Michigan 44, Michigan State 10

Michigan 44, Michigan State 10


November 16, 2019
Nick Eubanks (image via WOODTV)

That was a beatdown. We’ll get that way out of the way first. The game was closer than that for a while – especially after MSU jumped out to a 7-0 lead – but Michigan pulled away with 17, 10, and 17 points in the final three quarters, respectively. The Spartans ended up with 54 rushing yards and 220 yards overall, while Michigan had 467 total yards, including 384 through the air.

Hit the jump for more.

Both teams were stupid. The total number of penalties wasn’t exorbitant, but the number of idiotic plays was large. Michigan State had 7 penalties for 93 yards, while Michigan had 9 penalties for 91 yards. Maybe the referees were just concentrating on the dirty and unsportsmanlike stuff, so they didn’t worry about holding, blocks in the back, etc. Regardless, the number of drives extended by penalty was somewhat ridiculous. At one point Michigan State had “earned” five first downs due to Michigan penalties. Kwity Paye hit MSU quarterback Brian Lewerke late. Carlo Kemp jumped offsides and then tried to blame it on an offensive guard that didn’t move. Tarik Black made a largely nondescript catch for a first down, promptly flexed for no reason, and was immediately assessed a 15-yard penalty.

But Michigan State is stupider. After Shea Patterson threw a quick pass, Michigan State defensive lineman Jacub Panasiuk took a running start at Patterson’s back and laid him out after 4 extra steps. For that he was immediately tossed by the referee, who deemed it to be a flagrantly dangerous and illegal play. That was the right call, and I thought the officiating crew did a good job of being aware that there would be some extracurricular activity taking place during this game. Meanwhile, backup quarterback Dylan McCaffrey made an entrance for one play, when he threw a backward pass to Patterson, who was lined up out wide. It was a dumb play call in the first place, but a Michigan State player took a similarly flagrant and dangerous run at McCaffrey. It would/should have been called roughing the passer if only the pass had been forward, but since it was a lateral (the equivalent of a handoff or pitch), the quarterback doesn’t have the same protections. Even so, it could have been deemed unnecessary roughness since it was on the opposite side of the field. That’s not exactly what you want to see if you’re concerned about McCaffrey’s health…unless you’re Michigan State and you’re perfectly happy to see a cheap shot.

Bench Ronnie Bell! He only caught 9 passes for 150 yards, which is clearly inferior to Mike Sainristil’s 2 for 21.

Moving on…

Was this Shea Patterson’s best career game? He completed 24/33 passes for 384 yards and 4 touchdowns. He used his legs well a couple times, but 3 sacks and an awkward trip left him at 8 carries for -15 yards. That’s actually the third-most yards in a single game he has thrown for, but the top two games on that list came against South Alabama and Tennessee-Martin when he was at Ole Miss in 2017. Patterson had never topped 300 yards or thrown more than 3 touchdowns wearing the winged helmet. Going back across the past season and a half, I don’t think Patterson has looked better throwing the ball. He’s not playing perfect ball and leaves a few plays on the field, but he looked pretty dang good.

This was the right outcome. Michigan is the better team. Michigan is more talented. Jim Harbaugh is a very good coach. Mark Dantonio, as much as I hate him, is also a good coach. But the recruiting and the injuries and, well, karma bit Dantonio in the ass. There have been times when this rivalry game was closer than it should have been, regardless of the difference in recruiting stars or injuries or whatever. A 44-10 beatdown is a true indication of the separation between these two programs right now.

Screw Mark Dantonio and his band of dirty players.

42 comments

  1. Avatar
    Comments: 12
    Joined: 10/6/2019
    awolverine10
    Nov 16, 2019 at 8:53 PM

    Not gonna lie, I’ve checked TTB maybe 4 times today just waiting for the Ronnie Bell comments.

