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Varsity Blue

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2nd Half Liveblog

Halftime stats:
Hart 13-99
Henne 7-14 2TD 1INT
Manningham 3-14 1TD
Butler 2-16 1TD
Ezeh 3 tackles (2TFL), 1 sack

Ringer 6-21 (3.5 ypc)
Hoyer 8-21 1INT

Brown takes the KO at the 15, and gets it out to the 31.

Michigan runs towards the strong side, the weak I-set FB is not a factor. Minor runs it, Hart not in. Henne in the gun on 2nd and 10. Inside draw to Minor, who takes it 7 yards. Someone gets his ankles, but he manages to keep his feet for another yard or two.

State brings the heat, but Henne has plenty of time. Probably because there's a holing call on the way. Yup. It's on Butler, but they decline due to the lack of completion on third. Butler should
have gone to State for all the discipline he has.

Ringer has a big hole on 2nd and 8, Ezeh meets him a couple yards downfield, and is driven backwards. 3rd and short. Caulcrick gets the first. Ringer dances behind good push from his linemen. He is brought down after gaining 6.

Do we cover TEs at all? Davis wide open for a 21 yard gain. Next play, Ringer manages to keep his balance for a gain of 9. Caulcrick barrels forward for the first. Where is the stereotypical MSU drive-killing penalty?

1st and ten MSU, Caulcrick runs up the middle for 8ish yards, where he is upended. He appears to fumble, but he was definitely down by contact. After a long TV timeout, Ringer goes up the middle and gets less than a yard, but is given a fairly generous spot. 3rd down msu. Caulcrick hit in the backfield by CGraham, who shows why peopel are always frustrated with him by missing the tackle. Brandon is there to make the stop, but it's after the first.

1st and Goal MSU, lined up in a goal line set. Michigan has only 10 men on the field. Caulcrick breaks through the line and gets down to the 1. On the next play, he punches it in.

14-10 Michigan 6:32 3rd Quarter. This game suddenly got interesting. Is it just Michigan's tendency to give up a sustained drive at the beginning of the game reappearing after halftime? After the first MSU drive, Michigan dominated the rest of the half. Now that MSU has managed to get on the scoreboard again, the Wolverines don't look nearly so dominant.

On plays that are reviewed, I wish the refs would be more specific. They typically say "After review, the ruling on the field stands (/is overturned). It would be so much more enlightening to say "There is no indisputable visual evidence to overturn" or "there is indisputable visual evidence confirming the call." Either way, MSU gets the TD, and as the shadows finally overtake the whole field, they'll kick off to a Michigan offense that gained 23 yards after their TD early in the second quarter, and didn't manage to garner a first down on their first drive of the half.

Carlos Brown returns the kick, and doesn't go down on first contact like has been accused in the past. He is becoming a field position weapon on kick returns. Why haven't we seen him in the punt game?

Mike Hart returns to the field, and Manningham is barely overthrown on a bomb by Henne. A dive probably would have gotten him enough to the ball to catch it. Hart draws up the middle on second for one yard. The fans are really getting into the game. Can the Spartans throttle the emotion and play smart?

Timeout Michigan to avoid a delay penalty. This game definitely feels like it is turning the way of MSU. Michigan needs a big conversion (especially after spending a timeout) to stop the momentum shift.

Mathews left, butler TE left, Henne in the gun with Hart to his left. Henne goes down. He had a month to throw but nobody came open. This is bad. A ref is down on the field. I put the sack on Mitchell actually, as Schilling was expecting help inside and Mitchell didn't provide it because he was busy blocking... nobody.

Bad/mediocre punt by Zoltan, bad coverage, though it actually only ended up being a 1 yard return. Could have had him for a big loss.

SUPER late flag on the play. Wasn't a good call either. Ball was uncatchable either way. It seems like the field judge threw it just to spite Warren for thinking he had good coverage. Bad officiating there. Michigan is hurtin' for an MSU turnover.

77,009 in attendance today.

Crable and Slocum stop Ringer for a loss on a pitch play on second down. Michigan has to get a third down stop. Hoyer completes to Curry even though he was getting drilled as he threw. Short of the first down.

Englemon hasn't come back after getting hurt on the MSU TD drive. Stevie Brown has been at FS. State calls a timeout after lining up to go for it on fourth and 2. They come back out with a punter. Michigan is skeptical, keeping 3 LBers in.

The MSU player was standing in the endzone as he got hit by the punt. That should be a touchback. I expect a review. Hmm, replay shows that he may not have been in. I wish we had him on Michigan instead of Charles Stewart.

Hart gains one yard then has a slight limp as he goes off. Play action deep to Mario. The defender was being pretty physical with him, but he managed to make the catch. On replay, it might have been a PI on Henderson if Manningham isn't able to make the catch.

Next play, to Mario the other way, Henne overthrows him by one step again. If he had just put a little less under some of his passes, this game would be out of reach already. Henne is destroyed as he throws on third down. No protection from Minor on that one. Another area (other than "all of them") where Hart is a big upgrade from the backups. Punty.

Flare to Devin Thomas. Well covered by Trent, who makes the play despite being held by the other WR. Ringer reverses field on the next play and takes it almost all the way before getting dragged down form behind by Crable(!). Great play by him to stay with MSU's "lightning" player.

End of 3rd. 14-10 Michigan. 1st and Goal MSU, 5 yard line.
31-152 rushing
11-24 1 int
7penalties 51 yds

23-102 rushing
8-19 1 int 2 td
3 penalties 35 ys.

