Sorry for the delay on this, but I wanted to 24-Hour Rule this.
See if a full day after the game would give me a clearer head. Wanted to make sure I wasn’t looking at this irrationally in the throughs of a huge, adrenaline-filled win.
With that said...
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!? THREE TOUCHDOWN UNDERDOGS AND YOU GO INTO ANN ARBOR AND SNATCH THEIR SOUL???
ALRIGHT, LET’S GET INTO THIS.
I wrote about this yesterday but want to reiterate — this was not a fluke and there are no excuses for UM to hide behind. They will try, sure. But, as usual with them, that’s just living in an alternate reality.
MSU was simply the better team. The better coached team. The more prepared and poised team. The team with Paul Bunyan back in its trophy case.
Please read this blog post if you want more of this type of writing, but for now, let’s get to the players.
Where to even start? How about Ricky “Mr. 196” White? Seems like a good place to start.
His day was absolutely sensational, especially off the heels of a rough outing last Saturday and SUPER especially considering he’s a true freshman.
He bailed out MSU, what, three or four times? Including that incredible carnival catch inside the five-yard-line to help MSU ice the game. He was phenomenal, and as was…
Rocky Lombardi is the starting quarterback and HOLY SMOKES do I feel like a big dummy for even being in question about him. He was dropping buckets into the receivers hands on deep balls. He threw for 323 yards, and that doesn’t count the early holding and pass interference flags that he and the receivers earned. We were told this is a quarterback battle that would bleed into the season — and that made sense at the time — but this one is over. Lombardi is the quarterback of this team, and a damn fine one at that.
Ricky White Highlights vs. Michigan Wolverines | 2020 Regular Season Week 9 9, 10/31/2020 pic.twitter.com/ZC4sqstAzu— Michigan St. on BTN (@MichiganStOnBTN) October 31, 2020
And let’s give a major, major nod to the unit that made Lombardi feel comfortable enough to cook. The offensive line in pass protection — along with Trenton Gillison and Matt Dotson at H-back — was sensational. Zero sacks and just two marked down quarterback hurries. They were absolutely incredible in giving Rocky time in the pocket.
Oh, and also this. Goodness gracious, Nick Samac.
This block by Nick Samac on the game-clinching touchdown, though. pic.twitter.com/dEp7JwdxLo— The Only Colors (@TheOnlyColors) November 1, 2020
ONE TIME FOR MATT COGHLIN. Sure, he missed the 40-yarder into the wind. Do you know when that doesn’t matter? WHEN YOU DRILL A 51-YARDER EARLIER IN THE GAME THAT YOU END UP WINNING BY THREE POINTS.
Joe “Cam Newton 2.0” Milton said he wasn’t aware of Antjuan Simmons after the game (more on that later). You weren’t aware of the guy with 11 tackles, a tackle for loss and a game-changing pass breakup toward the end of the half? Is that because you’re too arrogant to realize how bad he made life for you, or because your coaches legitimately didn’t prepare for him? Because both are believable.
Well, regardless, now you should be aware of him. Because he was the best defensive player on the field for either team and brought Paul Bunyan home.
Noah Harvey was also incredible too, tying Simmons for a game-high 11 tackles and also tacking on a game-high 1.5 tackles for loss.
The front four was probably as good as you could have asked them to be. Deshaun Mallory and Naquan Jones did great work blowing up the middle. Drew Beesly and Jacub Panasiuk did slight work on the edges.
And the secondary was pretty strong overall. Chris Jackson, Kalon Gervin, Shakur Brown and Tre Person all had shining moments out there. If it sounds like I’m just naming every defensive player for “The Good” portion of this post, IT’S BECAUSE I AM. They were everything you could have asked for as a unit.
Jay Johnson, I am sorry for what I said last week. He called a strong game. Not a perfect one (more on that later, but it doesn’t matter because THE BOYS WON ANYWAY). But the game plan of gunning it deep with MSU’s speed over UM’s Not Speed was an incredible call that worked right off the bat. It took a good game plan to set the tone for this game, and that’s what Jay Johnson and company brought to the table on Saturday.
MEL TUCKER, FIRST COACH TO BEAT MICHIGAN ON HIS FIRST TRY SINCE NICK SABAN. YOU ARE NOW OFFICIALLY THE WOLVERINES’ DADDY. LOOK AT THIS MAN.
BEST FRIENDS FOREVER pic.twitter.com/mwuDzbGZSW— Michigan State Football (@MSU_Football) October 31, 2020
Michigan fans will cry “bad officiating!” but surely they must be talking about the calls against MSU?
The “block in the back” by Jalen Nailor after his head-on block on the would-be third-down conversion was beyond questionable. The “chop block” on first-and-goal at the four-yard-line just simply didn’t happen and made it first and goal from the 19-yard-line.
