The football rivalry between the Michigan State Spartans and the Michigan Wolverines has no shortage of legendary games. College football fans of this great state have been treated to some amazing games over the course of the series. Because Michigan has the advantage of program reputation, history, and tradition – not to mention a 69-35-5 head-to-head record in the history of the two teams playing – Michigan State is almost always confined to playing the role of underdog in the annual game.
This is something that Spartan fans take pride in and bristle at simultaneously. Whatever the case may be in any given year, the greatest upsets in the series usually come from a Michigan State victory.
Let’s take a look some of the greatest upsets in the history of this great matchup.
November 3, 2001
MSU 26, No. 6 Michigan 24
Michigan State fans remember this game as an incredible game-winning drive led by Jeff Smoker. Michigan fans only need to utter two words: Spartan Bob. Watch the video below and make the call.
November. 4, 1995
Michigan State 28, No. 7 Michigan 25
One of the greatest games in the rivalry (I can personally attest to this – I was there). The bitter cold. The astroturf (so Nineties). The huge shoulder pads. And don’t forget MSU signal caller Tony Banks leading his team to a wild victory in the 4th quarter to the raucous cheers of the Spartan faithful.
October 9, 1999
No. 11 Michigan State 34, No. 3 Michigan 31
Remember Plaxico Burress? Take a moment to relive some of his finest college moments in this game when he caught 10 passes for 255 yards (good for a school-record). All this before bringing shame to the Green and White during a nightclub altercation where he not only was charged with two felony weapons counts…he managed to shoot himself in the leg with his own gun.
October 15, 2011
No. 23 Michigan State 28, No. 11 Michigan 14
Spartan Nation took pride in their aggressive team as Kirk Cousins because the first MSU quarterback in the history of the program to record three wins over rival Michigan. As for the Maize and Blue QB, Denard Robinson? He was lucky to get out of Spartan Stadium alive as MSU defender William Gholston literally tried to break Robinson’s neck on a late hit. See for yourself in the video below and pay special attention to the 1:12 mark.
October 3, 2009
Michigan State 26, No. 22 Michigan 20 (OT)
Tate Forcier ran out of magic for the Wolverines as the Spartans (aided by a fresh-out-of-jail running back Glenn Winston) eventually prevailed in the first overtime session on a touchdown run by Larry Caper. Check out the classic call by legendary MSU play-by-play man, George Blaha (6:18 mark of the video below).