Mark Dantonio responds after Michigan State's 44-10 loss to Michigan in Ann Arbor, November 16, 2019.
Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press

Looking Back at Losing Michigan State 44-10 in Michigan and Looking Forward to Saturday's Game of the Spartans at Rutgers:

Three Things We Learned

worse: The Spartans dropped their fifth straight game, the second longest losing streak in Mark Dantonio's 13-year MSU tenure. Only seven games to lose in 2016 are worse. He noted for the first time since 2006-07 that MSU lost to the Wolverines in consecutive years, and the margin was the worst since UM 49-3's victory in the outbreak in 2002.

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Michigan State coach Marc Dante plays at the Michigan Stadium on Saturday, November 16, 2019 (Photo: Anntaninna Biondo, Detroit Free Press)

Secondary Editions: MSU has major problems when covering the gap. Shea Paterson had 384 yards and four touchdowns on Saturday after former U-M QB Brandon Peters burned them a week earlier. The two combined for 753 yards and seven TDs through the air and exploited the Spartans' safety and safety, which missed assignments and allowed the receivers too much cushion through the middle. Although the last two games have been the only 300 yards allowed this season, MSU has given up 17 TD passes in its last six games.

More the same: The crime of the Spartans continues to diminish. MSU had only 220 yards, and 119 of them came in over 22 plays on two records. The other 38 play an average of 2.7 yards and none of those drives dims 40 yards. The Spartans outscored 181-61 during their five-game losing streak. In defense, they allowed 17 quarter-quarter points on Saturday and have gone 110-50 this past season. Over 23 games over the past two seasons, opponents have held a 214-99 scoring advantage during MSU's fourth quarter.

Rutgers quarterback Johnny Langan goes through the first half of an NCAA college football game against Ohio State on Saturday, November 16, 2019, in Piscataway, NJ (AP Photo / Adam Glad) (Photo: Associated Press)


Matches: Michigan State (4-6, 2-5 Big Ten) in Rutgers (2-5) 8, 0-7 [19659013] Kickoff: lunch, Saturday; SHI Stadium, Piscataway, NJ.

TV / Radio: FS1, WJR-AM (760).

Line: Spartans to 22.

Guess the Enemy: The Scarlet Knights, even though they were in disarray and under interim coach Nuncio Campanile, showed some signs of life in their 56-21 home loss from Ohio on Saturday. That included a first quarter TD by RB Isaiah Pacheco who had 56 yards on 17 carries while Rutgers finished with 231 yards on offense. QB Johnny Langan was 12 of 26 for 121 yards with a TD and two interceptions. The Scarlett Knights' defense receded 594 yards when the Buckeyes went deep into their bench. Rutgers has not won the Big Ten game since Nov. 4, 2017 against Maryland, losing 19 games and is only 7-43 in conference play since joining the Big Ten in 2014.

Three Things to Watch

Straight Straits: Losing from Michigan means MSU has to win its last two games to become Eligible for the 12th time in Dantonio's 13 seasons, Rutgers and Maryland, which the Spartans host in the Nov. 30 regular season finale, are a combined 5-15 this season. MSU's last loss to Rutgers was in 2004 at Piscataway, when the Scarlett Knights were members of the Big East.

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QB situation: Dantonio continues to start QB Brian Lewerke throughout the game, even when the result went out of hand and Michigan continued to throw until late. The Spartans brought sophomore Rocky Lombardi and red freshman Theo Day to Ann Arbor, but Dantonio said he "didn't want to go in that direction to be honest with you" by scoring one of MSU's backups. As Lewerke finishes after this season, this lack of confidence in the second and third builds is currently raising questions about their willingness to take on next season or who will enter if Lewerke gets injured in the last few weeks.

Medical Tent: MSU lost CB Josiah Scott to the second straight game, this time in the second game against UM after lifting a knee to the chin. The defense also played its second game without LB Joe Bachie (suspension). With RBs Connor Heyward and La'Darius Jefferson on the NCAA transfer portal, the Spartans played U-M without eight preseason-projected offensive starters. Four of their five offensive line designers are missing – LT Cole Chewins (back), LG Tyler Higby (undisclosed), C Matt Allen (left knee) and RG Kevin Jarvis (right knee). They were without two of their three projected starting WRs, though Jelen Nylor (right foot) was in uniform for the first time since the Aug. 30 opener against Tulsa and Darul Stuart (foot) missed his second straight. TE preseason start Matt Dotson (Achilles) is also making the season.

Contact Chris Solari at Follow him on Twitter @chrissolari . Read more about the Spartans in Michigan and sign up for our Spartans Newsletter.