You want to cry officiating? MSU got the worst of any calls made or missed, and they still converted with Connor Heyward’s screen pass run for glory. The refs didn’t help block Wolverines when Heyward iced the game.
I won’t rip on this too much because a win is a win, but the play-calling was a tad too conservative at times. Like at the end of half, why not take a few deep shots? Why just run the balls on all three downs and punt back to them and allow a possible shift of momentum before halftime?
My biggest issue was also not going for it on fourth-and-two on the Michigan 23-yard-line to start the fourth quarter. I hated that decision before the kick was missed. You’re up three and going up six really doesn’t make a whole lot of change. You’re playing with house money and in a great spot on fourth-and-short juuuuust outside the red zone. Make it your moment.
All well, they ended up making the outcome their moment anyway. CARRY ON.
Shakur Brown’s taunting penalty luckily didn’t end up making a difference. But yikes that was not good. Should that be a penalty? I don’t know, probably not. But it’s been called a penalty for long enough where you should know not to do it. ALL WELL, 27-24 ANYWAY.
Just watch this clip from Milton.
Here is the Zoom video of @UMichFootball's Joe Milton and @MSU_Football Antjuan Simmons trading jabs post game. The rivalry is alive and well. Paul Bunyan is in East Lansing for the year. @Qbjayy7 @_antjuan_ @stoney16 @Local4News pic.twitter.com/Z3DDH2Mbkm— Jamie Edmonds (@Jamie_Edmonds) November 1, 2020
This is what holds back Michigan every single year. This is how they come into seasons with their STARZZZZZZ recruits and their media hype and lay an egg every single year. It’s unwarranted arrogance. What are you guys even arrogant for, anyway? What has been accomplished the last 15 years?
All they have to do is trade arrogance for accountability. Luckily, that won’t happen any time soon. They have the production of Minnesota but the thought that they’re Clemson.
They get to campus and are coddled every year. Lose a game? Don’t worry, it’s not your fault. It’s some other reason outside of your control like bad officiating, online classes or weather.
There’s no accountability. No looks in the mirror. No focus from season’s start to season’s end. And that won’t change because it’s simply their culture. Their fanboy media will go back to propping them up. Their recruiting rankings will make them feel like everything is fine and no improvements have to be made.
It happens every year, and it will continue to happen until they decide to start holding their own people accountable. Don’t count on that to happen any time soon.
I don’t know about you guys, but I could not care any less about the Rutgers game now. If anything, the idea of losing to Rutgers and then clapping Michigan the very next week makes this all even funnier.
I was one of the more vocal and outraged people after last week, and now I look like a moron. GOOD. I’ll gladly be wrong about my team that wins big games. I’ll put on clown makeup if that means MSU makes me look stupid every week I doubt them. FINE. PERFECT!
Alright, non-MSU moment. PLAY OF THE YEAR RIGHT HERE.
Holy shit, Rutgers.— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) October 31, 2020
They covered on this play. pic.twitter.com/FMZLG8TB1c
NO, ONE MORE TIME FOR RICKY WHITE. I MEAN LOOK AT THIS. A TRUE FRESHMAN IS DOING THIS.
Your obligatory Ricky White appreciation tweet. @Only1RW | @MSU_Football pic.twitter.com/58LH237wLP— Michigan St. on BTN (@MichiganStOnBTN) November 1, 2020
REALLY QUICK BEFORE I END THIS, let’s talk about the man emotionally breaking down in the booth during the game. I’m, of course, talking about color commentator, Michigan homer (well Colorado homer, but you get it) and absolute moron Joel Klatt. If it sounded like he was one-sided during the broadcast, well, it’s because he was after spitting out this take for the sixth straight year.
Jim Harbaugh could have his best Michigan team yet, according to @JoelKlatt:— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) October 28, 2020
"He's just now adjusting. If it comes to fruition, watch out... I'm bullish on Michigan after last week." pic.twitter.com/Ya8Q8iHBPR
This was a direct quote from the replay being shown.
Joel Klatt: I'm just not sure about these calls— Isaac (@WorldofIsaac) October 31, 2020
You could hear the sadness in his voice with every call against Michigan. You could hear the unmistakable pain in his microphone when MSU converted the game-ending fourth down. He was a man emotionally breaking slowly throughout the game on Saturday, and that even made the end result sweeter.
When you’re a clown that hitches their wagon to Jim Harbaugh and begs for them to win and be relevant again, this is what happens.
ALRIGHT THAT WAS FUN, MY GOODNESS WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING?!??!?
CELEBRATE THIS ONE. RUB IT IN. WHO CARES? THIS WIN WAS HILARIOUS AND A STATEMENT BY MEL TUCKER AND BOYS.
Home at last pic.twitter.com/6fcPvzC88N— Michigan State Football (@MSU_Football) November 1, 2020