Shawn on Sports: Weekend Roundup
Michigan Won, State Lost, and All is Normal in the World
What did we find out this weekend? Well, in my eyes, not much. Both Michigan and Michigan State played games that went the way people expected.
Lets start with the Wolverines. In what many considered a must win for Jim Harbaugh and Michigan, the Wolverines did enough to grind out a 10-3 win over Iowa. In an ugly fashion, the Wolverines earned a pivotal Big Ten win, snapped a three-game losing streak against ranked opponents, and kept its conference title hopes alive. It wasn’t pretty, as Michigan and Iowa combined for 528 yards and 15 punts, but the Wolverines’ defense forced the Hawkeyes to turn the ball over in the final minute to seal the win. While both defenses played outstanding games, there were also a ton of missed opportunities for both teams.
Michigan missed two field goals and Iowa committed four turnovers and hurt itself with four straight penalties on one of the most important drives of the game. It may not have been the prettiest game, but it's still a big win for the Wolverines. Michigan's defense played more than well enough to win. Their offense is the reason why Iowa was able to hang around. Given that Iowa had four turnovers and was completely one-dimensional, there's no reason why the Wolverines should have broken a sweat. But they averaged 4.5 yards per play and never quite found a rhythm. Iowa had a good defensive game plan, but Michigan squandered its opportunities to move the ball and put points on the board and that should be concerning for Michigan fans moving forward.
Turning to Michigan State, the Spartans dropped a 34-10 game to No. 4 Ohio State in Columbus on Saturday night. Not a surprise to me or most college football fans, as many consider Ohio State to be the best team in the country. The Buckeyes dominated as their offense picked up 529 yards while the defense held Michigan State to 285 yards. Michigan State had a chance in this game early, but turned the ball over on its first two possessions of the night, negating an impressive start from its defense. Brian Lewerke played well for the most part, but he was under pressure most of the night as Ohio State finished with four sacks and nine tackles for loss. If Michigan State can't solve its run game, it will continue to be a team that can compete with most of the Big Ten, but not the conference's top tier.
Did anybody notice the NHL season started? Well it did, and the Red Wings are off to a 2-0 start. I know it’s only two games, so pump the brakes, but two games into the new season I like what I see. This is a team that has some very good young talent infused with some scrappy veterans. They may not have what it takes to win the Stanley Cup, but I think a trip to the playoffs after a three year drought is in the cards.