A gray skied day in East Lansing, Michigan late last October ended with the Michigan Wolverines losing their first game of the season. Michigan’s 30-14 lead over Michigan State turned into a 37-33 defeat.
Questionable officiating, a Michigan State running back in Kenneth Walker III who scored five touchdowns, multiple turnovers by Michigan, and a rowdy environment at Spartan Stadium all contributed to the Michigan State comeback.
“The way we lost sucked, and I think we’re going to definitely circle Michigan State this season,” quarterback Cade McNamara said, who threw for 383 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception versus MSU last year. “It’s upsetting that we lost that game, and that fuels a lot of dudes who didn’t beat them the year before that as well.”
Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker is now 2-0 against Michigan and the Spartans are riding high, even putting the score of their win against Michigan on their Peach Bowl rings.
Bragging rights are bragging rights and Michigan State surely has them — it’s up to Michigan to put a stop to their winning streak and serve them a hefty portion of humble pie.
“We’ve got to beat those guys,” Erick All said on Tuesday. “We have to get after them this year.”
All said that Michigan might even have a Michigan State drill pretty soon.
“I just don’t want us to be more worried about Ohio State than we are about Michigan State,” All said. “We have not beaten them in two years. We need to get right and get dialed in with them too. And we will.”
Michigan’s four goals this season are beating Michigan State, beating Ohio State, winning the Big Ten Championship, and winning a National Championship. Beating Michigan State is never easy, but perhaps the memories of defeat can motivate them and lead to a Michigan victory. Michigan found the correct formula for beating Ohio State in 2021, now it’s time to take care of their in-state rival.
“We’re going to want to win that game,” McNamara said. “There are some games that you think about maybe that week or whatever it is, but there are some teams that you think about all year when you’re working out and conditioning. Michigan State is one of those teams, and we’re going to do everything we can to make sure we don’t lose that game.”
Every game is a must-win, and every game is important, but some games require more preparation because of the intensity and physicality of the rivalry. There is some level of respect between the two programs, but the rivalry is also as chippy as it’s ever been. Let the hate flow, it’s a powerful motivator.
Michigan and Michigan State play on October 29 at Michigan Stadium.