Four takeaways from MSU football's 35-11 win over U-M
No. 8 MSU football never trailed on Saturday, knocking off in-state rival Michigan, 35-11, at Spartan Stadium.
MSU (7-1 overall, 4-0 Big Ten) used three touchdowns in a 9:08 stretch that ranged from the second to third quarter to pull away against U-M (3-5 overall, 1-3 Big Ten). With the win MSU remains in the College Football Playoff conversation and will turn its focus to No. 13 Ohio State in a couple of weeks.
Run this state
When you look back at this week’s matchup against U-M, the one word that comes to mind is domination. And that can truly be said about not just Saturday, but the recent series against the Wolverines.
With the 24-point victory on Saturday, MSU has won six of the last seven meetings with U-M. Not only have the Spartans beaten U-M six out of the last seven tries, but done so convincingly. MSU has outscored the Maize and Blue 102-43 over the last seven games, including five double digit Spartan victories during the stretch.
If there was any thoughts of MSU still standing as the “little brother” in the state of Michigan, the Green and White surely put a stake in that on Saturday.
After a lackluster start to the season, senior running back Jeremy Langford has exploded onto the scene in Big Ten play.
Similar to last season, it took Langford until the fourth game to finally pass the century mark in a game against Wyoming and since then he has looked incredible. Langford has racked up 501 rushing yards and seven touchdowns in MSU’s four Big Ten games, including 177 yards and three touchdowns this past week against U-M.
Following the game co-offensive coordinator Dave Warner said Langford simply has proven he plays his best ball when league play begins — including 12 straight Big Ten games with more than 100 rushing yards — and is back in the groove after his impressive week against the Wolverines.
Geiger struggles continue
After missing one field goal all last season, sophomore kicker Michael Geiger is an abysmal 7-12 on the season, including another missed field goal on Saturday.
Geiger missed a 36-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter, giving him a fourth straight game with a missed attempt.
Head coach Mark Dantonio said on Sunday that the wind played a role on Saturday’s missed field goal attempt and has lost no confidence in Geiger. I find that hard to believe and if this trend continues, especially against a team like Ohio State in a couple of weeks, MSU could be burned and watch the whole season go down the drain.
Biggest game of season ahead
Beating U-M is something MSU players, coaches and fans always take to heart, but it by no means will be the most important game of the season for the Spartans.
MSU will have next week off with a bye, which Dantonio said during his weekly Sunday teleconference will serve as time for players to rest up and relax, and then Ohio State comes to town on Nov. 8. The game against the Buckeyes will be the first of the final four-game stretch to end the season, a stretch that will make or break MSU’s season.
A win against Ohio State will put MSU in position where it’ll be favored to win out. And as everyone who follows the program knows, winning out for MSU could — and in my mind should — result in a playoff berth for MSU.
So while beating U-M is special every year, the next one will be the game Spartans will talk about for years — win or lose.