The No.2 Michigan Wolverines (8-0, 5-0) got perhaps their biggest win of the season after beating the Michigan State Spartans (2-6, 0-5) by a score of 32-23 in East Lansing on Saturday.
This is the first time since 2012 that Michigan has beaten their in-state rival. With the win, the Wolverines also take home the Paul Bunyan Trophy, the coveted prize of the rivalry game.
Wilton Speight completed 16 of his 25 passing attempts for 244 yards. However, he failed to throw for a touchdown. This marks the fifth straight year that Michigan has failed to get a passing touchdown against Michigan State.
Freshman wide receiver Eddie McDoom ran for 54 yards, the most on the team. Karon Higdon and De’Veon Smith followed with 44 yards on 10 carries and 38 yards on 11 carries, respectively.
Jabrill Peppers ran for 24 yards and a touchdown on five carries in his time on offense. He also returned a Michigan State fumble on a two-point conversion all the way back to seal the deal for the Wolverines.
Amara Darboh practically carried Michigan receivers all day. He made eight catches for 165 yards, 86 more yards than the rest of the team combined.
The defense looked a bit more vulnerable than usual against Sparty. Other than surrendering the second most points they’ve allowed all season, they also let up 217 rushing yards, the most since UCF ran for 275 yards against the maize and blue back in Week 2.
The game didn’t start out exactly how the Wolverines had planned it, with the Spartans driving 75 yards to go up 7-0 on their first possession of the game. However, Michigan went on to score on every possession they had in the first half and went into halftime with a 27-10 lead.
The maize and blue weren’t quite as strong in the second half, but they were able to hold off a furious Spartans rally and take advantage of miscues to put the game on ice.
Michigan will return home next week to face the Maryland Terrapins and to continue their pursuit for a Big Ten championship.