Michigan Falls To The Spartans in A Rainy Rivalry Game

The University of Michigan football team could not overcome a two-possession halftime deficit, falling 14-10 to Michigan State on a rainy and windy Saturday (Oct. 7) inside Michigan Stadium.

The defense continued its strong play, holding Michigan State to only 94 passing yards for the game and only two first downs in the second half. Devin Bush and Maurice Hurst each had eight tackles, while Chase Winovich added seven.

Quarterback John O'Korn went 16-of-35 passing for 198 yards, while Karan Higdon led the way on the ground, rushing 12 times for 65 yards. Grant Perry was the team's top receiver, making five receptions for 61 yards.

Michigan got the ball to start the game and marched down the field in just under seven minutes, opening the scoring on a 30-yard field goal from Quinn Nordin. The lead was short-lived, as the Spartans took advantage of a short field to jump in front, 7-3, on a 14-yard touchdown scramble from quarterback Brian Lewerke.

Michigan State extended the lead to 14-3 midway through the second quarter on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Lewerke to Madre London.

After the teams exchanged possessions to open the second half, Michigan seized back some momentum thanks to a special teams miscue from the visitors. Michigan State return man Laress Nelson muffled a punt off the leg of Brad Robbins, forcing the Spartans to start at their own two-yard line. The Wolverines defense yielded no ground and flipped the field, starting their next possession at the 33-yard line, their best starting field position of the day.

On the drive's third play, O'Korn found Perry over the middle for a 17-yard gain that was ruled a touchdown initially, but a video review ruled him down just short of the goal line. Khalid Hill dove into the end zone on the next play to cut the score to 14-10.

Almost immediately after the score, a heavy rain began falling at Michigan Stadium, slowing down each team's offense to a grinding halt. The two teams combined for just 11 first downs in the second half.

Needing a touchdown, Michigan got one final chance. The offense made it to the Michigan State 37-yard line with five seconds left, but O'Korn's Hail Mary heave fell incomplete at the goal line, ending the game.

The Wolverines will begin a two-game road swing next Saturday (Oct. 14) at Indiana. Kickoff is slated for noon in Bloomington, and the game will be televised on either ABC or ESPN.