Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio’s game plan against Michigan worked perfectly.
The Spartans ran the ball efficiently, slowed down Heisman leader Denard Robinson, and played mistake-free football.
The Spartans were held scoreless in the first quarter, but they stayed with the run game and it led to 249 rushing yards.
This was Dantonio’s first game back since he suffered a heart-attack after the Notre Dame game.
He gave his players a lift by walking the sidelines during the pregame warm-ups.
“To see him walking around before the game and looking in his eye really showed how much he wanted this game,” Michigan State player Greg Jones said to the AP.
Since the win against the Wolverines, some experts have called the Spartans a legit national title contender.
Michigan State has a stout running game and an easy road. They do not have Ohio State on their schedule.
Michigan State must break the trend of losing the game following the Michigan game, however.
In 1999, when they were undefeated and beat Michigan, they lost their next two games.
Their next opponent is Illinois. While they are not a top 25 team, they are coming off an impressive win at Penn State, 33-13.
Michigan showed signs of the 2009 team in the Michigan State game with three turnovers, two in the red-zone.
If the Wolverines had scored touchdowns in both drives, it would have been a different game.
What is disappointing for the Wolverines is they made an effort in the off-season to decrease the amount of turnovers.
“We made too many mistakes against a good team,” Michigan coach Rich Rod said to the AP.
The Wolverines still are on pace for fewer turnovers through six games, with eight. Last season they had accumulated 14 through six games.
Another positive for the Wolverines is that they now know for sure they have a quarterback who is not only talented, but is also a great leader.
After the game, Denard Robinson had inspiring words for his teammates.
“He was just standing right at his locker and he spoke up,” junior receiver Kelvin Grady told the Detroit News. “It was loud and encouraging. He didn’t say many words, but what he did say, I feel like he got a lot of respect for it. I felt it.”
Michigan will not have much time to sulk about this loss. They are going to have a tougher test in Iowa this Saturday.
Iowa’s defense ranks first in points allowed. The Wolverines will not be intimidated by the Hawkeyes, though.
Last year, Michigan had the ball with 1:36 left to play and was down 2 points, with Robinson leading the offense. It ended with an errant pass by Robinson that led to an interception.
Robinson has since led Michigan to two game-winning drives against Notre Dame and Indiana.
After the Notre Dame game, Robinson said he learned from his experiences at Iowa and said that he was too excited during the last drive against Iowa.