Michigan falls to MSU as offense struggles
Written by Matt Pargoff   

Perhaps both teams can lay claim to having an ugly offensive performance, but only one came out with a loss. The Wolverines attempted to defend their claim to the Paul Bunyan Trophy on Saturday evening, but couldn’t find enough offense to do it, falling to the Spartans 14-10.

Michigan State gained only one first down in the second half, but Michigan didn’t fare much better, repeatedly missing out on opportunities to make something happen.

“We trust the play calls that are coming in and we have to execute them,” said quarterback John O’Korn. “I take full ownership for three interceptions that shouldn’t have happened and I take full responsibility for this loss.

“You can’t turn the ball over and expect to win and you can’t give them great field position the whole game and expect to win.”

O’Korn completed 16-of-35 passes for 198 yards, throwing the ball with surprising frequency, even as both teams struggled through a heavy rain.

“It’s no secret it was a torrential downpour out there, but both teams have to deal with it,” O’Korn noted. “There’s no excuses.”

Trailing 14-3 at the half, the Wolverines grabbed momentum early in the third quarter when a muffed punt buried the Spartans deep. Forcing a quick three-and-out, Michigan inherited possession at the MSU 33, leading to U-M’s only touchdown of the game.

But once within a single score, the Wolverines struggled to find any success with the ball, with each of the next three possessions ending in interceptions. It was in that stretch that the rain started, drawing questions on why Michigan didn’t run the ball more.

“You can criticize that,” Harbaugh said. “We were trying to run the ball. We were trying to piece drives together. We really were. We needed to score points and needed to put drives together, and that’s what we were trying to do.”

The Wolverines drop to 4-1 on the season and 1-1 in Big Ten play heading into a two-game road stretch at Indiana and Penn State. The last time the Wolverines played in Bloomington, it took overtimes to settle the contest, a 48-41 win for Michigan.

The Hoosiers currently sit at 3-2, and enter the game coming off a 27-0 win over Charleston Southern.


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