Michigan Football: 3 takeaways from heart-wrenching loss to MSU

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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In a battle that lived up to the hype of two prominent programs throwing haymakers in East Lansing, Michigan State topped Michigan football in an instant classic. 

Michigan football couldn’t have asked for a hotter start with Payton Thorne throwing an interception on the opening series. A few snaps later Michigan hit the jackpot with a 93-yard touchdown gallop by a freshman, and East Lansing native Andrel Anthony.

It was the beginning of plenty of big things to come for the young wideout in his hometown.

The Spartans didn’t roll over and die though. They fought back to take the lead thanks to Heisman-worthy running back Kenneth Walker. The lead was short-lived however because Michigan football nabbed the edge at halftime with another Anthony touchdown grab, this time from fellow freshman, J.J. McCarthy.

In the third, Michigan looked in control by scoring to widen the gap to 16. Once again though Michigan State would not give up. Walker found the endzone for back-to-back scores to even things up at 30. With 12 and a half minutes remaining the outcome of this epic confrontation was completely up for grabs.

Michigan responded with its first points since it went up by 16 with a field goal. The defense got a crucial stop and the offense got the ball back and McCarthy uncharacteristically turned the football over on the ensuing play.

It was all the Spartans needed to retake the lead with the fifth and final game-sealing touchdown by Walker. The offense got the rock back, McNamara gave it right back to end the hopes of any comeback.

Here are three takeaways.