Fired up Michigan beats MSU

Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson (2) is upended by Michigan State safety David Dowell (6) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday  in East Lansing. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

EAST LANSING (AP) — Michigan had plenty of reasons to be motivated to beat Michigan State, barely defeating its in-state rival over the last decade and losing to every ranked team on the road for a dozen years.

The Wolverines, though, were even more fired up to win after a pregame spat with the Spartans.

Shea Patterson threw two touchdown passes and No. 6 Michigan earned a desperately needed 21-7 win over No. 24 Michigan State on Saturday, snapping a streak of 17 consecutive losses to ranked teams on the road.

The Wolverines (7-1, 5-0 Big Ten) had lost eight of 10 against coach Mark Dantonio’s Spartans and those setbacks have led to them not winning a Big Ten title since 2004.

The matchup is always highly charged, but it was kicked up a notch well before kickoff, and emotions didn’t subside even after a 75-minute weather delay during the first quarter.

Michigan State’s team walked from one end zone to the other with their arms locked and a few Wolverines were stretching out in the middle of the field when contact was made and words were exchanged .

“Total bush league,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said. “Apparently coach Dantonio was 5 yards behind, smiling.”

Dantonio disagreed with Harbaugh’s assessment.

“That’s B.S.,” Dantonio said.

The Spartans (4-3, 2-2) struggled to move the ball, getting held to 94 yards and failing to convert any of its 12 third downs.

Patterson’s 79-yard pass to Donovan Peoples-Jones put Michigan ahead late in the third quarter.

“Donovan, one-on-one coverage, good luck with that,” Patterson said. “I just threw it up to him.”

The mobile quarterback converted a fourth-and-2 from the Michigan State 41 early in the fourth, setting up Ben Mason’s 5-yard run that gave the Wolverines a 21-7 lead.

The Ole Miss transfer was 14 of 25 for 212 yards and made a successful debut in a series that has been tilted Michigan State’s way in part because of poor quarterback play. His 6-yard pass to Nico Collins broke a scoreless tie early in the second quarter and was Michigan’s first touchdown throw against the Spartans since 2011.

Michigan State needed a fumble deep in Michigan territory and a trick play to score once.

Chris Evans lost the football at the Wolverines 7 early in the third. Two plays later, quarterback Brian Lewerke caught a 4-yard pass from receiver Darrell Stewart off a reverse to pull the Spartans into a tie.

 

 

 

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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