Quarterback Brandon Wimbush and the Notre Dame offense were able to quickly go up two scores and make it 14-0 in the first quarter. These two possessions defined the game, being too big of a deficit for Michigan to overcome.
Michigan’s new redshirt sophomore quarterback Shea Patterson lost a fumble in the final drive to seal the deal for Notre Dame. Patterson threw 20-30, 60.7 completion percentage, 227 yards, and 1 INT.
This is Harbaugh’s fourth consecutive loss dating back to mid November of 2017.
A majority of the experts, critics, and fans are unpleased with the state of the program after week one. Coming off an 8-5 season, the pressure to win for Harbaugh is evident now more than ever.
The Wolverines look to bounce back in their home opener against the Western Michigan Broncos on Saturday, September 8 at noon.
In East Lansing the Spartans looked sloppy, however, with a late game drive they put down their non-power opponent who won six games in 2017.
“Got to clean up some mistakes obviously,” MSU head coach Mark Dantonio said. “I think the ability to run the ball in the second half helped our cause.”
Early on in the matchup, Utah State quarterback Jordan Love led a tempo style offense right down the throat of the Spartan defense to make a quick 7-0 game.
After a slow start, MSU quarterback Brian Lewerke was able to go 23-33, 69.7 completion percentage, 287 yards, 2 TD, and 1 INT.
In their opening game, the Spartans were able to lead as much as 27-14 early in the third quarter. However, Utah State’s offense roared back to reclaim a lead of 31-30 with 5:05 to play.
Lewerke and the Spartans refused to go to sleep on their home field, driving 75 yards in a nine play drive to score six, followed by a successful two-point conversion. Reclaiming the lead 38-31. Utah State would fail to deliver on their final drive.
Dantonio admired his team’s ability to win down the stretch and perform without a sense of panic.
MSU is fully aware that this type of play will not be sufficient come conference play. Safety Khari Willis and co-offensive coordinator Dave Warner both agree that there is a lot for this team to work on in the coming weeks.
The Spartans will be away from home on September 8 for a 10:45 p.m. kickoff against Herm Edwards’ Arizona State Sun Devils.
Michigan and Michigan State, will meet in Spartan Stadium on October 20.