28. October 2005 · Comments Off on Rivas’s Kick Drops Spartans in OT (Again) · Categories: Archive 2005, Big Ten, Michigan State, Road Trips

Second straight OT thriller falls M’s way again
EAST LANSING, MICHIGAN OCT. 1, 2005

Garrett Rivas’s kick wasn’t crisp or firm, but it sailed through and ended another classic Michigan vs. Michigan State game and DB13. The Wolverines 34-31 win was a tale of two halves: the first a wild offensive show, the second more of a chess match, highlighted by big blunders by each team. The win essentially salvages Michigan’s season, and certainly put at least a hold on the Spartan’s desire to win a Big Ten title. At least for two weeks when MSU can get right back where they want to be with a win at Ohio State. Michigan has plenty of brutal games coming up but the pieces seem to be back in place for a run at a title.

The difference? Not much, but as mentioned here in earlier columns, the difference that Mike Hart makes to this team is significant. He was clearly not at full speed, but was the best player on the field today. Drew Stanton of MSU played a great game, and some in the Ann Arbor media are questioning Spartan coach John L. Smith for holding back the MSU offense in the second half.

Another big break for the Wolverines came on the overtime coin toss (they called ‘tails’), which gave them the ball second. A great stop and failed kick by the Spartans led to Michigan’s winning kick.

It’s a heartbreaker for the Spartans. The difference between winning and losing this (and obviously last year’s game) is so slight, but they didn’t get it done. This makes it four straight for the Wolverines, and eight of the last ten. Overall in the Dooley Brothers series, the Blue hold a nine games to four advantage.

It was another great tailgate, thanks to everyone who came out.

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