U-M Loses Battle for Paul Bunyan at No. 24 Michigan State
Raymon Taylor

Nov. 2, 2013

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Site: East Lansing, Mich. (Spartan Stadium)
Score: #24 Michigan State 29, #23 Michigan 6
Records: U-M (6-2, 2-2 Big Ten), MSU (8-1, 5-0 Big Ten)
Attendance: 76,306
Next U-M Game: Saturday, Nov. 9 -- vs. Nebraska (Michigan Stadium), 3:30 p.m.

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The University of Michigan football team (No. 23 AP, No. 21 ESPN/USA Today) surrendered 23 unanswered points in a 29-6 loss at Michigan State (No. 24 AP, No. 24 ESPN/USA Today) on Saturday (Nov. 2) in the battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy at Spartan Stadium.

A 97-yard Michigan State drive late in the fourth quarter -- punctuated by a Jeremy Langford 40-yard rushing touchdown -- sealed the MSU victory.

Senior/junior quarterback Devin Gardner (Detroit, Mich./Inkster) passed for 210 yards, with sophomore/freshman wide receiver Jehu Chesson (St. Louis, Mo./Ladue Horton Watkins HS) hauling in four passes for 88 yards, a new career high. Junior Raymon Taylor (Detroit, Mich./Highland Park) tallied 12 tackles and one interception on the defensive side of the ball.

Michigan opened the scoring on its first drive of the game, as junior kicker Matt Wile (San Diego, Calif./Francis Parker) booted through a 49-yard field goal with 10:38 remaining in the first quarter. U-M drove 54 yards on its opening possession, with Gallon posting three receptions, including a 38-yard catch on the first play of the game.

Michigan State evened up the score at 3-3 with a field goal by Michael Geiger on its first offensive possession with 9:10 remaining in the quarter. Fullback Trevon Pendleton's 49-yard catch and run on MSU's first play took the Spartans deep into Wolverines territory to the 26-yard line.

The two teams traded punts and field position over the next four possessions while battling a steady rain that created slick field conditions. Michigan State then took its first lead of the game with 11:19 remaining in the second quarter on a 44-yard field goal by Geiger.

With 6:02 on the clock in the second, Michigan started a drive that went 57 yards on six plays, including a Chesson leaping 48-yard grab. That set up fifth-year senior kicker Brendan Gibbons' (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman) 39-yard field goal. The kick bounced off the right upright and caromed through for three points and a 6-6 tie.

The Spartans responded to close the second quarter, going 75 yards in 2:54 -- as Connor Cook found Bennie Fowler from 14 yards out for a TD with 23 seconds left in the half, which ended with MSU up, 13-6.

Poor field position plagued U-M throughout the game and especially in the second half. The Wolverines began their first three possessions in the third quarter from their own 19-, seven- and 10-yard lines. Taylor turned around the field position when he picked off Cook with 2:08 remaining in the third quarter and returned it 18 yards to the Spartans' 41-yard line. U-M was unable to capitalize, however, when Gardner was sacked on three consecutive plays.

On the ensuing MSU drive, Cook passed for 44 yards and plunged into the end zone from one yard out to put the Spartans up 22-6. Redshirt freshman Willie Henry (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville HS) blocked the extra-point try to keep the deficit at 16 points.

Michigan took the ball with 10:25 left in the game and moved it 53 yards to the MSU 20-yard line. The drive included a Gardner fourth-and-one rushing conversion, Chesson's two receptions for 24 yards and two catches for 13 yards by sophomore Devin Funchess (Farmington Hills, Mich./Harrison HS); but with 6:23 left on the game clock, Darqueze Dennard snuffed the threat with an interception at the MSU three-yard line.

The Maize and Blue returns to action next Saturday (Nov. 9), hosting Nebraska at Michigan Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on ABC.

Contact: Justin Dickens, Zach Eisendrath (734) 763-4423

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