Monday, November 5, 2007

#12 Michigan 28 Michigan State 24

Michigan escaped East Lansing with a 28-24 victory over their intrastate rivals. Trailing by 10 in the fourth quarter, Chad Henne marched the Wolverines down the field and into the end zone twice in a four minute span. Henne battled through injury, throwing four touchdown passes on the day. After connecting on a 14-yard touchdown pass to Greg Matthews with 6:47 left to play, cutting the MSU lead to 24-21, the Wolverine defense forced a Spartan three and out. Henne then led the Wolverines 65 yards on the game-winning drive which was capped by a tremendous leaping grab in the end zone by Mario Manningham, his second TD catch of the day.

Michigan Offense vs Michigan State Defense:

The Wolverines dominated this battle early as Mike Hart, in his return from injury, had rushed for 97 yards by halftime as Michigan led 14-3 at the break. The second half was an entirely different story as Michigan struggled to move the ball once Hart left the game after aggravating his ankle injury.

Hart ended the day with 15 carries for 110 yards even though he was only in the game for two plays in the second half. Brandon Minor and Carlos Brown who had performed admirably while Hart was out with his injury had a rough game, combining for 8 carries for 5 yards. Henne put together another remarkable game, considering his own injury problem, completing 18 of 33 passes for 211 yards and a career high matching four touchdowns. Manningham hauled in two Henne’s touchdown passes among his eight catches for 129 yards.

After a first half that saw MSU give up touchdowns on two of Michigan’s first three drives, they buckled down and forced Michigan into 7 punts and an interception on their next eight drives. Each of those eight drives was under 2:18 in length. Jonal St. Dic tallied five QB hits on Henne along with one sack and one tackle for a loss. Michigan did not convert a third down in the second half until the final drive during which they went three for three on third downs.

Edge: Michigan

Michigan Defense vs Michigan State Offense:

After a field goal on Michigan State’s opening drive, Michigan’s defense held the Spartans scoreless until the third quarter. Jehuu Caulcrick and Javon Ringer combined for 212 yards on 37 carries. After having some success against spread offenses in the last few weeks, the Wolverines had their hands full trying to contain the smash-mouth style of football that the Spartans ran.

The Wolverines were able to get to Hoyer for three sacks with two of them credited to Obi Ezeh. Jamar Adams led the way for Michigan with 14 tackles and an interception. The biggest play of the game for the Spartans came on what should have been a loss. Ringer took a handoff to the left where it appeared like Shawn Crable had him wrapped up for a five-yard loss. Somehow, Ringer managed to cut it back all the way across the field and turn that five-yard loss into a 72-yard gain. Ironically enough, it was Crable who tracked him down and made the tackle from behind to save the touchdown. While the Spartans were able to punch it in a few yards later, that play really symbolized this season for Michigan. They fell behind early but by putting through their best effort, they’ve managed to salvage their season.

Edge: Michigan

Special Teams:

Not a whole lot to talk about here, as the only field goal of the day was a 36-yarder by Brett Swenson. Aaron Bates had a good day punting the ball, averaging 41.7 yards on nine punts including a long of 67. Saturday wasn’t one of Zoltan Mesko’s best games as he averaged just 35.7 yards on his nine punts.

Carlos Brown had Michigan’s longest kickoff return of the year at 32 yards. Matthews had his best punt return, a 29 yarder. Michigan also did a good job on kickoff coverage as the longest return of the day for the Spartans was 31 yards.

Edge: Michigan

WCBN Player of the Game: Chad Henne, playing through injury passed for 211 yards and four touchdowns and leading the Wolverine comeback.

Notable Stats:

  • Chad Henne: 18-33; 211 yds; 4 TD; INT
  • Mario Manningham: 8 catches; 129 yds; 2 TD
  • Mike Hart: 15 carries; 110 yds; 7.3 YPC
  • Jamar Adams: 14 tackles; INT
  • Obi Ezeh: 13 tackles; 3 TFL; 2 Sacks
  • Javon Ringer: 15 carries; 128 yds
  • Henne’s four touchdowns matched his previous career high as well as the Michigan single game record
  • This was the 100th game between Michigan and Michigan State and with the win, the Wolverines improve to 67-28-5 in the series
  • Henne is now 9 yards away from becoming Michigan’s all-time passing yardage leader
  • Hart has rushed for over 100 yards in each of his four games against Michigan State
  • Hart’s 110 yards rushing makes this the eighth straight 100-yard game that he’s played in.
    • Hart needed that Ryan Mallet fumble recovery and 10-yard run to surpass the 100-yard mark
  • Mario Manningham tallied over 100 yards receiving for the fifth game in a row that he’s played in
  • Manningham has also caught a touchdown in five straight games that he’s played in
  • Sean Crable is now 4 TFL away from the Michigan single season record of 26 which is currently held by Mark Messner (1998)
  • Jamar Adams set a career high with 14 tackles
  • Greg Matthews had the best punt return of his career with a 29-yard return late in the second quarter

Press Conference Tidbits:

  • Chad Henne has been named Big 10 Player of the week, his first time earning that honor
  • When Mike Hart was asked who he would give his Heisman vote to, his answer was Jake Long
  • Asked about how this high ankle sprain is limiting him, Hart said that it really only affects certain cuts that he tries to make
  • Hart was asked if there were any thoughts of sitting out this week to ensure his health for Ohio State he replied, “These are my last two games at Michigan, plus the bowl game…I’m not missing one.”
  • Talking about the play where Sean Crable chased down Javon Ringer after initially missing the tackle in the backfield, Hart said, “well, Crable should have had him in the backfield”
  • When Coach Carr was asked the same question he called it, “one of the best plays I’ve ever seen on a football field”
  • Henne revealed that he had a partially separated right shoulder but feels like he’ll be back to 100% by this weekend
  • Henne expects to throw every day in practice this week. Last week he didn’t throw at all until the game

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