Sunday, October 30, 2022

Talk About the Passion

When afforded the opportunity to hit the Paul, one must hit the Paul.  (Isaiah Hole)

Empty prayer, empty mouths combien reactionEmpty prayer, empty mouths talk about the passionCombien, combien, combien de temps?
Talk about the passionTalk about the passion

--"Talk About The Passion" by R.E.M. from their 1983 debut album Murmur 

I should like this game more than I do.  I did deeply enjoy the era of assured certainty of the late Carr era, where Michigan would show up and beat Michigan State. Even as Michigan was lost in the desert during the Dantonio era, there was this certainty of dumb things happening to Michigan.  But this entire week felt like a full Kobayashi Maru.  If Michigan wins in anything other than blowout fashion, it will be an indictment of the season, to say nothing of the reaction if, once again, an unranked Michigan State finds a way to spoil a Michigan season in the name of making their own.  

So yes, please forgive me if the first quarter felt frustrating.  Even if one intellectually knew that Michigan State could not keep just throwing up long jump balls and scoring, well, it worked in 2020, so yeah.  But the reality settled in that even if Michigan could move the ball to the Spartan five, they just couldn't get in the end zone.  But, thankfully, Jake Moody remains money, and it was 13-7 at the half.

The underappreciated genius of Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards is that they echo Mike Hart's running style without copying it.  They find the holes, they fall forward for the extra yards, and they do more, but they don't make it look difficult.  When the running game is clicking, it's not necessarily an exciting brand, even if Corum and Edwards were both averaging over five yards every time they touched the ball without a bunch of explosive plays.  In the larger view, the only reason that this didn't feel better was that Jake Moody had five field goals instead of, say three field goals and two Michigan touchdowns in their stead.  37-3 would be much more indicative of what the offense was doing outside the red zone than what they were doing inside the red zone.  I suppose that is a credit to the Michigan State defense.

The final analysis of this game is that Michigan won by nearly exactly the margin they were expected by Vegas to win by and has reclaimed Paul.  Michigan has a win over every Big Ten team in their most recent match-up.

Michigan Spreadsheet Notes:
Win 0984
29-7 score, not a Scoragami.  4th time, previously against Indiana last year.
Win 450 at Michigan Stadium (in 600 games)
Attendance 111,083, the 65th largest crowd in Michigan Stadium history
All-time record against Michigan State/MAC moves to 72-38-5
Michigan moves to 14-5 on October 29th, all-time.  The previous 10/29 game was 32-23 win over MSU in 2016
Michigan moves to 16-2 when scoring exactly 29 points
Michigan moves to 107-13-4 when allowing their opponent exactly 7 points.

It's Rutgers week.  Steel yourself accordingly.

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