Karan Higdon caught a pass for a 15-yard gain on first down, and a personal foul penalty on the Spartans put the ball at midfield. John O'Korn gave Eddie McDoom a chance to make a play inside the 30, but the receiver dropped the ball with 19 seconds remaining. On third down, Donovan Peoples-Jones couldn't come up with a diving catch, leaving 13 seconds on the clock. On third down, the Wolverines were called for a delay of game, moving the ball back to their own 45. O'Korn found Higdon out of the backfield for an 18-yard gain to the 37. With five seconds remaining, Michigan took a final shot at the end zone, but the ball fell harmlessly to the ground and MSU held on for the 14-10 victory.
The Wolverines have only their flat start in the first half to blame for dropping this game at home under the lights, as it wasn't until midway through the third quarter that the torrential rain reared its ugly head. The Wolverines turned the ball over five times, though that only led to seven MSU points. John O'Korn looked like he'd never played in the rain before, throwing three interceptions during key drives.
Lewerke showed toughness in leading MSU to an improbable victory at Michigan Stadium. He rushed for 56 yards on 13 carries, while going 11-for-22 for 94 yards and a touchdown through the air.
Michigan will get one last shot
An offsides penalty on Devin Bush set the MSU offense up nicely with a second-and-short, and the Spartans were able to use that to get their first first down of the second half. With less than three minutes remaining, Jim Harbaugh had to start using his timeouts to stop the clock. On third-and-3, Brian Lewerke fumbled the snap, and after looking like he came up short of the first down, Lewerke rolled on top of his lineman and over the line to gain, apparently winning the game for the Spartans with just over two minutes remaining.
Not so fast.
A holding penalty on the Spartans handed Michigan an extra timeout on third down, and that was the only reason MSU had to punt the ball with less than a minute remaining.
The Wolverines will take over at their own 20 with 34 seconds remaining.
Wolverines unable to breakthrough
Michigan took over at its own 35 with less than six minutes remaining. On third-and-4, the Wolverines tried to sneak a draw play by the MSU defense. That didn't work, and now Michigan has punted the ball back to MSU, who takes over at its own 26 with 3:58 remaining.
Defenses dominating in the rain
The MSU offense couldn't do anything with Michigan's fifth turnover, punting the ball back to the Wolverines. Karan Higdon got Michigan off to a good start with a 12-yard run on first down, but it was tough sledding after that, and the Spartans forced a punt.
With 7:49 remaining, MSU still leads 14-10.
O'Korn throws third INT
Michigan was faced with third-and-long, but because they're the ones trailing in this game, they have to try and get something done on offense. Well, that trying resulted in a fifth turnover as John O'Korn threw an interception at midfield that gives the ball back to MSU at its own 42.
Rain forces Spartans into failed fourth down try
The Michigan defense flexed its muscles, and the MSU offense wasn't about to attempts a field goal in the driving rain. Brian Lewerke fumbled the ball on fourth-and-short, and the Wolverines will take over at their own 36.
With 12:13 to play, it's still 14-10 in favor of the Spartans.
Bachie picks off O'Korn
On third down with their backs against the wall, Michigan found a way to get a first down in the pouring rain. John O'Korn hit Sean McKeon with a screen pass, and the tight end did the rest, bulldozing his way to a first down at the 27.
The field flipped to start the fourth quarter, putting Michigan on the bad side of a driving rain. O'Korn fumbled the snap on second down, and then he tried to make a play instead of just eating the broken play, and he threw an interception to Joe Bachie, giving the Spartans the ball at the Michigan 41.
O'Korn INT costs Wolverines momentum
Michigan had something going with Karan Higdon, who rushed for 17 yards on four consecutive carries. A Mason Cole holding penalty put the Wolverines in a hole, and John O'Korn threw an interception that cost Michigan any momentum it had going.
MSU takes over at its own 43 with 3:52 to play in the third quarter.
Weather affects Spartans offense
The rain has arrived at Michigan Stadium. For now, it's blowing in the face of the MSU offense, and the Michigan defense was able to take advantage by forcing a three-and-out.
The Spartans stuck with safe play calls, using a shovel pass and running plays on a drive that came up two yards short of a first down after a Brian Lewerke scramble.
With 6:29 remaining in the third quarter, MSU is still clinging to it's 14-10 lead.
Short field helps Michigan get back in the game
Starting at the MSU 33, John O'Korn found Khalid Hill for an 18-yard gain on first down, and after a Ty Isaac run went nowhere, O'Korn dropped back again and hit Grant Perry for what appeared to be an 18-yard touchdown. After review, Michigan was given the ball at the 1, as it was ruled Perry's rear end hit down prior to the ball crossing the goal line. On first down, the Wolverines gave the ball to Hill, who muscled his way into the end zone, cutting the MSU lead to 14-10 with 8:09 remaining in the third quarter.
It could prove valuable for Michigan to get points before the storms arrive. In inclement weather, points can be tough to come by.
Spartans play it safe with backs against the wall
As if starting at its own 2 wasn't bad enough, MSU was called for a false start on first down, putting the ball at the 1. On first down, Brian Lewerke threw the ball away, and on second down, Madre London barely got out of the end zone to avoid a safety. Lewerke was able to give his punter a bit of breathing room with a three-yard run on third down, but Michigan was able to get the ball back to its offense.
With 9:50 remaining in the third quarter, Michigan will take over at the MSU 33 trailing 14-3.
Spartans avoid disaster on muffed punt
John O'Korn couldn't hit a wide open Grant Perry on second down, and on third down, the Michigan quarterback got out of the pocket but wasn't able to pick up enough yards to get a first down near midfield.
MSU will take over at its own 2 as Laress Nelson muffed the punt but was able to recover to avoid disaster.
