The Michigan offense
Michigan jumped out to the early lead, 13-3 at the half. That was important - it was one of my keys to the game going in. That took the crowd out of the game. It also gave Michigan a cushion -- and they needed that cushion at the end.
Michigan offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage against the MSU defense -- that was the other key. Michigan controlled the ball running. Michigan had 29 first downs -- that's a lot! And Perry with 51 carries, for 219 yards ... the impressive thing there is that his longest run was only 15 yards. That's amazing -- usually when a back has big yardage there is a long run or two in there.
MSU did have the one sack, on the naked bootleg toward the end of game where Navarre fumbled and MSU ran it back for a touchdown. Coach Carr said that was a "Risk and reward" situation. Michigan took the gamble and the receiver was open, it wouldn've been a touchdown. But MSU also gambled on the play, and made a great defensive call that turned out to be the perfect call against the bootleg.
Navarre made the one mistake, the interception. And Seth Mitchell had a good game for MSU, with 17 tackles
Michigan was an exceptional 13 for 18 in third down conversions ... that was mainly due to the offensive line dominating the line of scrimmage.
And in time of possession Michigan had the ball 39:19 which is als exceptional, although part of that is the fact that MSU scored two one-play touchdowns.
Braylon Edwards had a great game with seven catches for 103 yards and two touchdowns.
Michigan did have two turnovers, and MSU only had one . But the line of scrimmage domination ... well that was simply the deciding factor.
The Michigan defense
It certainly helped that the Michigan defense was on the field less than 20 miniutes ... Michigan had a big advantage there.
MSU had the one big play -- the Shabaj touchdown for 73 yards. But the Michigan defensse was good against the run -- Jaren Hayes only had 10 carries for 26 yards.
Ernest Shazor and Pierre Woods had good games ... Woods made the great stop on that MSU fake punt where it looked like the guy was going to get the first down.
MSU was only 3 of13 on 3rd down conversions, which is outstanding for Michigan.
And the Michigan defense kept MSU under 300 total yards, 290. That's what they wanted to do.
On special teams. MSU has two great punters, and they both had good days.
And MSU has a 31 yard kick return, and a punt return for 56 yards ... they have good special teams.
Both teams played hard ... John L. Smith is on the right track.
It'll be interesting to see the outcome of the OSU/MSU game this weekend. That will let Michigan know where OSU is really at ... it'll be a little guage of how good OSU really is. Obviously OSU has a decent defense, but what about their offense ... will they be able to control the line of scrimmage like we did?
By the way, when I say John L. Smith is on the right track. Year two as a coach shows a lot ... will MSU go forward or backward the second year, that's the question. Or will they be like Notre Dame ... one down year recruiting, which MSU also had last year, catches up in a hurry sometimes.
"The game was closer than people talk."
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