Sometimes it’s Better to Keep Your Mouth Shut: Michigan vs Michigan State

In the 2007 season, which was the last of Lloyd Carr’s coaching days, Michigan was trailing Michigan State in the 4th quarter before they came back and won it.

All time leading rusher for the Wolverines, Mike Hart, had this to say after the game:

“I thought it was funny. They got excited. It’s good. Sometimes you get your little brother excited when you’re playing basketball and you let him get the lead. Then you come back and take it from

him.”

Michigan State didn’t find it very amusing and especially Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio.

Since that time, Michigan State has beaten ;big brother’ Michigan in 7 out of 8 games. Michigan’s lone win was in 2010 when they won 12-10 on a last second Field Goal.

The following year was a brutal beating administered to the Wolverines by the Spartans. The score was only 29-6, but the Spartans play conservative offensively or the score would have been worse. The Spartans defense in 2013 was outstanding and they just brutalized the Wolverines.

Dantonio is a former Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Backs coach, so he empathizes defense.

Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr retired after the 2007 season and never had to deal with Michigan State, or Ohio State again on the football field.

The Wolverines decided to go outside the box and they hired Rich Rodriguez away from West

Virginia.

The 2008 version of the Michigan Wolverines may have been the worst team in program history, so that loss is understandable.  Michigan finished it’s season with a very shameful 3-9 record. That’s just something you don’t see at Michigan. The Spartans of Michigan State were going in a different direction. Despite being blown out by Ohio State and Penn State, the Spartans finished their season with a 9-4 record and a 35-21 win versus Michigan.

It was not the best of years in the state of Michigan in the 2009 season. The Spartan slipped to 6-7, but even that was better than Michigan’s 5-7 season.

Michigan State beat Michigan in East Lansing in Overtime, 26-20.

The Spartans were on fire in 2010 and finished with an impressive 11-2 record. They beat the struggling Wolverines yet again, 34-17.

Coach Rod was never loved in Ann Arbor and the 2010 season was his last when his team finished with a 7-6 record.

The Wolverines hired Brady Hoke away from San Diego State and they thought they were back on track when Hoke finished his first season with an 11-2 record in 2011. They even managed a now

rare win over bitter rival Ohio State. But, they still lost to Michigan State, 23-27.

Michigan State was 11-3 that season and lost to Russell Wilson led Wisconsin in the Big 10 Title game in a thriller of a game, 39-42.

Hopes were extremely high at Michigan going into the 2012 football season, but their dreams were squashed immediately when the Alabama Crimson Tide just crushed them, 14-41. They won their two next games, but then lost to the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, 6-13.

Both Alabama and Notre Dame would have great seasons before Alabama crushed the Irish to win the national championship.

Michigan came into it’s annual grudge match with Michigan State with a 4-2 record. The Spartans were not having a great season, either, and came into this game with a 4-3 record only to see it’s season get worse with a last second Wolverine Field Goal beating the Spartans 12-10.

The Spartans would finish with a 7-6 record and the Wolverines were 8-5.

Things got really big in East Lansing as the Spartans had a magical run in 2013 winning the Big 10 and beating the Stanford Cardinal in the Rose Bowl.

The Spartans finished with a 13-1 record and it’s only loss coming to Notre Dame in a 4 point heart breaker.

Michigan State beat Michigan badly that season even if the score doesn’t reflect all of that. At 29-6, reading the score would not impress that much, but the Spartans’ defense was all over Michigan

Quarterback Devin Gardner. They sacked him, they hit him, they thrashed him and the frustration was written all over his face.

After starting off at 5-0, the Wolverines collapsed and finished the season with an unacceptable 7-6 record.

2014 was a do or die year for Michigan’s Brady Hoke. Things did not go well for Hoke and they finished 5-7 and he without a job. Among the many losses was a 11-35 beat down administered by the Michigan State Spartans.

The Spartans finished 11-2 with both of their losses coming at the hands of the two teams that would later play for the national championship, Oregon and Ohio State.

The Spartans fantastic season was finalized with a dramatic come from behind victory over Baylor in the Cotton Bowl, 42-41.

Was Michigan State now a member of the nation’s elite?

Mark Dantonio had his charges rolling along and he may never forgive Michigan’s Mike Hart for his comments.

The Spartans and the Wolverines met once again this past season and this time in the Wolverine’s Big House.

But, now, things were quite a bit different. The Wolverines went out and got a big boy to replace Hoke. Former Michigan and NFL Quarterback Jim Harbaugh was hired to right the sinking Michigan ship.

After an ugly opening loss to Utah, the Wolverines bounced back and they bounced back big.

Michigan State was undefeated coming into the Big House and Michigan was 6-1. The Spartans really were not playing all that well, with close games against a struggling Oregon, Purdue and Rutgers. None of those wins were very impressive, but the Polls still kept them near the top.

Michigan was just the opposite. They were playing really well and had shut out 3 opponents in a row.

In one of the craziest finishes, a dropped snap from the punter was recovered by Michigan State and returned for a Touchdown with little time left to give the Spartans and unlikely 27-23 win. The Spartans had dominated the statistics, but they could not put the Wolverines away and Michigan was clinging to a 23-20 lead with time about to expire.

Mike Hart played briefly in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts. Now, he coaches the Running Backs at Western Michigan

Do you think he wishes he had kept his mouth shut?

Do you think that if Mark Dantonio needs a Running Back coach that he will consider hiring Mike Hart? Nope, me either.

Sometimes, it’s better to show a little class and keep you pie hole closed.

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