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Monday, October 27, 2014


Time for a quick fact-check about Saturday's game. Many (not all) Michigan fans are claiming that Michigan State Head Coach Mark Dantonio was "unsportsmanlike" because he "ran up the score" against UM. We all saw a run-only drive using no timeouts, but still, they complain.

The last time the Wolverines had a chance to "run up the score" against MSU was in 2002. The final score was 49-3, begging the question about gratuitous scoring at the end of a blowout.

There is no doubt that Michigan
"ran up the score" against Michigan State in 2002.

This link brings you to the ESPN game box-score. You are looking at the fourth-quarter record of that game, and you will see all of the plays run by both teams. Please note several facts proving our point:

  • Michigan took a 35-3 lead into the fourth quarter of that game, then scored two more touchdowns.
  • The final UM TD was scored with 1:03 on the clock, meaning they could have kneeled down, but chose to continue pushing forward.
  • The Wolverines THREW THE BALL FOUR TIMES WITH A 42-3 LEAD and less than six minutes to play in the game.

The record therefore PROVES that Lloyd Carr "ran up the score" against MSU in 2002. By contrast, the Spartans never threw the ball on their final drive Saturday, while protecting a 17-point lead. And this was after Michigan aggressively converted a two-point play after touchdown and tried an onside kick.

So let's keep the facts straight in the debate about "sportsmanship". The University of Michigan Football Program set a tone in 2002 that has not been followed by Michigan State. The decision by Dantonio to keep running-between-the-tackles at the end of the game hardly qualifies as "running up the score".

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