Some fuel for Sparty Week

Submitted by Moleskyn on October 18th, 2018 at 10:09 AM

I came across the Wikipedia Page on the Michigan/MSU rivalry. I think it's always good to be reminded of the history of things. But as I read through the "Notable Games" section, particularly games from this decade, I felt nothing but animosity.

So here is some fuel for your hate week fire:

2013 November 2 in East Lansing, Michigan State dominated Michigan defensively, winning 29–6. Michigan QB Devin Gardner was sacked 7 times and Michigan accumulated the fewest rushing yards for a game in its entire history (-48 yards). The Spartans held the Wolverines to their lowest point total in the series since 1967, the last time Michigan State had won by more than 20 points. This was the second game in a row that Michigan failed to score a touchdown against Michigan State. This game marked MSU's fifth win of the previous six games in the series.

2014 October 25, 2014: As they were coming onto the East Lansing field prior to the game, the Michigan team drove a stake into the turf, angering the Spartans. Michigan finally scored its first touchdown against MSU in three years with just 3:40 remaining in the game, but, after Michigan made the 2-point conversion, Michigan State marched downfield and scored a final touchdown with 0:28 remaining.

2015 October 17, 2015: the game was played in Ann Arbor for the first time since 2012...Late in the 4th quarter, with the Wolverines leading 23-21, Michigan State drove into field goal range, but a sack pushed them outside the 40. They failed to convert on 4th and long, giving Michigan the ball and seemingly the victory. However, with 10 seconds left in the game, Michigan was faced with a 4th and short and decided to punt. Michigan State pressured with all 11 defenders while Michigan sent players downfield to cover the punt. The numeric mismatch on the line allowed easy penetration while the Wolverine center quick-snapped a low ball bobbled by the punter. The ball was caught by Spartan Jalen Watts-Jackson, and he ran the ball in 38 yards for a touchdown. Michigan State did not lead at any point in the game until time expired, but they outgained Michigan in the contest 386 to 230 yards.




October 18th, 2018 at 10:14 AM ^

Site note: I tried embedding the Wikipedia link into text, but whenever I did, I got a message saying "The form has become outdated. Copy any unsaved work in the form below and then reload this page." Anyone see that before? The steps I followed were:

1. Type out text.

2. Highlight text.

3. Click link icon.

4. Paste URL into the box.

5. Click save or preview. 

Saving my work and reloading the page didn't help. The only thing I could do that allowed me to save was to just paste the URL as plain text.

Edit: I also got that message trying to save this post. The offending text appeared to be something I put in parentheses. Once I removed the parentheses, the post saved.


October 18th, 2018 at 10:25 AM ^

It's notable that all the notable games are recent (EDIT: nvm,  just reread the OP, my bad, reading comprehension is hard), with M either wallowing in the pit of terrible coaching, or the least likely play in college football. 

It's notable when we're NOT kicking ass and taking names. 

Also, I'd call the 2004 game MUCH more notable.


October 18th, 2018 at 10:31 AM ^

Not more notable than 2015.  We were on the receiving end of it, so it sucked, but that is probably one of the Top 20 most memorable plays in sports history.  That game had a massive audience.  Casual football fans across the country were talking about it for the next two weeks.


October 18th, 2018 at 12:25 PM ^

You're giving that play wayyyyy too much credit.

Maybe it was a Top 20 Most Memorable/greatest College football play... but all of sports? I know numerous guys that are huge sports fans but don't really watch or care for college football.

That list was comrpised in 2016, so it's missing a few recent great plays (Lebron's Block, Tua's game winner, etc). MSU's luck play doesn't even come close to making this list. Nor do any of Michigan's greatest plays in football or basektball. 



October 18th, 2018 at 12:34 PM ^

I don't even remember what Lebron block you are talking about, and I watch the NBA.  Whatever block that it was, it was not as memorable as the 2015 Michigan v. MSU ending.

You Google 2015 into an unoccupied web browser and you basically get 2015 Michigan v. Michigan State game as one of the recommended searches.


October 18th, 2018 at 1:27 PM ^

It was the 2016 Finals, game 7. I believe it was the play that led to Kyrie's game winning 3-pointer. Golden State had a breakaway and LeBron chased down the GS player from behind (I can't remember who...think it was Iguodala?) and blocked the layup/dunk against the back board. A huge moment in the game, as 2 points for GS there would have won it.


October 18th, 2018 at 3:42 PM ^

Google 'Lebron Block'

It has its own Wikipedia page, lol.  Just because one event isn't 'memorable' to you doesn't make it any less important in the context of sports history.

The MSU play, like you just said, was one of the most memorable sports plays of 2015.  That doesn't automatically make it one of the most memorable plays in sports history.

