October 3, 2009
Video: Rodriguez: 'We couldn't run the ball'
EAST LANSING - The Michigan "Revenge Tour" stopped at Michigan State on Saturday. The Wolverines brought a shiny 4-0 record into Spartan Stadium and overcame a two-touchdown deficit to force overtime.
But Michigan State picked off Tate Forcier in the end zone and earned their second win over Rich Rodriguez in as many years as true freshman Larry Caper broke a tackle and scampered into the end zone with a 23-yard run in OT.
In the post-game press conferences of both head coaches, there was a lot of talk about missed opportunities. Michigan State, which dominated time of possession and the game as a whole felt like they should have had two or more touchdowns than they did.
Michigan would have been happy with a couple of more possessions. After being dominated by opponents in the time of possession battle, Michigan State controlled the clock against Michigan and kept the Wolverine offense off the field much of the day.
Michigan State had the ball for 39:46 and Michigan had the ball for 20:14. The disparity in possession time was the result of Michigan not being able to run the football. The Wolverines entered the contest as the most productive rush offense in the Big Ten.
The Wolverines were held to minus 7 yards through three quarters and finished with just 28 net rushing yards against MSU.
"We couldn't run the ball," said Rodriguez. "Some of it was that we couldn't get into a rhythm. We didn't have the ball and when we did they kept us to three and outs."
Michigan had averaged 240 yards per game on the ground heading into the game. The Wolverines averaged just one yard per carry against the Spartans.
Carlos Brown ran for 15 yards on six carries. Brandon Minor had two yards on four carries.
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