After two decades as a Big Ten official, one game stands out to retiring Bill LeMonnier as the most intense. “With Michigan and Ohio State, it would be like that for the first few possessions and then settle in,” LeMonnier said Saturday at the league’s annual officiating clinic. “But Michigan and Michigan State, it was like that from start to finish. That one has always stood out to me.”
In the last game of the regular season, the Michigan State men's soccer team shutout Michigan, 2-0, in front of the largest crowd of the year on Senior Day. The 2,445 fans in attendance proved to be the second largest in DeMartin Stadium history and the third most in program history. With the win, the Spartans improved to 10-4-3 on the season and 3-2-1 in the conference, while Michigan now owns an 8-6-3 record, including 3-3-0 in the Big Ten. MSU defeated its in-state rival to earn the ninth shutout of the season.
In the final match of the regular season, the No. 18 Michigan State men’s soccer team (9-4-3, 2-2-1) welcomes in-state rival Michigan (8-5-3, 3-2-0) to DeMartin Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. The winner of the annual game with be the proud owner of the Big Bear trophy for the rest of the year.
It all comes down to this. The last game of the regular season for the No. 18 MSU men’s soccer team (9-4-3 overall, 2-2-1 Big Ten) against Michigan (8-5-3 overall, 3-2 Big Ten), and senior day presents the Spartans with one emotional afternoon at DeMartin Stadium, in the Battle for The Big Bear Trophy.
Michigan State has won just about every team and individual honor possible in one week since embarrassing Michigan on national television by a 29-6 count Saturday, earning bragging rights for the next year and knocking the Wolverines out of the Top 25. Here's a crib notes version of what you should take away from the game.
The Michigan State-Michigan afternoon game on Saturday was the second-most viewed game of the week, averaging 5,169,000 viewers and a 3.3 rating, behind on the Florida State-Miami night game, which averaged 8,354,000 viewers and a 5.1 rating.
Devin Gardner didn't come into this game with quite the same hype as Denard Robinson did in 2010, but there are, if anything, even more recruiting service stars on the Michigan side of the ball now than there were then. And this third-year Michigan coach is a Michigan Man--two capitol M's--making the stark contrast between the two team's level of physicality and execution that much more striking. This Michigan coach isn't going away anywhere close to as easily as the last one did, but we're sure not helping his cause any.
Since Dantonio took over in 2007, things have changed dramatically. Michigan State is 5-2 in the rivalry since, including Saturday's 29-6 victory, a defensive domination that proved the Spartans are the team to beat in the Big Ten's Legends Division.
In the minutes separating the end of Saturday’s game and the start of the press conference, it was interesting to speculate what MSU coaches and players would say when they took the podium.
Spartans would be worthy test for OSU ESPN Big Ten Blog
Michigan State is on a collision course with Ohio State and likely will face the Buckeyes on Dec. 7 at the Big Ten championship game. And as Michigan found out Saturday afternoon, colliding with the Spartans and their defense isn't pretty.
Michigan State dedicates win against Michigan to senior class MLive
Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio called timeout with 40 seconds left in a game in which the Spartans beat Michigan 29-6, just so Andrew Maxwell could knee down on the final play. "Andrew's been great to me," starting quarterback Connor Cook said. "It just felt good to see him go out there and take a knee as a senior."
Shilique Calhoun leads onslaught against Michigan Detroit News
In Michigan State's 29-6 victory at Spartan Stadium on Saturday, Calhoun kept piling on, adding 2.5 more sacks, a half-tackle for loss and two quarterback hurries. He didn't score this week, but his plays were impressive just the same.
Connor Cook keeps his poise Detroit News
Through the early part of the second quarter Saturday, Connor Cook wasn't exactly in a rhythm throwing the ball. Michigan State's sophomore quarterback was missing open receivers, and it appeared the questions about his consistency were starting to become an issue once again.
