Self Inflicted

Michigan hands MSU their 8th rivalry win in 10 years.

Photo: Mike Mulholland, MLive
Since Mike Hart's infamous "little brother" quote in 2007, Michigan State is 8-2 against Michigan.


We knew this season might be difficult. While the defense has adjusted to all of the new starters, the offense has not. At all. The O-line has serious issues, the receivers aren't quite there yet, running backs are wildly inconstant (thanks mainly to the OL) and the QB spot has been...a little iffy to put it kindly. Maybe things will get better this year? A loss can something force a young team to refocus and come together.

It's on the coaches to figure this out. Now, we're going to find out if the $9 million dollars per year Michigan is paying Jim Harbaugh is worth it or not.


Michigan State didn't win this game. Michigan handed it to them. Over and over again.

It's easy to assign blame. I mean, that's essentially all you can do after a frustrating loss like this...and there's plenty of blame to go around. The things we saw last night in Michigan's 14-10 loss to Michigan State followed an all-too-familiar script that, realistically, we should've seen coming. But we wanted to believe that just maybe, with John O'Korn now at quarterback, this Michigan offense would find new life. Wilton Speight clearly had his issues earlier in the year...and frustratingly, now so does O'Korn.

It's entirely possible it's not the quarterback that's the problem here. The offensive line, mainly the right side, struggled throughout the game. Sophomore right tackle Nolan Ulizio was replaced early by Juwann Bushell-Beatty, but with no real tangible effect. Both struggled equally. O'Korn was on the run almost all night and backs had very few holes to run through.

Five turnovers, including three in the second half, stifled any momentum Michigan hoped to have offensively. Points off turnovers has been a familiar trend for Michigan opponents early in games this year, and this game was no different. Ty Issac's fumble on Michigan second drive gave MSU a short field, resulting in 7 early points for the Spartans.

I swear each week a different running back fumbles the ball early in the game giving opponents life they didn't deserve...completely flipping the momentum.

Michigan seemed completely lost on offense after Michigan State's first touchdown. The playcalling has been a head-scratcher for this blogger all season and against last night. One short drive is all runs...another short drive is all passes. And in a driving monsoon, coaches are asking O'Korn to throw 15-25 yards downfield. In the post-game presser, Harbaugh said "we're just trying piece drives together." From my point of view, there's no consistency, scheme or gameplan whatsoever with the playcalling.

O'Korn said afterward, "You've got to execute the plays that are called regardless of the conditions". Which is fine if you're an offense that has been consistently moving the ball and has a nice lead...but when you can't move the ball, you're down by a score, it's pouring down rain and you're being asked to throw downfield to young receivers while you're running for your life because of poor pass protection...that statement from O'Korn speaks volumes about his frustration with the plays being called.

If it's bad enough for even me to realize...then it has to be bad.

Defensively, this performance was everything you could ask for. Hats off to them for keeping this a 4 point game for as long as they did. After the 8:07 in the second quarter, Michigan State never scored again. After going up 14-3, Michigan State only had 3 first downs for the rest of the game. In the second half, Michigan State had 6 three-and-outs, and 1 turnover on downs. 

The Spartans couldn't do anything offensively against Michigan...but they didn't really have to. Michigan killed themselves. You can't ask for a better defensive performance than what Don Brown served up last night. It's just a shame Michigan had zero offense to be able to compliment it.

Its been said by many already and will be echoed all week simply can't turn the ball over 5 times and expect to win. Simple as that.

For Jim Harbaugh, this makes him 1-4 against Michigan two biggest rivals, Michigan State and Ohio State. Obviously not the kind of mark we thought we'd see out of him by his 3rd year at Michigan. This season is far from over, but Michigan has to regroup quickly and find some way to move the ball and score some points because the schedule doesn't get any easier from here on in.

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