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
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
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
But Nebraska has to travel to play Michigan first, underscoring
what a solid position the Spartans are in as the season winds
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
”Two years ago was nothing,” Michigan State linebacker Denicos
Allen said. ”It was a lot worse (Saturday), and I think they felt
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