  2. Avatar
    Comments: 100
    Joined: 9/28/2015
    PapaBear
    Nov 16, 2019 at 10:01 PM

    Ronnie Bell was the steal of the 2018 Recruiting cycle. Being the clairvoyant that you are, what does the receiving corps look like next year, literally? Productive with the likes of Bell, Sainristil, Jackson, and Johnson? Possibly Black and DPJ? (if they stay….I can answer my own question)

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3358
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 21, 2019 at 4:18 PM

      I think Collins is gone. We’ll see on Black and Peoples-Jones. If all three leave, I think you would see Johnson, Bell, and Sainristil. I don’t know if Jackson will ever be a full-time receiver. He’s very raw right now, and I don’t know if he has the size to be a great target or blocker.

      • GrandLake
        Comments: 76
        Joined: 8/22/2019
        GrandLake
        Nov 21, 2019 at 6:37 PM

        Agree Collins leaves – there is really nothing more for him to improve since he is not getting any taller, unlikely to be any faster or improve hands. He will get drafted in the same space whether he leaves after this year or next. DPJ should return but he is the type of player that can put up big numbers in the combine and anyone who can remember Mike Mamula knows that NFL scouts can be overly impressed by combine stats. Black should def return – only concern are some early season tweets about this possibly being his last season. He would prob benefit the most from returning esp if DPJ left.

  3. Lanknows
    Comments: 5498
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Nov 16, 2019 at 10:31 PM

    Since when are you not allowed to flex after getting a first down? How is that worse than the first down gesture? I don’t see how what Black did is dumb.

    I also don’t think Kemp trying to blame his offside on the opposition is dumb. Worth a shot.

    What is dumb is not knowing that you can’t fair catch a ball off the bounce and going nuts asking for a flag when people hit you when you are punt returner with the ball.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3358
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 17, 2019 at 7:17 AM

      It’s all dumb. All the extracurricular stuff. Just play the game. No need for flexing, sack dances, first down gestures, etc.

      I agree about the fair catch idiocy. A kid complained about that in one of our high school games this year, too, when he made the signal, let it bounce, and then our long snapper crushed him.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 12
        Joined: 10/6/2019
        awolverine10
        Nov 17, 2019 at 2:28 PM

        Did Michael Thomas ever get flagged at OSU for flexing? He does it after every catch in the pros (and looks like a complete moron while doing it).

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5498
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Nov 17, 2019 at 8:44 AM

      Everybody celebrates when they get a first down or tackle. Maybe not every time but DPJ, Bell, Collins, Hudson, Metellus, Hutchinson all used their bodies to gesture after a successful play outcome.

      There’s nothing dumb about that and it’s allowed by the rules.

      Now if you deliberately taunt your opponent, you’re asking for a penalty. That’s dumb. I didn’t see Black do that. I did see Cody White do it and he deserved that flag.

      • Thunder
        Comments: 3358
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Nov 17, 2019 at 9:00 AM

        I’m just gonna have to disagree with you on this one.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5498
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Nov 17, 2019 at 9:09 AM

        There are extracarriculars and there are extracarriculars.

        MSU was out there trying to hurt people and taunting. Michigan was celebrating. I don’t like equating the two.

        I don’t necessarily think that was your intent but by saying “both sides were dumb” it can be taken that way.

        Paye shouldn’t have hit the QB in the helmet. Otherwise I didn’t see anything from Michigan that was really problematic.

  4. Avatar
    Comments: 1277
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    WindyCityBlue
    Nov 16, 2019 at 10:34 PM

    It was Shea Patterson’s best game by far. Which, of course, has been our problem ever since he got here. This is the first game where you could even begin to say that he was a difference maker, partly because he’s performed so erratically, and partly because our passing game has been been poorly conceived and has regularly taken a back seat to our running game. This is the first game where he’s had 20+ completions that wasn’t a loss, where we were throwing the ball like crazy trying to come from behind.

  5. Avatar
    Comments: 1220
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Nov 17, 2019 at 6:38 AM

    This is the best downfield blocking we have had from our receiver group going back to RR. Probably indicative of having a real wide receiver coach, as opposed to some failed former head coach … or nobody. We had DBs tied up by wide receivers all day.

