued pursuit of Notre Dame commit Amorion Walker.

Michigan now has 17 commits remaining in the class, including just 1 receiver (Tyler Morris, who’s coming off of an ACL injury). This is the seventh player to decommit in the 2022 class, joining OLB Mario Eugenio, S Taylor Groves (Ole Miss), LB Tyler Martin (Arizona), DT Davonte Miles, S Myles Rowser (Arkansas), and DT Alex VanSumeren (Michigan State).

26Oct 2021
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2021 Michigan vs. Northwestern Awards

Hassan Haskins (image via Detroit Free Press)

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Andrel Anthony. Anthony has better speed than I thought he had coming out of high school, and he showed some playmaking ability on Saturday, squeezing a few yards out of what seemed to be doomed to be a big chunk loss on an end around. Maybe he’s not ready to be a big-time contributor, but I think he should earn a few more snaps.

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