MSU play action to a wide open Davis. It didn't seem like UM had good coverage on a single Spartan. Davis was Crable's man. Crable stayed with the run fake too long.

17-14 MSU 14:55 4th.

Brandon Harrison returns to the 25. Anton Campbell getting a bit chippy with some Spartans after the play.

Another Michigan 3 and out. Henne had enough time to get rid of it, but he didn't. He took a painful-looking sack. Hope his knees are ok after that one. Another shitty Zoltan punt. Fortunately, good coverage.

It is interesting to notice the difference in fan behavior at State. Even the alums in box seats stand up and cheer on third down, and sometimes other key plays.

Defense looks like it is getting tired. Caulcrick blows through about 4 Michigan defenders for a 7 yard gain. After a State first down, they are called for an illegal shift, negating a 4 yard gain. Is this the penalty that Michigan has been looking for all half to slow down the Spartans? At this point, it seems like Michigan State is going to have to beat itself.

Caulcrick bounces outside for a big gain. This is a Michigan loss just waiting to happen.

1-10 MSU on UM 22.

State has decided to just run the ball straight at Michigan, and it is workign with a great degree of success. Crable comes off the edge on second down and levels Caulcrick after a one yard gain to bring a 3rd down and 4.

State tries the Colorado "pretend like you fumbled it" fake, but Michigan does not bite. Doesn't matter, as he still completes it to Thomas over Trent's head. Morgan needs to get his head around on that. Other than the occasional pass, MSU has contented themselves with running a whole hell of a lot.

Like for a Caulcrick TD.

17-4 Run-pass ratio in third quarter, not sure of exact stats but it isn't far off for the fourth.

24-14 MSU 7:40 4th Quarter.

After a lackluster kick return by Carlos Brown, Henne finds a wide open Arrington, whose momentum carries him out of bounds shortly after he makes the first down. Mallett comes in at QB. This is bad. Henne's knee looks hurt.

Mallett gets killed from the edge, fumbling. Hart picks it up, and breaks a tackle after 7 yards. If he could have done that a little quicker, it was off to the endzone. Hart gets the first anyway. Henne back in. Deep out to Mario. Probably Henne's best throw, and he delivers a good one. Mario picks up the first.

Short pass to Mathews, he only gains four, but is hit well after he was out of bounds. Thank You, Spartans. Kendell Davis-Clark with the free 15.

Henne is in a rhythm on the out pass. Arrington catches this one for 11. Ball on the 14 for Michigan. They take a timeout, leaving only one remaining in a game they trail late by two scores.

24-14 MSU 6:59 4Q 1-10 UM on MSU 14.

Henne begging for defensive holding from the ref on that one. No dice. Arrington stumbled, and Henne missed him in the endzone (not his fault). Replay shows blatant PI. Moot, as Greg Mathews gets behind the MSU defender (Kendell Davis-Clark) on the next play and catches it right in the bread basket. Davis just got turned around.

24-21 MSU 6:47 4th Quarter. Nice 48 second drive there. Time for a big stop. Navy over ND 46-44 in 3 overtimes, BTW.

Two run plays get State into a third and 2.5 on their own 33ish. Caulcrick is stuffed on a toss sweep and Michigan has life again. MSU punt bounces out at the 35, and the offense takes the field once more. Arrington makes a diving catch on a less-accurate out from Henne. He would have had a lot of room for YAC with a better throw.

There has been a shitload of uncalled PI in this game. Jim Carty, who is begging to be choked, informs all who will listen that it isn't a bad call. He is wrong. Next play, Manningham goes out untouched after 9. He could have turned it up for a yard or two to get the first.

Minor runs for the first, but there is a flag on the play. Holding. Fuck. Butler again. Undisciplined play from him once more. Michigan takes their final timeout. Butler needs to get his head right.

Huge 3rd and 11 here. Manningham's lack of stretch is really hurting the team now. Arrington saves the day, though, getting just more than enough for the first. Henne down the middle for Manningham. If he had hit Arrington, it could have meant a few more yards, but it turned out for the best. Henne is playing really well under pressure.

1 yard loss by Minor and a fall down by Manningham leads to another 3rd and 11. BOMB TO SUPER MARIO!!!!!!!!! And a HUUUUUUUUUge weight is lifted from my chest.

28-24 UM 2:28 4th Quarter.

Time for one more big stop. Thomas makes a huge individual effort to evade some guys and break a tackle or two before getting dragged down by Warren and Webb at about the 31.

The defense is slowly yielding yardage. I wouldn't be upset if they could make the tackles short of the sticks and inbounds. After a reception by Davis (unfolding exactly as outlined last sentence), State takes their second timeout.

Big reception across the middle by Thomas. This is bad. Thomas is having a hell of a game. Then Crable and Ezeh destroy Hoyer, and State takes their last TO. 30 second.

28-24 Michigan 1:34 4th Quarter MSU 2-18 on UM 43 yard line.

HUGE PBU by Trent. 4th and 18 for State.

Probably pass interference by the Michigan DB, uncalled (as it hasn't been all game, thanks Jim Carty), and the game is unofficially over.

A couple team rushes for loss and..... ballgame
43-191 rush
19/35 1 int 1 td
9 penalties 71 yds

18-33 1 int 3 td
3 fum (no lost)
4-45 penalties

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“2nd Half Liveblog”