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  When Rocky Lombardi dropped back to pass on first-and-10 from Michigan's 34-yard line with 6:36 to go, he saw a familiar scene playing out. Michigan State freshman receiver Ricky White was streaking down the right sideline, single-covered by cornerback Jalen Perry, with a beat on his defender. Lombardi let the ball go and delivered it to White for a 31-yard completion, setting up the go-ahead touchdown in the Spartans' stunning 27-24 win over Michigan on Saturday. It was a result that played out time and again for the Wolverines, whose inexperience in the secondary and unwillingness to change schematically gave MSU a pathway to victory. "We've got to look at that," Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh said of his secondary's struggles. "Every single guy. What they can do and what they can do better. Every coach, too. We've got to look at all facets of it."

On first-and-10 from the Michigan 30-yard line at the 10:57 mark of the first quarter, Lombardi found White running down the left sideline a step ahead of Michigan cornerback Gemon Green, a redshirt sophomore who made his first collegiate start a week earlier against Minnesota. It was the first sign of a long day ahead for Michigan's secondary, which was caught off guard by the Spartans' deep-ball game plan. "We didn't really expect those - because the game plan was just to hone in on the run," safety Daxton Hill said. "But they threw some (deep) shots in there, so we had to adjust." Michigan's other starting corner, Vincent Gray, had a difficult day in coverage as well. The redshirt sophomore was flagged twice, once for holding and once for pass interference, on MSU's final drive of the first quarter. Luckily for Gray, it ended in zero points after the Spartans were forced to punt, but it was a sign of things to come. - Ann Arbor News

(DS#32 CB) rSo/2023 CB Vincent GrayMichigan
News Source: Ann Arbor News



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