Michigan defense gets three-and-out to start second half
The Spartans started the second half at their own 7 after a holding penalty on the kickoff return. The Michigan defense got a much-needed three-and-out to force a punt.
Something to keep an eye on: Storms are approaching Ann Arbor and expected to arrive at Michigan Stadium between 10-10:30. Any lightning strike within 10 miles will cause a 30-minute delay to the game.
MSU leads Michigan 14-3 at the half
Both teams exchanged punts and Michigan got a chance to cut into the MSU lead when it took over at its own 38 with 1:25 on the clock.
John O'Korn hit Grant Perry for a nine-yard gain, but on the very next play, the Spartans brought pressure and sacked O'Korn for an 11-yard loss. On third-and-12, O'Korn found for a big gain to Sean McKeon, but as McKeon fought for an extra yard or two, an MSU defender punched the ball out and recovered a fumble to end the first half.
At halftime, the spartans have a 14-3 lead.
The Michigan offense just can't get out of its own way right, and the Spartans are taking it to them by pressuring O'Korn and neutralizing his young weapons.
The Spartans offense has been creative, which may come as a surprise to those that follow this football team. They've used Michigan's aggressiveness against them with play-fakes that have caught the Wolverines off guard.
Dropped pass costs MSU points
Madre London ripped off a 50-yard run on the first play of the drive to get MSU down to the Michigan 33. The next two plays went nowhere, and on third-and-11, Trishton Jackson dropped a ball that would have been a surefire first down inside the Michigan 20.
Michigan punts again, MSU in control
John O'Korn kept the drive alive on third down, scrambling for five yards out to the 45. On the next play, O'Korn found Kekoa Crawford for what appeared to be a 55-yard touchdown, but it came back due to a holding call on Karan Higdon. Facing first-and-20 at their own 35, the Wolverines were able to get 14 yards back on a quick pass to Chris Evans. On third down, an MSU defensive holding penalty gave Michigan a free first down at the Spartans 41. The Wolverines weren't able to do anything with the gift, as Gerald Owens sacked O'Korn on third down and forced a Michigan punt.
MSU taking it to Michigan defense
Brian Lewerke sold multiple fakes in the backfield and found Madre London on a screen pass with only green (fake) grass in front of him, taking it 16 yards to the house and putting the Spartans up 14-3 with 8:07 remaining in the second quarter.
Lewerke hit Matt Sokol for a third down conversion that got MSU out to its own 44, and on the very next play, Darrell Stewart made an amazing grab in double coverage to get down to the Michigan 26.
Wolverines offense stuck in neutral
After Michigan took over at its own 15, John O'Korn kept a second down play alive and found Grant Perry for a first down at the 32. The Wolverines couldn't get anything going after that, as the MSU defensive line is getting good pressure on O'Korn and forcing him into quick decisions.
With 11:52 remaining in the second quarter, MSU still has a 7-3 lead.
MSU can't capitalize in Michigan territory
After Michigan went three-and-out, it appeared that the Spartans would do the same, but a pass interference on third-and-long extended the drive. MSU got into Wolverines territory on the next play via a 10-yard Darrell Stewart run. That was where the good times ended for the Spartans, as two incompletions and one stuffed run later, they were forced to punt.
The second quarter is underway, and MSU still leads, 7-3, with 14:00 remaining in the half.
Lewerke puts MSU on top
The coverage was too good, so Brian Lewerke put his head down and dove for the end zone and a 14-yard touchdown that puts MSU up 7-3 with 2:59 remaining in the first quarter.
Earlier in the drive, Gerald Holmes saw an opening and bursted his way through the line for a 15-yard gain down to the Michigan 28. After Lewerke scrambled for a gain of nine on first down, Maurice Hurst stuffed the Spartans for a loss. Unfortunately for the Wolverines, Devin Bush was called for unsportsmanlike conduct, a 15-yard penalty that set MSU up at the 11.
Isaac fumbles possession back to MSU
The Michigan running game was rolling, as Chris Evans notched another Michigan first down to start the offense's second drive. That's when Ty Isaac made the night's first mistake, putting the ball on the ground and allowing MSU to recover a fumble at the Michigan 44.
Spartans sputter on first drive
Brian Lewerke tried to hit Felton Davis on the first play of the drive, but the young quarterback overthrew his premiere target. On second down, Gerald Holmes was stuffed at the line of scrimmage, and on third down, Josh Metellus knocked away a throw down the field. That forced an MSU punt, and perhaps more importantly, puts the Spartans defense right back on the field after a lengthy opening drive from Michigan.
Michigan settles for field goal on 16-play, 64-yard drive
Five different Wolverines accounted for positive rushing yards on the opening drive, getting the ball all the way down to the Spartans 11, but they were forced to settle for a 30-yard Quinn Nordin field goal and a 3-0 advantage with 8:04 to play in the first quarter.
After an incompletion on the first play from scrimmage, John O'Korn handed the ball off to Karan Higdon on second down for a six-yard gain. On third down, O'Korn put a ball in a tight spot and hit Grant Perry for a first down at the 50. Chris Evans netted five yards on the next play before using his elusiveness for an eight-yard gain and a first down. After a short Ty Isaac run, O'Korn scrambled to set up a third-and-3. Evans came up a yard short of the first down, but the Michigan offense got to the line quickly and Evans was able to pick up two yards on fourth-and-1. On the next third-and-1, the Wolverines dialed up another run, this time getting the first down with a handoff to fullback Khalid Hill.
MICHIGAN VS. MICHIGAN STATE
When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor
TV / radio: ABC / WJR 760, WWJ 950
Records: Michigan 4-0, Michigan State 3-1
Line: Michigan by 10.5