Michigan St has high hopes after beating Michigan

After the initial celebration had died down a bit, Michigan

State linebacker Max Bullough reflected on a day that made every

Spartan proud.

But one he hopes will not be the highlight of the season.

”This will last the rest of my life, but we have a few more

games left,” Bullough said. ”The Rose Bowl is going to last the

rest of my life.”

The Spartans can certainly think big after Saturday’s 29-6

victory over rival Michigan. Michigan State moved up six spots to

No. 18 in Sunday’s AP Top 25. It was the fifth win in six games for

the Spartans against the Wolverines – and this one was a

manhandling.

After holding Michigan to minus-48 yards rushing – the worst

total in program history – Michigan State remains one of two Big

Ten teams unbeaten in conference play. The Spartans have not been

to the Rose Bowl since 1988, but they’ve quietly emerged as

contenders this season because of a bruising defense.

”We had a lot of respect for their defense all week going into

this game,” Michigan coach Brady Hoke said. ”I think they played

awfully well and executed awfully well. I don’t think we did.”

Michigan State (8-1, 5-0 Big Ten) will have time to bask a bit

in this resounding victory, because next weekend the Spartans have

an open date. Then comes a trip to Nebraska, which has only one

conference loss. The Legends Division title could be on the line in

that game.

But Nebraska has to travel to play Michigan first, underscoring

what a solid position the Spartans are in as the season winds

down.

Michigan State’s offense looked anemic at the start of the

season, and even lately it’s been merely serviceable – but Bullough

and the defense have been able to control games.

”You never think you’re going to be that good,” defensive

coordinator Pat Narduzzi said. ”Our kids fight their tails off

every day in practice. We had another good week of practice and now

we have a week off from games but we’ll come back and have another

good week of practice – and then another one after that and get

ready for Nebraska.”

The Wolverines had vowed Saturday wouldn’t be a repeat of the

game in East Lansing in 2011, when Michigan State’s physicality was

too much for Michigan.

This one turned out to be even more impressive for the

Spartans.

”Two years ago was nothing,” Michigan State linebacker Denicos

Allen said. ”It was a lot worse (Saturday), and I think they felt

it.”

It was the most lopsided loss for Michigan (6-2, 2-2) in the

series since 1967.

”We need to go 100 percent every single play and some plays we

didn’t do that,” Michigan linebacker Jake Ryan said.

The game could be summed up in two ugly offensive sequences for

Michigan. In the second quarter, with the ball near midfield, a

shotgun snap sailed over quarterback Devin Gardner’s head for a

loss of 20. Following a sack on third down and a Michigan penalty,

the Wolverines finally punted on fourth-and-48.

Down 16-6 in the third, Michigan caught a break when Raymon

Taylor intercepted a pass, giving the Wolverines the ball at the

Michigan State 41.

Gardner lost 5 yards on what appeared to be a designed run, then

Allen sacked him for a loss of 9. Michigan called a timeout, then

Gardner was sacked again for a loss of 7, leaving the Wolverines

punting on fourth-and-31 to start the fourth quarter.

”We basically lived in the backfield,” Michigan State

cornerback Darqueze Dennard said. ”We just did a great job

stopping them, containing them, and making plays when they were

there.”