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

Looking back at Michigan State's 44-10 loss to Michigan and looking ahead to the Spartans' game Saturday at Rutgers:

Three Things We Learned

Bad for the worse: The Spartans lost their fifth straight game, the second longest losing line in Mark Dantonio's 13-year MSU service. Only the seven-game loss stage 2016 is worse. It marked the first time since 2006-07 that MSU lost to the Wolverines in consecutive years, and the margin was the worst since UM's blowout victory 49-3 2002.

[ MSU returns to pre-Dantonio era with undisciplined loss to Michigan]

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio walks out of the tunnel before play at Michigan Stadium on Saturday, November 16, 2019. [19659010] (Photo: Anntaninna Biondo, Detroit Free Press)

Secondary editions: MSU has major issues in passport coverage. Shea Patterson had 384 yards and four touchdowns Saturday, after former U-M QB Brandon Peters allowed them to dry the week before. The two combined for 753 yards and seven TDs through the air, utilizing Spartan's cornerbacks and safeties, which missed missions and allowed receivers to overload the middle. Although the last two games have been the only 300-yard games allowed this season, MSU has given up 17 TD passes in the past six games.

More of the same: Spartan's crime continues to fizzle. MSU had only 220 yards in total, and 119 of them came over 22 appearances on two point-powered units. The other 38 gigs averaged 2.7 meters, and none of those units disappeared 40 meters. The Spartans are outscored 181-61 during their five-game losing streak. On defense, they allowed 17 fourth-quarter points on Saturday and have been outscored 110-50 this season in the final period. Over 23 games over the past two seasons, opponents have a score of 214-99 in the fourth quarter at MSU.

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

Next Up

Matchup: Michigan State (4-6, 2-5 Big Ten) at Rutgers (2-8, 0-7

Kickoff: Noon, Saturday; SHI Stadium, Piscataway, New Jersey.

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

Line: Spartans of 22

Know the Enemy: Scarlet Knights, despite being in disarray and under interim coach Nunzio Campanile, showed some signs of life in their 56-21 home loss to Ohio State on Saturday, which included a first quarter TD from RB Isaiah Pacheco, who had 56 yards on 17 carries while Rutgers finished with 231 yards of offense, QB Johnny Langan was 12 of 26 on 121 yards with a TD and two interceptions Scarlet Knight's defense gave up 594 yards as the Buckeyes went deep into their bench. Rutgers has not won a Big Ten game since November 4, 2017 against Maryland, a 19-player losing streak, and it's only 7-43 in conference play since coming to the Big Ten in 2014.

Three Things To Watch

Dire Straits: The loss to Michigan means that MSU has to win its last two games to be eligible for the 12: e time in Dantonio's 13 seasons. Rutgers and Maryland, who host the Spartans in the regular season finale Nov. 30, are a combined 5-15 this season. MSU's last loss to Rutgers was in Piscataway in 2004 when the Scarlet Knights were a member of the Big East.

[ 12 Michigan State true beginners get taste of rivalry: redshirt status on each]

QB situation: Dantonio continued QB Brian Lewerke in for the entire game, even when the points ran out and Michigan continued to throw late. The Spartans brought other Rocky Lombardi and redshirt rookie Theo Day to Ann Arbor, but Dantonio said he "didn't want to go that direction to be honest with you" by bringing in one of the MSU backups. When Lewerke graduated after this season, it lacks confidence in the second and third strikers right now about questions about their readiness to take over next season or who would go if Lewerke were injured in the final weeks.

Medical Tent: MSU lost CB Josiah Scott for the second straight game, this time on the second game against UM after taking 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 in the NCAA transfer portal, the Spartans played U-M without eight pre-drafted offensive starters. They are missing four of their five projected starters on the offensive line – LT Cole Chewins (back), LG Tyler Higby (not revealed), C Matt Allen (left knee) and RG Kevin Jarvis (right knee). They were without two of their three projected starting WRs, although Jalen Nailor (right foot) was in uniform for the first time since the Aug. 30 opener against Tulsa and Darrell Stewart (leg) missed his second straight. Pre-season starting TE Matt Dotson (Achilles) is also ready for the season.

Contact Chris Solari at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @chrissolari . Read more about the Michigan State Spartans and sign up for our Spartans newsletter.