The Paul Bunyan Trophy stays in Ann Arbor for another year after the Michigan Wolverines (8-2, 5-2 B1G) took down the in-state rival Michigan State Spartans (4-6, 2-5 B1G) by a score of 44-10 in Ann Arbor.
If this is it for Mark Dantonio at Michigan State, he will have lost the rubber match to Jim Harbaugh, who now holds a 3-2 advantage in the rivalry and has won three of the last four.
Shea Patterson had his most prolific passing day at Michigan since taking over as the team’s starting quarterback in 2018, finishing with 384 yards and four touchdowns. Wide receiver Ronnie Bell joined him in a career-best afternoon, hauling in nine catches for 150 yards.
The Spartans got on the board first in this one with a nine-play, 60 yard drive that was capped off by a 1-yard pass from Brian Lewerke to Max Rosenthal, which put a scare into the masses early on.
From there, Michigan would score the next 24 points.
Michigan responded with a seven-play, 68 yard drive that was finished off by Hassan Haskins on a 1-yard run. The next scoring drive was the most impressive of the game, as it would travel 98 yards and 12 plays and ended with a five-yard pass from Patterson to Nick Eubanks. Quinn Nordin ended the first half scoring with a 28-yard field goal to put the Wolverines up 17-7 heading into the locker room.
Donovan Peoples-Jones started the second half scoring with a bang with 18-yard touchdown from Patterson to extend the lead to 24-7. MSU’s Matt Couglin would get the Spartans back to within two scores with a 35-yard field goal to stop the run with the deficit cut to 24-10. After a 49-yard field goal from Nordin, Michigan would lead 27-10 after the third quarter.
This one was was broken open even more after the Wolverines blocked a Spartan punt and followed it with a 22-yard touchdown strike from Patterson to Nico Collins to extend the lead to 34-10. The Wolverines would then stretch it to 37-10 on a 33-yard field goal from Nordin.
The exclamation point came on a 39-yard pass from Patterson to freshman Cornelius Johnson to send the final score to 44-10.
Next up for the Wolverines is a trip to Indiana next weekend before closing out the year against Ohio State. Next up for Michigan State is two must-win games against Maryland and Rutgers to scrape out bowl eligibility.