Little Brother takes over the Big House
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
By all accounts, Michigan State should have beaten Michigan today.
The Spartans are superior on both sides of the ball. They have more experience. They have more familiarity with their head coach and their schemes.
But when it comes to Michigan State, games that should be wins often don't turn out that way, especially against Michigan. And after last week's 45-7 home loss to Ohio State, some braced for a typical Spartans slide.
"They're going to say that same-old-Spartans mantra," linebacker Adam Decker told me this week. "They have no reason not to say that until we give them a reason to prove them wrong."
There's a reason now.
After falling behind 21-14 in the third quarter, Michigan State scored 21 unanswered points to win 35-21 and snap its six-game losing streak to Michigan.
Running back Javon Ringer, who said he'd be embarrassed if he went through college without beating Michigan, returned to top form with 194 rush yards and two touchdowns. The secondary came up big and the defense held the rushing game in check.
Michigan State needed to beat Michigan this year, and the Spartans have officially turned a corner behind Mark Dantonio. Michigan once again showed its a team that can't put together a complete game.
A complete half? Sure. Even a solid three quarters. But not a full 60 minutes.
It will get better for the Wolverines, but not this season.
The quarterbacks aren't right and several potential weapons (Terence Robinson, Junior Hemingway) are banged up. Rich Rodriguez deserves some criticism for this season and the defense has underachieved, but almost every team goes through something like this, and it's Michigan's turn.
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
7:20 1st Qtr Fresno State 0 Rice 3 Final Central Michigan 48 Western Kentucky 49
Final Nevada 3 Louisiana-Lafayette 16 Final Utah State 21 UTEP 6 Final 22 Utah 45 Colorado State 10 Final Western Michigan 24 Air Force 38 Final South Alabama 28 Bowling Green 33
Final Marshall 52 Northern Illinois 23 Final Navy 17 San Diego State 16
1:00 PM ET Illinois Louisiana Tech 4:30 PM ET Rutgers North Carolina 8:00 PM ET North Carolina State UCF
1:00 PM ET Cincinnati Virginia Tech 2:00 PM ET 15 Arizona State Duke 3:30 PM ET Miami (FL) South Carolina 4:30 PM ET Boston College Penn State 8:00 PM ET Nebraska 24 USC
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State