Recap: Bully pulpit The Only Colors
Michigan's point total vs. MSU since 2004: 45, 34, 31, 28, 21, 20, 17, 14, 12, 6. U-M won the first four, and MSU has won five of the last six. This is the first time ever MSU has won three straight against U-M at Spartan Stadium, and they get to go for four next year.
Mark Dantonio earns himself a moment of appreciation Detroit Free Press
It was an interesting Mark Dantonio who took the podium Saturday night after his Michigan State team pummeled Michigan, 29-6 — in the fifth MSU win in six tries against U-M, the fifth in his seven years, the most lopsided MSU win since a 34-0 rout in 1967, and the worst rushing performance in the history of Wolverines football.
Overheard from Wolverines Saturday: Devin Gardner not injured, just beat up Detroit Free Press
Hoke, on Devin Gardner: “He got pounded a little bit, and he was a warrior out there that last drive before the interception at the end, and did a nice job getting us down the field. He had taken a lot of shots earlier in the game, and he’s a little bit worn out. I wouldn’t say he has an injury. I’d say beat up. If that’s an injury, that’s an injury.”
Michael Geiger delivers crucial field goals, gets first carry Detroit Free Press
Yes, Michigan State freshman kicker Michael Geiger converted all three field-goal attempts Saturday against Michigan, the team he grew up cheering. But after the 29-6 win at Spartan Stadium, he was thinking more about the chance he had to run with the ball — after his final extra point was blocked. “I’ll think about that for a long time, I had my first carry,” Geiger said. “For zero yards — 48 more than Michigan, so it felt good.”
Shilique Calhoun makes presence felt with key sacks Detroit Free Press
He started it by getting his hands on Devin Gardner so Denicos Allen could finish a sack that helped limit Michigan’s first drive to a field goal. He followed with key sacks of Gardner on each of Michigan’s next two possessions.
Mark Dantonio making believers out of Michigan, now 5-2 in rivalry MLive
He doesn't smile enough, his offenses lack the imagination and hurry-up tendencies that lead to highlights and high rankings, and he has been known to use the back door after doing his coaching show -- preferring to avoid pretending to be something he's not. Michigan State's Mark Dantonio merely does what he does, which is coach football, and after a 29-6 victory over Michigan, it would be fair to say he has done it as well as anyone in East Lansing.
Michigan State's defense piles up 7 sacks, sees frustration mount in Devin Gardner MLive
Connor Cook is lucky, he only has to face Michigan State's top-ranked defense and relentless pass rush in practice. But that didn't stop him from empathizing with Michigan's Devin Gardner, who was sacked seven times and pressured countless others in the Spartans' 29-6 win Saturday at Spartan Stadium. "It was almost like Devin couldn't breathe," Cook said. "There's no worse feeling, the defense is down your throat the whole entire game."
Mark Dantonio has always embraced Michigan State's rivalry with Michigan, but this week the confident coach took a fairly calm approach. "Don't worry about all the things that are being said - just keep your mouth shut," Dantonio said. "Get ready to play, start the game and finish stronger than when you started. We were going to let the lion out of the cage at 3:30, and that's what happened."
Michigan State 29, Michigan 6: Kneejerk Reactions The Only Colors
Michigan made an issue of physicality in the lead up to this game, declaring they wouldn't be bullied in East Lansing, as they were 2 years ago. The Spartan defense physically dominated the Wolverines, holding them to a ridiculous -48 yards rushing and recording 7 sacks and numerous other TFLs.
Michigan State sacks Michigan, 29-6, stays perfect in Big Ten MLive
Michigan State took a historic step into football territory it had not seen in more than half of a decade in scoring a 29-6 victory over Michigan. The No. 24 Spartans (8-1, 5-0 Big Ten) made it five wins in six games against No. 23 Michigan (6-2, 2-2) for the first time since Michigan State won six of seven with a tie from 1956 through 1962.
Yes, Michigan State is best football team in state Detroit Free Press
One pass. That changed everything. One perfect pass. That’s what it took for Michigan State to pry open the Michigan defense and swing the momentum and get some breathing room, which turned into a blowout in a 29-6 victory on Saturday afternoon. A perfect pass. And now, the Spartans have defeated the Wolverines five times in the last six years.
