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Posted on Sat, Oct 15, 2011 : 5:01 p.m.

Game balls: MSU sweeps top honors, Denard Robinson struggles

By Rich Rezler

Game balls from the Michigan football team's 28-14 loss at Michigan State:

Pat Narduzzi (4): The fifth-year defensive coordinator has twice done what few other assistant coaches have been able to figure out: how to slow down Denard Robinson. The Michigan quarterback had 165 yards of total offense, nearly half of his season average. Not bad considering the Spartans’ defense was praised last season after limiting him to 301 yards in a 34-17 MSU victory.

Edwin Baker (4): The Spartans had been waiting for their junior running back to explode, and he did Saturday. Baker had amassed 252 yards through MSU’s first five games, averaging 4.1 yards per carry. Against Michigan, he ran for 167 yards and a touchdown on 26 attempts.

Denard Robinson (1): The sometimes super-human junior quarterback had a pedestrian afternoon against the Spartans. On a day he moved into 10th-place on the Wolverines’ all-time rushing list (2,815 yards) and became the 10th Michigan player to pass for more than 4,000 yards, Robinson completed just 9-of-24 passes and had an interception returned for a touchdown. Even his feet couldn’t bail him out. He averaged 2.3 yards on 18 attempts.

Special uniforms (2 balls): About the only thing that caught Michigan State off-guard Saturday was Michigan showing up on the field in a road version of the “legacy” uniforms Adidas designed for the Wolverines’ home night game against Notre Dame. Michigan had warmed up in its standard road garb, but changed before kickoff. When combined with Michigan State’s previously announced Pro Combat Series uniforms, unsuspecting fans may have been left surfing channels looking for the in-state rivalry they’d grown up watching.



Sun, Oct 16, 2011 : 4:26 a.m.

Anybody with a good defense is going to have a great chance to beat Michigan. Denard is not a quarterback. Shut his running game down and that is pretty much it for the offense. The Defense is much improved, but still very average. Let's see how they finish out the year, but Hoke has to think about what he wants to do with DRob heading into next year. 9 for 24 with a pick six is not going to do it. They should still win 9 or 10 games because the Big Ten is so weak. It was team, team, team lose today. Worse coached game of the year on Offense.


Sat, Oct 15, 2011 : 11:58 p.m.

Even though UofM students call it an 'ag school', the MSU football program rocks. Go Sparty!


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 3:04 p.m.

I do recall MSU winning the Big 10 title last season.


Sun, Oct 16, 2011 : 12:17 a.m.

Thump your chest when Sparty actually WINS a Big 10 title.

Geoff Schram

Sat, Oct 15, 2011 : 10:08 p.m.

I think you missed a game ball. The amount of yards gained by the flagrant personal fouls from MSU exceeded many of the better rushers in the country today. In addition the final foul may also have injured one of the best players to ever play the game! If he had tried just a little harder he could have broken his neck, and this when the game was pretty much decided. That was classy!! I think that deserves something!


Sat, Oct 15, 2011 : 10:41 p.m.

I think Dantonio ought to be reprimanded. I think at least two of the MSU defenders should be suspended for at least 1 but possibly more games, and the Big Ten needs to be very proactive to protect its "STUDENT-athletes", similar to the way the NFL does. Even NHL does that. Coaching allows this nonsense. If it was once isolated, or one player, you can say fine. It's them. But when it's the whole team? Shameful. Dantonio ought to be suspended. (And I"m not saying this as a disgruntled UM fan, but a sports fan concerned about sportsmanship and safety).


Sat, Oct 15, 2011 : 9:52 p.m.

If U of M does not consider MSU a rivalry game, is it ok if we Spartans keep kicking the Wolverine's backsides every year? (Gee AA.Com, did that comport with your conversation guidelines? Or will you censor this?) It seems to me that U of M won the uniforms, but State won the game. Nice fashion sense though.


Sun, Oct 16, 2011 : midnight

MSU had better uniforms. The UofM uniforms are ugly.


Sat, Oct 15, 2011 : 10:11 p.m.

The rivalry just started. The competition will only make us both better; however, next year will be our turn to win. Both uniforms were pretty cool.


Sat, Oct 15, 2011 : 9:52 p.m.

Those road uniforms were a nice motivating tool by Hoke, reminiscent of the Irish Green unis, but I thought that ND uniforms were a one and done deal. I guess David Brandon and adidas figured out that they can milk a lot of money from fans and alumni. I personally hope we never see those again. The home unis looked better, and those white pants would be better left buried with the mid 1970s team. Maize pants are great. I do wonder, though, how much grief the former coach would have faced had he even tried to change our uniforms. Probably would have been ridden out of town by an angry mob. (I would have been part of that LOL). I like our regular uniforms, don't see the need to keep up with the Joneses and change them up.


Sat, Oct 15, 2011 : 9:39 p.m.

There is only so much we can expect with these undersized RR players. As most of us knew at the beginning of this year, it will take up to three years to turn this program around. Denard is exciting and dynamic, but Michigan cannot win a championship with a QB whose judgment and passing are so poor.


Sat, Oct 15, 2011 : 10:06 p.m.

I disagree because we have talent on this team. It doesn't matter how big guys are if they are football players. Look at Jamie Morris, Mike Hart, and Vincent Smith. This team is the start of turning it around, with no association with teams of the last three years. Sometimes you have to give credit to the other team, and MSU beat us today. Denard had a rough day because there was no protection in the passing game and the running game wasn't established- no balance. It was not a surprise that whoever controlled the line of scrimmage would win the game. We just have to learn from what happened and get better.


Sat, Oct 15, 2011 : 9:32 p.m.

I agree with Rich's assignment of "game balls". However, I think calling Robinson's performance "pedestrian" is a bit generous.