100th Edition: Michigan State vs. Michigan

On Saturday afternoon Michigan and Michigan State meet for the 100th time on the gridiron with Wolverines leading the series 66-28-5. The two schools separated by just 62 miles will meet for the 62nd consecutive season with the last interruption coming during WWII in 1945.

COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF | MSU vs. UM




EAST LANSING -- On Saturday afternoon Michigan and Michigan State meet for the 100th time on the gridiron with Wolverines leading the series 66-28-5. The two schools separated by just 62 miles will meet for the 62nd consecutive season with the last interruption coming during WWII in 1945.

The two teams have played for the Paul Bunyan Trophy since 1953. The Wolverines have claimed it five consecutive years including last years 31-13 victory at the Big House.

The running game has proved to be the deciding factor in games between these two teams. In 35 of the last 37 game the team with the most rushing yards has won.

The Green-and-White's last victory came in 2001 at Spartan Stadium when with just one second left Jeff Smoker rolled right and lobed the ball back across his body to find Spartan running back TJ Duckett alone in the back of the end zone for a 26-24 victory in one of the most exciting and controversial games in the series history.

This year the Spartans look to get the Paul Bunyan trophy back under first year coach Mark Dantonio who is trying to turn the program around and it starts with beating Michigan.

Dantonio has already provided a memorable quote that will go down in Spartan annuals if the Green-and-White pull out the victory.

"Its a statement game and it's a measuring stick," said Dantonio. "How long are we going to continue to bow to the University of Michigan?"

The new approach is welcomed in East Lansing after the last regime didnt embrace the rivalries with Michigan or Notre Dame.

"That's why you come here," said Spartan senior center John Masters. "It's one thing in the back of our minds we like to get this last shot; we'd like to get it done."

These two teams have provided many memorable moments over the past 99 meetings whether it was the Spartans seven interceptions in 1987 in route to their last Rose Bowl appearance or Charles Woodson's miraculous one handed interception off Spartan quarterback Todd Shultz in 1997 or Plaxico Burress' dominating 10 catch performance in 1999 propelling MSU to a win, this series seems to never disappoint.

It has also provided its fair share of controversy.

Who can forget 1990 when Michigan receiver Desmond Howard couldnt catch a two point conversion with less then a minute left and his team trailing 28-27? Howard along with the rest of the Maize-and-Blue would claim pass interference on the play but to no avail giving the Spartans their most recent victory at Michigan Stadium.

This years game should prove to be interesting.

Will the much maligned Spartan defense be able to stop Heisman candidate Mike Hart? Will Michigan State be able to run the ball against a powerful Wolverine front seven? All these questions will be answered Saturday afternoon.

If there is one thing that is certain when these two schools meet is that with will be a tough, physical game at Spartan Stadium Saturday.

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