Michigan keeps its cool against Michigan State after 'dirty' play on Shea Patterson
Ann Arbor — Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh heaped praise on his team for being disciplined and not engaging in much extracurricular activity against Michigan State.
In the Wolverines’ 44-10 victory Saturday over MSU, Michigan State defensive end Jacub Panasiuk was flagged for roughing the passer, a flagrant violation, and ejected from the game early in the fourth quarter after his hit from the blindside on Shea Patterson. Michigan was leading 34-10 at the time and Panasiuk will miss the first half of MSU’s upcoming game against Rutgers.
“I didn’t see it at the time. I always knew that No. 96 (Panasiuk), kinda dirty player, him and his brother (Mike). I really don’t care too much for them,” Michigan left tackle Jon Runyan said Monday. “I made clear that — you can go back and watch the film — I have a play where I clean up 96, take him like 20 yards down the field. I’m not really a big fan of him.
“I don’t want to talk trash about him, but I really don’t like that guy and I don’t like how he plays the game of football. I thought it was disgusting what he did. Completely unnecessary. You could tell he was frustrated because he couldn’t do anything against me or (right tackle) Jalen (Mayfield) all game, so he had to come up with a different way to affect the game and ended up taking himself out.”
Tight end Sean McKeon was on the fringe of the play and saw it happen, but controlled his response.
“(Patterson) already threw the ball, I saw (Panasiuk) take maybe two or three steps and then hit him. Obviously, that’s pretty late. I’d say it’s pretty dirty.
“I kinda wanted to fight him, but obviously can’t. A lot of refs right there. Just try not to make the situation worse. They did the right thing by getting him out of the game.”
Runyan said he’s not much for trash talking. McKeon said they’re taught not to engage and draw penalties.
“That’s just how we’re coached what we do every day at practice, every game,” McKeon said. “Coach Harbaugh is really big on that. Obviously, a lot of emotions going playing rivals like Michigan State. Just thought we were more disciplined than them and didn’t let them kinda get in our heads, distract us in any way.”
McKeon was asked if the Spartans trash talked.
“Yeah,” he said, laughing, “they usually do.”
Tarik Black caught a 27-yard pass against Michigan State, turned and flexed. Flag. Unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, 15 yards for … flexing.
Harbaugh said he and his staff have submitted a question about the penalty to the Big Ten office.
“I think he just flexed one,” Harbaugh said, before demonstrating several on-field gestures he has seen on the field during various games. “It should probably be spelled out. I watch a lot of TV, watch a lot of football games, and I see a lot of gestures. I remember that (does the throat-slitting motion) being something you couldn’t do. Be a good thing to talk about. Be good to get some clarity.”
Later, McKeon had a catch and signaled first down. Receiver Ronnie Bell kicked pulled McKeon’s hand down to avoid a penalty.
“I don’t think Tarik really did anything,” McKeon said. “He wasn’t like staring down anyone or over somebody. Not really sure why he got penalized for that. I know first-down signals are OK. Ronnie yelled at me so we didn’t get flag. Little inconsistent."