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HomeSportsFootballThe fourth-down stand by Michigan football in the first half was crucial...

The fourth-down stand by Michigan football in the first half was crucial in their 29-7 victory.


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Michigan State used a timeout to double-check that it had called the proper play. After the Wolverines had already stopped Elijah Collins on a fourth-and-1 effort earlier in the quarter. The Spartans set up to attempt a touchdown instead of a field goal on fourth-and-1 from the Michigan football 5-yard line. (The initial call of a first down on the field was reversed following review.)

MSU tried a delayed counter the other way with running back Jalen Berger. After running Jaden Reed in motion to get the defense moving. Nobody fooled Michigan at all.

With 7:31 remaining in the second quarter, the Wolverines’ defensive front shredded MSU’s interior into the backfield. Linebackers Junior Colson and Michael Barrett burst through the openings. And knocked Berger for a two-point defeat, whipping the 111,803 spectators into a frenzy of pom-pom shaking.

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Michigan football won the Game against MSU

It was a key play in Michigan’s 29-7 triumph against Michigan State, which snapped the Spartans’ (3-5, 1-4 Big Ten) two-game winning streak in the series. And returned the Paul Bunyan Trophy to the Wolverines (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten) for the first time since 2019.

Michigan football won against its rivals MSU |Source: Big10Central.com

The sigh from the maize-and-blue faithful in the stands was as significant as any other part of the current situation. The crowd was hushed for the first 20 minutes of the game. When Michigan made an early fumble and MSU was in the middle of two consecutive drives of more than 70 yards.

Football players from Michigan and Michigan State fight in the tunnel following the game.

Given the previous history of this rivalry, there was a frightening intensity in the stadium. But the stop delivered a message and caused a sigh of relief.

The ball and the initiative in the game were then taken by the Wolverines against Michigan

On the first play, Blake Corum ripped off a gain of 18, breaking several tackles while dragging the pile. J.J. McCarthy appeared to be bottled up four plays later before exploding into MSU territory on a 21-yard rush up the middle of the field. McCarthy once more worked his magic with his legs on the following set of downs. As the Wolverines faced a fourth-and-3 and scampered for a gain of 16 to enter the MSU red zone.

The damage was done even if the Wolverines were halted. And ultimately settled for a 24-yard field goal by Jake Moody. MSU had the opportunity to tie or take the lead, but Michigan advanced by six points instead.

That iconic fourth-down play served as an example of the crucial third- and fourth-down plays that ultimately determined the outcome of the game. When the game was still within two possessions after three quarters, Michigan had a combined 8-for-13 record in crucial circumstances. MSU made two of ten.

Michigan was frequently in the red zone or, at the very least, in MSU territory. When it wasn’t converting crucial downs and distances. Jake Moody, a special teams player for the Wolverines, was regularly used despite the fact that they didn’t punt until there were less than six minutes left in the game.

The current Lou Groza Award winner made all five of his field goals. The longest coming with 14:45 remaining and from 54 yards out. Michigan had already taken control of the game before Corum’s final four-yard touchdown run.

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