    I’m never going to understand the 2 QB thing. Sparty was all over it. It’s bonehead.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1277
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Nov 17, 2019 at 8:24 AM

      Let’s be fair to Sainristil. He would have taken his first catch for a TD if it had been thrown better. Patterson’s accuracy is limited.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5498
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Nov 17, 2019 at 8:45 AM

        Nice to see you celebrating this win.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 1277
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Nov 17, 2019 at 9:03 AM

          It was a good win, albeit against a fairly shitty team. But I can’t get too excited about Harbaugh finally getting his team to play somewhere close to their talent level against State, after 5 years. And it hasn’t raised our ceiling. We’re still looking at another third place division finish and an Outback Bowl bid, and that’s assuming we beat Indiana.

          As far as Patterson, he can get away with poor passes that give away TDs against a team like State. He will cost us the game against OSU making mistakes like that.

          • Thunder
            Comments: 3358
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Nov 17, 2019 at 9:04 AM

            YAY!

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 5498
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Nov 17, 2019 at 9:13 AM

            haha. You do you as they say.

            How does a win ever “raise our ceiling”?

            • Avatar
              Comments: 1277
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              WindyCityBlue
              Nov 17, 2019 at 9:16 AM

              At this point, it can’t. We could win out and even beat Ohio State, and we still won’t even win the division, let along the conference. Penn State was the game we needed to win to stay relevant and have a higher ceiling, and Harbaugh went in unprepared and let another season slip away.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 5498
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Nov 17, 2019 at 9:55 AM

              I still don’t understand the statement.

              When would a win raise the ceiling? Only in retrospect to a game that was a loss?

              A loss lowers the ceiling. A win raises the floor. Saying a win didn’t raise the ceiling is nonsense. If we lose to OSU and I say “well it didn’t lower our floor” – that would be equivalent drivel.

              • Avatar
                Comments: 1277
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                WindyCityBlue
                Nov 17, 2019 at 11:01 AM

                Beating Michigan State did not make it any more likely that we will win the division. It did not make it any more likely that we will win the conference. It did not make it any more likely that we will make the playoff. All of that is true. The chances of all of those were basically zero before the game, and they are still zero. If we had beaten Penn State, none of it would be true. Understand yet? I’m talking about winning something more than just individual games. You’re talking about the triviality that beating Michigan State made it more likely that we will win 8 games. Duh.

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 5498
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Nov 17, 2019 at 11:57 AM

                So for Michigan to have “raised the ceiling” yesterday they would have to undo past losses. That is literally impossible.

                Same thing you said after Notre Dame. Same thing you would have said after PSU if they’d won that one instead of a different game.

                Michigan can only play the team in front of them.

                You want to complain so badly you will resort to nonsense. At least when you talked about how Dantonio outcoached Harbaugh in the first quarter it was grounded in some kind of reality.

      • Thunder
        Comments: 3358
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Nov 17, 2019 at 9:01 AM

        Well, I suppose Bell, Peoples-Jones, Collins, etc. would ALL have even better numbers with a more accurate quarterback. That doesn’t only benefit Sainristil.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 1277
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Nov 17, 2019 at 9:24 AM

          True, Patterson probably cost Bell a TD on a poorly thrown pass on our last drive of the 1st half. We left 11 points on the field.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 5498
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Nov 17, 2019 at 9:56 AM

            That was a bad throw.

          • Thunder
            Comments: 3358
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Nov 18, 2019 at 6:05 AM

            Bell said after the game that he screwed up the route. So I don’t know if it was a poorly thrown pass.

  6. GrandLake
    Comments: 76
    Joined: 8/22/2019
    GrandLake
    Nov 17, 2019 at 8:59 AM

    MSU was lucky it was only 44-10 – The obvious talent discrepancy between the 2 teams was glaring and unfortunately for Mork it is not likely to right itself anytime soon. I’m not saying Mork is a bad coach but he was very fortunate to come when with UM sliding into RR era and PSU struggling out of the Paterno scandal. Recruiting is going to be very tough as they can’t recruit nationally and are now seeing Franklin not to mention Kentucky targeting Mich HS players. They really have nothing to sell recruits and are at best the 4th best choice or even worse if u include kids that ND and OSU will offer. You can have all the attitude and feelings of disrespect in the world but won’t be much good when your players are just slower and less talented. Good luck with the 7 hour deposition explaining your role as Chief Enabler Mork. Going to make you wish you were still on the sidelines in Ann Arbor.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5498
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Nov 17, 2019 at 10:03 AM

      Wildly overrated. Cut every corner and got every break for about a decade. Nobody can take his record away from him but he can be exposed for how he got there.

