Like a freshly pulled, warm shot of espresso, downed in a raging snowstorm, there was something comforting about the hatred and anger Michigan State showed the Wolverines yesterday.
"As far as the score at the end," mused Mark Dantonio afterward, "we knew we were going to pop one. They had everyone up there so we popped one. Just felt like we needed to put a stake in them. You might as well just come out and say what you are feeling at some point because you can only be diplomatic for so long."
If it wasn't ugly yet, it is now. Michigan fans are getting angry, and there's no place to let it out. Some are taking it out on Gardner, some on Rodriguez still, some on Mark Dantonio for 'reaching for disrespect.' This was a game we saw coming, even down to the score - in Fouad's terrific Thursday preview, he called it, 34-13 - and yet it still burns.
Michigan lost the turnover battle, again. Funchess was underused, again, and no one stepped up beside him. The coaching was a nightmare. And a refrain I've quoted too many times: quarterbacks, 33 plays, 103 yards, 3.12 per play, 0 touchdowns and 3 turnovers. De'Veon, Justice, Drake, and Fleet, for all their struggles, passed that bar yet again with 24 carries, 83 yards, 3.46 per play, 1 touchdown and no turnovers.
Against Ohio State, and with a leaky offensive line that allowed 31 plays of negative or no yardage, James Franklin and Penn State forced overtime yesterday against the Buckeyes before finally falling 31-24. The Buckeyes are the youngest team in the Big Ten, and have suffered injuries to key players and some questionable growth by rising stars Jalin Marshall and Dontre Wilson. But even that is only true in context - Marshall has slowly blossomed, and both Ezekiel Elliott and J.T. Barrett have become team leaders. Against pressure, Elliott threw a nasty block to give J.T. Barrett time on a third-quarter pass that otherwise might have been a strip sack.
It was a testament to the power of coaching and, particularly on that running back block of a defensive end, tenacity. It showed what great teams can do. It showed why the players put in the work and give to the game. Indirectly, it showed how Michigan has let its players down.
Hitting the Links Is Going Golfing
Just kidding, it's a puppy.
Fine, there are highlights included if you feel like watching that shovel pass again.
The program has been beyond lethargic to fans' expectations. There is no growth being shown by Hoke, nor his players, and certainly not Brandon. It's been too long since we've been on top of the world.
Also, a good troll job with the funeral-like background. Well played, Sparty.
Please don't say we've 'bottomed out.' We haven't played Ohio State yet, and there are many other opportunities.
Oooohh yeah wait noo no no no no. Ooh my gosh.
Say what you will about Mark Dantonio, but he's supposed to hate us - and he's very, very good at his job.
Did you hear the one about the baby wolverine?
Glorious. Moving on up.