MSU delivers defensive smackdown, wins for 5th time in 6 years Detroit Free Press
Here’s all you needed to see. Late third quarter, darkness falling, Michigan State’s Connor Cook threw an interception. “Finally, a break!” Michigan fans screamed. U-M took over inside MSU territory. The traditional drama was about to begin, right? Uh-uh. Quarterback Devin Gardner tried to run; he was swarmed by Spartans, loss of five. Gardner tried to pass; he was yanked down by linebacker Denicos Allen, loss of nine. He tried to throw — and was sacked again, by Allen and Ed Davis, loss of seven. Three plays, minus-21 yards.
Michigan State defense rang the bell of Michigan offense more than once MLive
Michigan State football looked like the Big Ten's gold standard on Saturday afternoon, dominating the Michigan offense like few others ever have before in history. The Wolverines' minus-48 yards rushing set a school-record low, and Devin Gardner was reduced to a 14-of-27 passing performance for 210 yards and 18 rushes for minus-46 yards.
Spartans dominate Wolverines, take back Paul Bunyan Trophy Detroit Free Press
These used to be moments to linger for Michigan State, moments to breathe in a season-making upset against Michigan that would deliver a year of bragging privileges. But after Saturday’s 29-6 thumping of the Wolverines at Spartan Stadium, the Spartans took a bow in front of their delirious fans and moved on to more important things.
Michigan State dismantles Michigan, erases any doubts about defense Detroit News
Early in the week, Michigan State linebacker Max Bullough was asked if the Spartans’ defense would be up to the challenge against one of the better offenses in the nation when it faced Michigan on Saturday. The senior captain didn't especially appreciate the question, rattling off all the offenses the Spartans had shut down already this season. He mentioned Brian Kelly and Notre Dame, the power running game at Iowa and the high-powered attack at Illinois. Michigan State handled them all — dominated, Bullough said.
Michigan State Poised for BCS Run After Michigan Beatdown Bleacher Report
It’s never pretty, it isn’t always easy but goodness can it be effective. In the age of offense, points, spread attacks and scoreboard explosions, Michigan State is a lonely but lovely sort of ancient relic, winning with defense, takeaways and brute force that most teams simply cannot match. Against Michigan on Saturday, it showed just how effective this bruising brand of football could be in a 29-6 win.
Watch Michigan State's locker room celebration dance party with Paul Bunyan Trophy MLive
The Paul Bunyan Trophy was handed over to Michigan State after the Spartans' 29-6 win on Saturday at Spartan Stadium, and afterward, they had Paul swaying to music right along with them. With the sounds of Rich Homie Quan's "Type of Way" blaring in the locker room, the trophy was hoisted up as numerous players gathered around and danced.
Michigan State’s defense rolls Michigan Sports Illustrated
A smothering defense and a ball-control offense might look like ugly football to some, but not to the Spartans. Michigan State used that combination on Saturday to rout the Wolverines 29-6, improve to 8-1 on the season and win the Paul Bunyan Trophy for the fifth time in the last six seasons.
A few seconds meant a lot in win The difference between Connor Cook and Devin Gardner is a few seconds. Count slowly or it’ll pass you by. It’s the blink of an eye, a flash. Nothing more and nothing less than a brief moment in time. But as the sophomore quarterback Cook stood back in the pocket on Saturday, confident with the time to look across the field as if parting the Red Sea against No. 23 Michigan, Gardner couldn’t help but drown in the wake of a wall of salt water. Or at least it felt that way.
Michigan O-line withers under weight of Michigan State's crushing defense Detroit News
The final statistics read like an offensive football horror story. Michigan lost, 29-6, at Michigan State on Saturday at soggy Spartan Stadium, but managing only two field goals was just a small part of the floundering offensive performance against the nation’s top-rated defense. Michigan was credited with a school-worst minus-48 yards rushing – most coming from the seven sacks quarterback Devin Gardner endured and 20 lost yards on a high snap that flew over his head in the first half.