      I hope MSU keeps him on for as long as possible so he has to deal with what he has created. I doubt that happens though.

      20 years from now when they welcome him back for some stupid honorary celebration I will shake my fist.

  7. Lanknows
    Comments: 5498
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Nov 17, 2019 at 9:12 AM

    Question to those more knowledgeable about Xs and Os. Why did the run game struggle?

    ZC, Tru, and HH all held to pretty low numbers while the pass game flourished. Did MSU sell out to stop the run?

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1277
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Nov 17, 2019 at 9:18 AM

      They always do against us. For a change, we actually bothered to make them pay for it.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5498
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Nov 17, 2019 at 9:49 AM

      Last year Higdon ran for 144 yards on over 4 ypc. Other than the long DPJ TD the pass game was pretty anemic. This year it was all about passing the ball.

      • GrandLake
        Comments: 76
        Joined: 8/22/2019
        GrandLake
        Nov 17, 2019 at 11:14 AM

        I seem to recall last year being cold and rainy which would prevent much passing but you could def see the difference in this years offense yesterday. Much more aggressive mindset with the passing game. Feel like last years staff would have been happy to run the ball 50 times yesterday and win a closer than necessary game while Gattis was willing push the pace.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5498
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Nov 22, 2019 at 9:41 AM

        Seems like last year’s rain would only make it easier to stop the run. MSU didn’t do that then. This year, with clear weather and a thriving passing game they did.

        Brian Cook asserted that the run game largely tried to stay away from the middle of the MSU D and didn’t run their pin and pull staple. 23 RB carries this year, 41 last year. Without breaking a big run the numbers will look more modest so maybe it’s that simple – just noise from fewer carries.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1220
      Joined: 8/13/2015
      Roanman
      Nov 17, 2019 at 2:27 PM

      For starters, Raquan Williams, Kenny Willekes and Naquan Jones, barring injury, are all likely to play on Sunday. Williams and Jones pretty much demand double treatment any/every time you are intending to try to run it up inside. This allows for free hitters to fly into gaps unblocked. Then, Williams and Jones are so strong at the point of attack that they just make big assed piles that your backs now have to step around. Then the cleanup guys, it feels like, never miss a tackle. Then, they do the Pete Carroll thing where instead of trying to kill, they wrap up and twist you into the ground. They wait on trying to hurt you until your on the ground. In so doing, they deny yards after contact.

      Dantonio is an unrepentant asshole, but he for damn sure can run a defense and teach tackling. Year in and year out during Dantonio’s years there, Sparty has been the best tackling outfit in the BIG and one of the most consistently sound defenses. It’s no accident that they’re tough on us against the run, they’re tough on everyone. Add in the hate and they get double tough on us. football being the most emotional of games.

  8. Avatar
    Comments: 100
    Joined: 9/28/2015
    PapaBear
    Nov 17, 2019 at 9:17 AM

    The TD at the end by Johnson? Legal? Can a player engage and block a CB that far down field, then release for a pass?

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1277
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Nov 17, 2019 at 9:32 AM

      The cornerback was holding HIM up, and then released, and it wasn’t all that far downfield. All perfectly legal.

  9. Lanknows
    Comments: 5498
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Nov 17, 2019 at 12:19 PM

    I know the offensive improvement has been gradual but to me this was the first time it felt like the Michigan offense was consistently and aggressively trying to get their skill position guys the ball in YAC-friendly situations. AKA speed in space.

