ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP)Blake Corum and No. 4 Michigan stayed undefeated, ending a two-game losing streak to their in-state rival, but the victory was overshadowed by another altercation in the Big House tunnel.
Corum ran for 177 yards and scored twice, Jake Moody made five field goals and the Wolverines beat Michigan State 29-7 on Saturday night.
After the game, social media posts showed at least three Spartans pushing, punching and kicking Michigan defensive back Ja’Den McBurrows in the tunnel and near a hallway that does not lead to either locker room.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said a second player, who he did not identify, was also attacked and one player might have a broken nose.
”Two of our players were assaulted,” Harbaugh said. ”I saw on the one video. Ten on one. It was pretty bad.
”It needs to be investigated.”
University of Michigan Deputy Police Chief Melissa Overton said an investigation is underway in partnership with Michigan State University Police and Michigan’s athletic department and football program.
”Situations like these, and the safety of the community, are taken very seriously,” Overton said.
Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren also is looking into the fracas.
Michigan State coach Mel Tucker said he did not know what happened in the tunnel after the game.
”I know it was a heated game,” Tucker said. ”We were trying to get our guys in the locker room. We’ll have to see what happened.”
The Wolverines (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten) scored 26 straight points after falling behind briefly late in the first quarter.
The Spartans (3-5, 1-4) went 0 for 2 on fourth down in the first half. They turned it over on downs after a review of a spot and after Tucker chose to go for it instead of kicking a short field goal to tie the game midway through the second period.
Michigan led 13-7 at halftime and kept control in the second half, outgaining Michigan State 133-8 in the third quarter.
Moody, the reigning Lou Groza Award winner given to the nation’s top place kicker, made a career-long 54-yarder for his fifth field goal to put the Wolverines ahead 22-7 early in the fourth.
Corum, who started the game with an FBS-high 13 touchdowns, scored for a second time on a 4-yard run after Michigan State had trouble with a snap on a punt.
With a 29-7 lead in the final minutes, Harbaugh showed no mercy against his in-state rival by calling for J.J. McCarthy to throw deep down the field.
McCarthy was 15 of 25 for 167 yards with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Corum.
Payton Thorne was 17 of 30 for 215 yards with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Keon Coleman that gave the Spartans a 7-3 lead late in the first quarter. Thorne also threw an interception late in the game.
Coleman finished with five catches for 155 yards and a score.
”We need to play a full 60 minutes,” Tucker said. ”We didn’t do that. We’re very disappointed.”
Michigan State: Mistakes were costly in a game the Spartans had to be nearly flawless to win, starting with offensive tackle Jarrett Horst drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to stunt the opening drive.
Physical and mental breakdowns also hurt Michigan State’s chances to pull off an upset in a game they were expected to lose by about three touchdowns.
”We’re going to be sick about that,” Thorne said. ”They beat us. I’m not going to say we beat ourselves.”
Michigan: Harbaugh’s team stayed on track for its showdown in less than a month on the road against second-ranked Ohio State, with the winner potentially representing the Big Ten in the College Football Playoff.
RED ZONE WOES
Moody made five field goals, one game after he kicked four in a lopsided win over then-No. 10 Penn State.
”Back-to-back games without finishing,” McCarthy lamented.
Michigan will likely keep its spot at No. 4 in the AP Top 25.
Michigan State: Plays No. 17 Illinois on the road, hosts Rutgers and Indiana, and closes the regular season at No. 13 Penn State, needing to win three of four games to be bowl eligible.
Michigan: Travels to face Rutgers, hosts Nebraska and No. 17 Illinois, and plays the Buckeyes on Nov. 26 on the road.
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