Maybe it would have been more memorable to general sports fans if it happened in a championshihp level game, but it didn't, so that's why it's not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of sports history...

(Unless of course youre a biased MSU fan or a traumatized UofM fan.  I witnessed it in person, hence the PTSD I've been feeling this week.)


The Fan in Fargo

October 18th, 2018 at 10:39 AM ^

Yeah but it was a little stake no bigger than a butterfinger candy bar. You serious to get angry about that. I’d say that’s more on the little prissy side on lil bro’s behalf. I guarantee that the player’s cleats did more damage to that grass in about 2000 other spots on that field. That was the worst game I ever watched though. Was nursing a serous hangover that day.

Section 1.8

October 18th, 2018 at 10:29 AM ^

It's become a bit dated now, but the Wall Street Journal sports-stat analysis team "The Count" came up with a column on college football's dirtiest rivalries.

It is a short read, with a handy table, and I encourage a quick click on the link (not paywalled as is so often the case with Journal columns).  If you don't have time, the bottom line is that as of 2011, the UM-MSU game was sixth on a list of most-penalized  (late hits and behavior-related personal fouls) rivalries but with a chartbusting 80% of those penalties going against Sparty.

I've spoken to a handful of Michigan players over the years; to a man, they say that the Ohio State game is the fastest and hardest-hitting game on the schedule.  Every year.  And that the Michigan State game is the filthiest.


Section 1.8

October 18th, 2018 at 12:19 PM ^

2001, with a homemade synching of the tv video, with Frank Beckmann's immortal call.

I was there, in the Michigan section of Spartan Stadium.  The opposite end of the stadium from where the touchdown was scored.  If it had been a close call on whether a play crossed the goal line, I could never have seen it.  But because we were looking at the back of the MSU formation with the clock above them, we had a perfect view of Smoker and the clock together.  And what Frank Beckmann doesn't say, but what all of us who were there knew (as Beckmann knew), was that there was never any way that a play could have or should have been run.  Not only did Spartan Bob stop the clock, but the refs rushed the defense into position to try to get a snap off while the clock was still running.  Honestly; being there live, it was WORSE than what the television broadcast showed.  "Criminal."

Oh, and then there was 1990.  A missed call so bad, that the supervisor of Big Ten referees later called Gary Moeller to apologize.  Blown.  Michigan came into that game ranked #1 in the nation.  I was there for that one too.  It is the only game where I had seats within a few feet from the tunnel.  When they came off the field, that Big Ten crew looked terrified; and given what we were yelling, they should have been.


October 18th, 2018 at 10:49 AM ^

Ive always thought that harbaugh did an excellent coaching job in the 2015 game, we should have lost that game by more if you consider that msu made the playoffs that year and outgained us by 150 yards, but we will always remember how we gave the game away and the play instead of what a great effort it actually was. 


October 18th, 2018 at 11:28 AM ^

Sparty was pretty clearly the better team at that particular point in the year, even if they were fairly one dimensional (jump ball to their #1 receiver over and over and over all game). That game showed that Harbaugh was still an elite college coach. 

It's a damn shame that they lost at the last second. 


October 18th, 2018 at 10:54 AM ^

Also since its msu week, i was looking at national championships and see that sparty claims 6 national championships lol (they actually have one if you only count ap championships). Anyways one of them, 1952 I think, is by the same source tha awarded UM a championship in 1985 lol, so actually BO did win a natty. Also Michigan was awrded a championship in 1978 by some source (michigan does not however claim these as championships like msu though). I just thought it was interesting.


October 18th, 2018 at 11:33 AM ^

As you can see by this obviously unbiased write-up, the 2015 game was not a once-in-a-lifetime fluke victory but a calculated move by MSU. That TD was inevitable once they decided to rush all 11 guys which wins you "easy penetration". It's really a wonder that all teams don't rush 11 instead of fielding punts since it gets you a TD or at least a block every time!

Why can't Spartan fans admit it was a close, well-played game that turned on a lucky bounce?


October 18th, 2018 at 12:35 PM ^

"a couple free runners'? get serious. there was a punter and 3 blockers directly in front of him. that is 4 players in the back field. michigan sent "one" player  down field. msu rushed 10 ,not 11 players. all the unblocked players were at the top of the field. there has never been a punt blocked from a player lined up that far away from the punter in history.

  only one thing went wrong, he dropped the snap. it took 3 seconds for those players to reach the punter, nobody from the middle or the right of the formation came close to blocking the punt. in fact it never was blocked. accept it for what is was, not great strategy by dantonio, not bad coaching by harbaugh. just nothing but blind stupid bad luck.