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MONDAY HUDDLE: Can Michigan State shock Ohio State again?

5 takeaways from this weekend's football scene around the state

Brian Lewerke #14 and Elijah Collins #24 of the Michigan State Spartans celebrate after the game against the Indiana Hoosiers. Michigan State defeated Indiana 40-31. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Here are five takeaways from this past weekend's football action around the state.

Can Michigan State beat Ohio State?

Anybody who has seen Ohio State destroy opponents, including a 48-7 rout at Nebraska on Saturday in front of a national TV audience, will snicker and say "No chance."

The most die-hard Michigan State fans will point to 2015, when the Spartans were given no chance of beating the then-defending national champion Buckeyes in Columbus, and ended up doing so, 17-14, en route to a Big Ten title and playoff berth. 

Trying to look at things more in the middle, MSU is a veteran team who won't be intimidated and likely will play its best game of the year, but there are just too many matchups in Ohio State's favor.

Ohio State's defensive line against MSU's shaky offensive line is a decided mismatch, and MSU's wide receivers are going to have to somehow separate themselves from an Ohio State secondary littered with future pros. 

As good as MSU's defense is, Ohio State has been unstoppable offensively, and the Buckeyes will no doubt look at how well Indiana moved the ball against MSU the week before with quick passes to the perimeter. 

It's just hard to see how the Spartans can overcome those mismatches, but they've surprised in the past under Mark Dantonio.

No moral victory for Lions

For those who feel good that the Lions simply hung with Chiefs and only lost 34-30, consider these statistics. 

The Lions outgained the vaunted Chiefs' offense 447-438, had just as many first downs, possessed the football for nearly eight more minutes and won the turnover battle, forcing three Kansas City turnovers to two for the Lions.

The Lions also held Chiefs quarterback and touchdown machine Patrick Mahomes to zero touchdown passes.

Yet the Lions still lost, with Kerryon Johnson's fumble near the goal line that was returned 100 yards for a touchdown by the Chiefs being the killer play. 

The Lions did recover and take the lead after that, but it turned out to be a critical 14-point swing that ultimately doomed Detroit.

With no division titles or home playoff games since 1993, simply hanging with good teams is not good enough if the Lions want to end those droughts. 

True chance for Michigan to redeem itself

The line, "Yes, but it was Rutgers" was common in the wake of Michigan's 52-0 destruction of Rutgers, the worst team in the Big Ten that ended up firing their head coach Sunday a day after the game. 

Michigan's true chance to show the embarrassing loss at Wisconsin was an aberration will come this week, when a strong and unbeaten Iowa team comes to Ann Arbor.

Iowa is a mirror image of Wisconsin with a big offensive line and a solid defense, so that will be more of an opportunity for Michigan to show it can save its season than the Rutgers game was.

Western Michigan gets bragging rights over Central Michigan

Other than Michigan vs. Michigan State, the biggest in-state college football game is usually Western Michigan vs. Central Michigan, which played their annual battle for the Victory Cannon in Kalamazoo on Saturday.

WMU retained the cannon with a 31-15 win over the Chippewas behind quarterback Jon Wassink, who went 18-of-29 passing for 244 yards and a touchdown. 

4 OT preps classic

There was a quite a classic in high school football over the weekend when West Bloomfield played Lake Orion in a battle of state-ranked teams in Division 1. 

The game started Friday, but was resumed Saturday night after inclement weather forced the game to be stopped in the third quarter. 

No. 8 West Bloomfield ended up pulling out a heart-stopping win over No. 5 Lake Orion, winning 59-52 in four overtimes. 

Lake Orion had a 31-17 lead with 3:39 left in regulation, but West Bloomfield tied the game at 31-31 with 12 seconds remaining on a 22-yard touchdown pass to force overtime. 

Both teams are now 4-1. Don't rule out a rematch in the state playoffs. 
 


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