After every game of the 2005 season, The Michigan Daily’s football writers will take you for a ride in Lloyd’s car. The gauges all refer to different variables that will fluctuate from week to week, depending on how the team and fans perform.

Defensive Intensity is a measure of – you guessed it – how well the Wolverines manage to stop their opponents.

The Carr-o-meter is a rough gauge of head coach Lloyd Carr’s opinion of his team’s play, as judged from his postgame comments.

This week’s Hypemeter is a like last week’s. We are critiquing how we think the Michigan State fans measured up against Michigan’s.

Rush Yards is a straightforward measure of Michigan’s ground yardage total in each game. Since an effective running game is crucial to postseason success – especially for this year’s squad, which is loaded at running back – this statistic figures to be a consistently important indicator.

 

Defensive Intensit

The defense was jacked up for this in-state rivalry game, as evidenced by the hard hits throughout the contest. Strong safety Brandent Englemon let the Spartans offense know that the middle of the field would be a dangerous place to roam with his hit on receiver Jerramy Scott – it could be heard all the way up in the press box. But the defense also gave up way too many third-and-long conversions. Whenever it looked like the Wolverines had Michigan State stopped, the defensive backs gave up a big gain. But the fact remains that Michigan slowed an offense that was averaging 49 points per game.

 

Carr-o-meter

It was obvious as soon as Lloyd Carr walked in that this game might have meant something more to him. As he commented on the game, Carr appeared to be very emotional. But his emotion came for good reason: The Wolverines may have just saved their season. The offense that looked so anemic in losses against Notre Dame and Wisconsin finally put together a solid game and executed. The defense – while not perfect- slowed Drew Stanton and the rest of the Spartans enough to give Michigan a chance. Carr liked enough of what he saw to give out an “outstanding.”

 

Hypemeter

The Michigan State fans were quiet for much of the game, but they must be given credit for making plenty of noise when there was something to get excited about. It’s hard to cheer when your team is down 14-0, after all. But at the same time, the fact that Spartans quarterback Drew Stanton had to run over to the student section to get them to start the yelling before kickoff. Not good. One Michigan State fan sitting near football writer Gabe Edelson in the upper deck was arrested after he was caught drinking from a flask and swearing at other fans. That’s the spirit.

 

Rush Yards

Well, the rotating Michigan backfield must have been holding back the Wolverines’ offense. Mike Hart came back from his leg injury to lead the team with 218 yards rushing. But more than the yards, Hart provided that emotional spark that the team looked like it was missing. On his first run – a 45-yard scamper – Hart bounced up and let the Michigan State bench know that he “came to play, and we came to win.” The Spartans took notice of Hart: On Mario Manningham’s 43-yard touchdown, Michigan State’s safeties bit on a play-action fake.

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