Sunday Morning Quarterback

Michigan lost its first game of the season on Saturday at Spartan Stadium. What went wrong for the Wolverines as they dropped their fourth straight game to their bitter rival from East Lansing.

The Michigan football team was unbeaten and highly ranked each of the last three years heading into the annual showdown with bitter rival Michigan State on the football field. Each of the first two years, the Spartans physically controlled the Maize and Blue. This time was supposed to be different.

Instead, in front of a packed house at Spartan Stadium, the Wolverines were downed 28-14 in Lansing, thus sending a senior class out the door at Schembechler Hall without ever winning against their instate rivals.

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In the first half, the Wolverines possessed the ball six straight times across midfield and into Michigan State territory. Each time, as the Wolverines crossed midfield, the Spartans dialed up a defensive effort that stymied the Michigan offense. In total, the Wolverines netted zero points on those six possessions in MSU territory.

"Mark does a very good job and is a good defensive coach. His fingerprints are all over that defense. They overloaded us a little bit and they hit their timing well with snap counts. I think they did things the way you're supposed to," said Brady Hoke.

Timing their snap counts well was the understatement of the day. In total, Michigan State sacked Michigan quarterbacks seven times. Over the first six weeks of the season, Michigan quarterbacks had been sacked just two times combined. Michigan State saw a weakness, and the Spartans exploited it. Especially when in their half of the field.

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Despite the loss, the Michigan defense yet again created multiple turnovers in the game against Michigan State yesterday afternoon. J.T. Floyd and Thomas Gordon both forced Michigan State fumbles in the second half to kick start Michigan's failed comeback attempt, and Jordan Kovacs and Desmond Morgan both finished the contest with a fumble recovery.

With the two turnovers, the Wolverines have created 19 turnovers on the season. During the entire 2010 Michigan football season, the defense created 19 turnovers over the course of their 13 game schedule. How many more will the Wolverines force as they try and get back on track the remainder of the way?

Out physicaled

For the third straight year, the Wolverines were beat up by the rivals from down I-96. Michigan State beat Michigan both during the game and after the whistle. While not condoning the actions of the Michigan State football team, it was apparent the Spartans had a game plan.

"I don't know if we got beat up, but I think they were physical and this game always is," Hoke said.

But it looked like the boys did get beat up. Denard Robinson didn't finish the game due to a collection of bumps and bruises picked up along the way. On defense, it wasn't much better.

Michigan State running backs pounded the ball all game long picking up chunks of yards. In total, the Spartans ran for 213 yards, including 5.5 yards per pop with the football.

"It was a collective thing. As a defense we didn't execute. I didn't watch the film but I'd put money on it that guys weren't where they were supposed to be. Our guys weren't executing what we need to do and we weren't playing Michigan defense," said Mike Martin.

"Today is going to be tough, but you just have to bounce back. But the thing about this team is, I know for a fact this team will bounce back. Guys are hungry for the next game, and that's the biggest difference in this team."

"I think they were definitely more physical. They pounded us, and ate us up. But we're going to take it, and improve from here. Like I said you have to give them a lot of credit," added Jordan Kovacs.

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