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Michigan Over Michigan State In Key Midweek Makeup

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Michigan Over Michigan State In Key Midweek Makeup

Jamie Demers gets some attention from the MSU defense as he tries to surge away from the Michigan tryline. Bill Young photo.

The University of Michigan defeated Michigan State with a late surge to claim a top-four spot in the Big Ten Wednesday evening.

This game was a makeup of a September 27 game postponed by lightning. It needed to be played in order to round out the seedings for the Big Ten Finals Day this Saturday in Obetz, Ohio.

In a physical, back-and-forth clash, the improving Wolverines were down 29-24 with 12 minutes to go but stormed back to win 43-29.

MSU started the scoring when flyhalf Ryan Wakley scooped the ball up off the deck and raced in. Michigan No. 8 Davis Grimm, who had a strong game despite having had to battle through injuries, powered over. Nathan Feldman converted for a 7-5 Wolverines lead. Feldman added a penalty goal midway through the first half, but Michigan State responded.

Wing Joe Ressio ran in for a try that Samy Shelbaya converted and Michigan State was back on top 12-10. 

Back came Michigan, with sparkplug scrumhalf Jordan Perez, who provided good support on line breaks all evening, in for a try. Feldman converted and Michigan led 17-12. But MSU scrumhalf Blake Vredevoogd answered with one of his own. Shelbaya was good on the conversion and Michigan State led 19-17 at the break.

The Spartans extended that lead right after the second half kicked off, with a long, lumbering run from flanker Scott Bankes for a try and a 24-17 lead. That was just reward for Bankes, who put in a full day's work for Michigan State. The defenses held firm for about 15 minutes after that, but finally reserve Sam Glasberg was over for Michigan, and Feldman's conversion tied the game 24-24.

Five minutes later Michigan State prop Jake Niedzela powered over at the corner, and the Spartans led again, 29-24.

But the final 15 minutes belonged to Michigan. Grimm thundered over for his second, and then Perez went in for what was later awarded as a penalty try. Suddenly it was 36-29 Michigan. With time winding down and Michigan State pressing, Wolverines prop Brandon Walter scored. Feldman converted, and Michigan held on 43-29.

"This game means a lot to the guys," said Michigan Head Coach Matt Trenary. "They played with heart and should be proud. Michigan State never backs down and that's what makes these rivalry games special."

Perez was inspirational throughout the game, and so was Grimm, as Michigan improved to 3-2 in the conference.

Because the Big Ten schedule doesn't have teams play the same number of games (too many conflicts), the standings are decided by standings points pro-rated to a season of seven games.

With the win, Michigan moves to third, and thus will play Illinois on Saturday in the 3rd-4th game. Michigan State remains in 6th and will play Wisconsin for 5th. Minnesota will play Purdue for 7th, and Indiana will play Ohio State for the conference championship.


Big 10 W L T PF PA PD BT BL P/7G
Indiana 6 0 0 303 75 228 6 0 35.0
Ohio State 6 1 0 372 104 268 6 1 31.0
Michigan 3 2 0 142 183 -41 3 0 21.0
Illinois 3 3 0 160 147 13 3 1 18.7
Wisconsin 3 4 0 162 228 -66 3 1 16.0
Michigan State 2 4 1 127 259 -132 4 0 14.0
Minnesota 1 4 1 97 226 -129 1 0 8.2
Purdue 0 6 0 99 238 -139 0 0 0.0