Michigan (3-5, 1-3 Big Ten) enters the stretch on Saturday with a homecoming game against Indiana and needing to win three of four to become bowl-eligible.
The Wolverines did score a touchdown this time — the first time they’d managed that against the Spartans since 2011 — but it came late in the fourth quarter.
It didn’t take long for Michigan coach Brady Hoke to issue an apology, taking full responsibility for the action because the stake was used during practice as a motivational tool.
It used to be news when Michigan State beat Michigan, when little brother rose up and knocked the mighty Wolverines down a peg. Now it’s routine and the Paul Bunyan Trophy has taken up almost permanent residence in East Lansing.
The Spartans have won six of their past seven games against the Wolverines, only the second time Michigan State has accomplished that in a series that dates to 1898.
According to an official report by former U.S. Justice Department official Kenneth Wainstein released Wednesday, there was more academic fraud than previously reported by the NCAA or the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
If all goes well, the Wolverines could walk out of Spartan Stadium having ruined Michigan State’s national-title hopes, but they insist that’s not their focus.
The Spartans (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten) have won five straight overall, 13 consecutive games over conference foes and tied the school record with an eighth straight road win in league play.
The announcement of Slippery Rock scores at the Big House during Michigan games started in 1959 as an attempt at humor, but has become one of the school’s enduring traditions.
“It’s a team with the same kind of passion we had last year, the same kind of camaraderie, but a little better leadership,” Tom Izzo said.