For the first time in the career of Michigan's seniors they can finally say they've beaten little brother and brought home the Paul Bunyan Trophy after a 12-10 hard fought victory at Michigan Stadium. Usually it's the senior class that keys these types of victories and that's exactly what QB Denard Robinson did as he led an 8 play 41 yard drive to set up the game winning field goal by junior Brendan Gibbons with just 5 seconds remaining.
The Maize 'n Blue (5-2, 3-0) did it despite the attempted shenanigans of Michigan State (4-4, 1-3) wearing chromed out helmets, something that was first confirmed to us by sources on the Spartans early Thursday night, and will probably send MSU back to the offensive drawing board.
Michigan took advantage of the fact that MSU's offense was nearly non-existent thanks to numerous injuries to the offensive line and a simple lack of production from the running game. Star running back Le'Veon Bell was held to just 68 yards and averaged just 2.6 yards per carry.
Michigan was able to move the ball quite easily at times, but couldn't finish off drives, which became a pattern in the second quarter after the Wolverines opening drive of the period stalled out after going 11 plays for 77 yards in 5:19. They would have to settle for a field goal by Gibbons, his first of three on the night to make it 3-0.
Following a stop by their defense the wolverines doubled their lead to 6-0 and took that lead into the 3rd quarter.
However, field goals weren't enough to keep the Spartans away as QB Andrew Maxwell hooked up with tight end Paul Lang from 2 yards out to go up 7-6 with 7:19 to go in the 3rd quarter.
The 4th quarter saw a lot of action as the Wolverines took a 9-7 lead, but the Spartans added a field goal of their own win 5:18 to go in the final stanza and after a few missed possessions on both sides it was time for one final drive for the Wolverines.
It became another epic moment in the career of Denard Robinson as he completely willed his team down the field and into field goal range, especially on 2nd and 11 with the ball at the Spartans 41 yard line with 18 seconds left. Robinson nailed a 20 yard pass to Drew Dileo that gave them the ball at the 21 yard line. Robinson got the team up to the line quickly and spiked the ball with 9 seconds left.
That left a 38 yard attempt for Brendan Gibbons and after being iced by MSU he drilled it through the uprights with just 5 seconds left.
MSU attempted the miracle multi-lateral kickoff return, but it ended after a tackle inside their own 5 yard line as time expired.
The win keeps the Maize 'n Blue squarely in the drivers seat of the Legends division but the loss for Michigan State drops them 3 games back and virtually out of it at this point.
Up next for Michigan State is a tough trip to a hot Wisconsin Badgers team, while Michigan will square off at Minnesota for the Little Brown Jug.