    Weather may have been a factor in that but I also wonder if MSU did something schematically to open it up. We’ve seen Michigan be one-dimensional before. It played out nicely against ND and MSU but I’d love to have seen a more balanced attack.

    MSU is having a rough go but their defense is still pretty solid. Michigan put up more points than anyone all year. Maybe OSU took the foot off the gas but Wisconsin was up only 17-0 after 3 quarters.

    The one negative I saw yesterday was from the run game. Then again MSU held Jonathon Taylor to 3.1 ypc and also kept PSU RBs under 4 ypc so maybe they’re just good against the run.

    Of course OSU roasted them…

  10. Avatar
    Comments: 348
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    INTJohn
    Nov 17, 2019 at 12:46 PM

    The negative I saw in this game has been The Slow Start……
    And its been a season long trend. TO’s on first possessions, etc ; doing nothing in the 1st qwarters all year is why this team has 2 losses and prolly should have 3 – Army;

    A slow start, like what has been going on all season, will get them beat on the road against Indy and will put them into such a hole against OSU the game might be over by halftime.
    This team hasn’t played but maybe 1 entire whole game all season. They must start playing & scoring on their first drives and then play all 4 quarters.
    As I See It……….Intjohn

  11. 17years
    Comments: 277
    Joined: 2/6/2018
    17years
    Nov 20, 2019 at 1:25 AM

    “Bench Ronnie Bell! He only caught 9 passes for 150 yards, which is clearly inferior to Mike Sainristil’s 2 for 21.”

    I knew you were going to take a cheap shot like this. So I came here to see it. You did not disappoint.
    The term “benching” was your use of words. And it’s a shot below the belt. You still have not addressed what I have been saying about Sainristil–even when I brought up your TTB score of both Bell and Sainristil.
    You know the reason Bell has a step up on Sainristil right now is because he’s been here 1 year longer. And for some reason, Shea Patterson looks to him more than 2 of the best WRs in all of college football, and who are in the top 5% of all WRs Michigan has ever had. With the way DPJ runs with the ball after the catch, and with the exceptional hands that Nico Collins has, it is an animated oddity that Shea Patterson does not throw to them far, far more than he does.
    When all is said and done Sainristil is very likely going to have a bigger impact on Michigan football than Bell. Bell is benefiting from having players like DPJ and Collins on the field at the same time as he is. As a coach I’m sure you know that. And, you would know that if he was indeed the #1 WR, not having players the caliber of DPJ and Collins on the field with him, life would suddenly become much harder for him on the field, as he would be covered by the #1 DB, and would draw more of the eye of the defensive backfield.
    My point is, and always was, that Sainristil is a better athlete than Bell. You agree because your TTB score for both of them shows it.
    ——————————————————
    Also, I will ask once more: is Bell a better WR than DPJ and Nico Collins? In your mind, what do you think?

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3358
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 20, 2019 at 9:20 AM

      Thank you for reading the blog!

  12. GKblue
    Comments: 321
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    GKblue
    Nov 20, 2019 at 8:37 AM

    In my mind “bench Ronnie Bell” was humor, site specific and followed a great game by Bell.

    Injuries and /or effort have hurt DPJ and Black. Collins is still the receiver I want to be targeted more often. Bell has done a great job for the most part, gets open and has if anything surpassed most expectations. Of course he benefits by having other receivers stretching the field and demanding coverage. Sainristil is one of several serious athletes I look forward to in the future. Which is why most of us love college ball watching the development of the young guys. Why all the bitching?

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5498
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Nov 20, 2019 at 7:08 PM

      Agree with most of this but don’t see a reason to question anyone’s effort – ESPECIALLY dudes battling back from injury.

  13. Lanknows
    Comments: 5498
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Nov 20, 2019 at 7:07 PM

    We have somewhere between 3 and 6 NFL receivers on this offense and they are playing well. I don’t see any reason to have to disparage any of them. They seem like they are working hard, giving good effort, and producing when given the opportunity.

    Collins and DPJ will probably be in the NFL next year. Black, Bell, Sainristil, and Jackson will all get plenty of chances to show what they can do in bigger roles next year. I bet they do well.

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