U-M unable to stop MSU defensive pressure ESPN
Barrel crosses. Corner sharks. Will cats. Left tackle Taylor Lewan can name them all. He could guess when these specific blitzes were coming and he tried his best to do so. After all, it was a lot of what the Wolverines saw out of Michigan State in 2011. And, like in 2011, Michigan couldn’t stop the blitzes, couldn’t stop Michigan State. And, as in 2011, the Wolverines walked out of Spartan Stadium after being beaten up and bullied. This time, 29-6 on Saturday.
Michigan-Michigan State rivalry fiery as ever Detroit News
The hits always seem harder. The bruises tend to linger a bit longer. And the words? Nobody seems to be able to forget those. Big brother, little brother. Jolly Green Giants and Arrogant Asses. “This is Michigan” and “Pride comes before the fall.” Players come and go, and so do the coaches in this Michigan-Michigan State rivalry, but the games they play on and off the field ensure the contentious history will continue.
Michigan State's defense seeks to contain Michigan QB Devin Gardner Detroit News
The past three seasons, few teams defended Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson as well as Michigan State. A player who was a threat to break off a long run at any moment had little success against the Spartans, managing one victory in his career, last year’s 12-10 decision where the Wolverines were kept out of the end zone. But things are changing with the Michigan offense, and in the process, how Michigan State defends it.
How Michigan State matches up Detroit News
While QB Connor Cook has played will in three of four Big Ten games, the key to Michigan State’s success has been a solid running game. In four Big Ten games, the Spartans are averaging 206 yards, and junior Jeremy Langford has gained more than 100 yards in each of the last three.
Five keys for Michigan State to beat Michigan Detroit News
Keep running: In 40 of the last 43 meetings, the team that rushes for more yards wins. Michigan State holds a slight edge over Michigan, and will need another strong outing from a healthy offensive line and junior RB Jeremy Langford, who has surpassed 100 yards in each of the last three games.
Michigan State scouting report, story lines, keys to game vs. Michigan Detroit Free Press
MSU has played six strong games against U-M under Mark Dantonio, winning four. The Spartans led the other two late in the fourth quarter. Dantonio and Charlie Bachman are the only Michigan State coaches to win four of their first five games against the Wolverines, and Dantonio’s .667 winning percentage against U-M is the best in school history, albeit a small sample size.
Scouting Report and Prediction: Michigan State (7-1 4-0) vs. Michigan (6-1 2-1) Spartan Nation
This is the 106th time MSU and UM have played. The Wolverines are a deceptive 6-1. They are still looking for answers while the Spartans are finding them. UM comes into this game hoping to win, while MSU is expecting to win. You never know what happens once the game starts, but prior to it the Wolverines are looking for answers.
Michigan State’s defense looking to put the clamps on Michigan Sports Illustrated
The success of Michigan State’s defense in 2013 shouldn’t come as a surprise. When the Spartans won seven games last season, they had the nation’s fourth-ranked total defense and allowed just 16.3 points per game. What’s happening this fall is exactly what the team envisioned.
Each week during football season, Michigan beat writer Mark Snyder and MSU beat writer Joe Rexrode interview beat writers who cover the opposing teams. Today, they turn the hot light of interrogation on each other…
At the extremes, there seems to be two incarnations of the football fanatic. And during Rivalry Week, that fanatic wears Green and White and cheers for the Spartans. Yet, posts today by Geoff Woliner and Scott Westerman couldn’t have been more opposite in tone. Where do you stand in this continuum between Woliner and Westerman? Are you the trash talking type? Or the respectful combatant? For your reading pleasure… first the trash talker… then the respectful combatant…
"I hope for a very clean football game," Dantonio said. "I think that would be exciting for everybody involved, and that's what we're pointing to. We're going to keep the lion in the cage."