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Turning point: When the rain fell, so did Michigan’s momentum

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Just after Michigan had scored to make the score closer, the mighty storm on Saturday night began. MSU made adjustments to win the game, while Michigan made life harder on themselves

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

A sold out Michigan Stadium was set up for a day full of energy with the tailgate lots opening at noon and a night game against their in-state rival.

However, a majority of that crowd left the stadium with anything but energy.

Instead, they were left with confusion and questions.

Michigan State walked into Ann Arbor and came out of the gates punching Michigan in the mouth.

They took an early 14-3 lead and that proved to be too much of a deficit for the struggling Michigan offense to overcome.

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

However, while Michigan made multiple mistakes in this game, MSU made one in the second half on a punt that ended up giving Michigan a short field leading to a score.

It was 14-10 and things were looking like momentum could tilt back in the Wolverines favor.

Instead, something happened that neither team could control, and one team took full advantage.

Turning point

Midway through the third quarter, something happened that everyone had been preparing for all night.

Just after Michigan had finally felt like they were getting back in the game, the rain started to pour down and the wind began to swirl.

It was a borderline hurricane inside the Big House.

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

It changed the feel of the night and suddenly game plans had to be adjusted on offense for both teams.

For Mark Dantonio, it was simple.

With a four-point lead even before the fourth quarter started, the Spartans elected to play conservative and try to force Michigan to score on their stingy defense that had success most of the night.

At first, Jim Harbaugh and company did make a switch. Michigan’s running back Karan Higdon started getting the ball moving on the ground following Michigan’s touchdown drive.

He picked up a pair of first downs and Michigan was nearing midfield. Then on an 8-yard run from Higdon, a penalty flag was thrown for a holding call against Mason Cole.

Michigan was backed up to a first and long, resulting in the Wolverines trying to go back to the spread-passing attack.

It didn't work.

Michigan had to punt. For the remainder of the game, Dantonio and the Spartan offense played it out the same way. While they didn't get a first down in the second half until late, they chewed up as much clock as they could and trusted their defense.

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Michigan Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan offensively, didn't trust what worked before that holding call — handing the ball off to Higdon — and instead attempted to put the game’s fate on the right arm of John O’Korn.

And no, “the Hurricane” inside of Michigan Stadium didn't stop, it was still dumping down.

In the end, O’Korn threw three interceptions and didn't find any success at all through the air other than the touchdown drive before the storms started.

The rain clearly played a factor, it’s not an excuse for Michigan, it’s a fact.

However, Dantonio used his personal to its strength in the second half with a lead. Michigan on the other hand, went with a much more difficult option given the conditions.

The weather was a clear turning point in this game, and Harbaugh was out-coached by his rival.

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Michigan Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Now 1-4 against major rivals, Wolverine fans are questioning their head coach and his “honeymoon” may just be over.

Changes and adjustments have to be made if Michigan wants to win these kinds of games and in this particular contest, Dantonio did just that and got a happy bus ride home.