EAST LANSING, MICHIGAN — The past three seasons have seen Michigan football perform at a near flawless level, and on Saturday night, the team got a chance to revisit the scene of its last true unexpected stumble, when thoughts about whether head coach Jim Harbaugh could lead the program to the promised land still prevailed with the Go Blue faithful. There is no doubt about that answer at the moment, even as Harbaugh and the Wolverines begin to walk through another bit of uncertainty.
On the field, the No. Wolverines steamrolled on its way to retaining the Paul Bunyan Trophy, defeating arch rival Michigan State 49-0 inside of Spartan Stadium as quarterback J.J. McCarthy threw a career high four touchdowns — three coming in the first half. Blake Corum rushed for his 13th touchdown of the season for Michigan, whose defense held the Spartans to 10 first downs and 182 total yards.
The win is the 20th consecutive victory in Big Ten play for the Wolverines, with their last defeat coming on Halloween Eve almost two years ago against the Spartans in East Lansing. Since that 37-33 defeat, the Wolverines are 26-2, with those two losses coming in the College Football Playoff semifinals at the end of both the 2021 (Georgia) and 2022 seasons (TCU).
The latest lopsided win, however, has occurred just days after news broke that Michigan is under NCAA investigation for allegedly stealing the play-calling signals used by its opponents. Earlier in the season, Harbaugh served a three-game suspension to start the season as part of self-imposed penalties for NCAA recruiting infractions.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Saturday evening’s game, with all photos taken by Detroit-area photographer Aaron J. Thornton. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 17 pictures in total.