ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) – Michigan has met Michigan State on the football field more than 100 times since 1898, winning more than two-thirds of the games.
The Spartans, though, have had their way with the Wolverines lately.
“They took it to us four straight years and that’s something we’re aware of,” Michigan linebacker Desmond Morgan said.
And if Michigan State can pull off an upset at the Big House this week, it will have a school-record, five-game winning streak in the rivalry.
“It’ll be a challenge, going down there, obviously,” Spartans coach Mark Dantonio said Saturday after losing to Iowa. “We can talk about that next week, and everyone will get all riled up about things. It’ll be good for the blood.”
No. 23 Michigan (4-2, 2-0 Big Ten) is building momentum in Brady Hoke’s second season, outscoring Purdue and Illinois 89-13 the past two weeks after leaving Notre Dame last month with a .500 record.
Michigan State, meanwhile, is coming off a 19-16 double-overtime home loss to the Hawkeyes that was its third setback in five games since being ranked No. 10 and getting its flaws exposed by Notre Dame. After playing at Michigan, the Spartans (4-3, 1-2) travel to Wisconsin and host Nebraska.
“It’s gut-check time,” Dantonio said. “We’re in a tough stretch of the schedule, but we’ll rise to it. Our guys will play hard next week. You can count on that.”