With the Michigan-Michigan State game approaching Daily Sports, took a look back through the history books to find some of the best games from the in-state rivalry, from the Wolverines’ dominant win in 1997 on the way to a national championship to Braylon Edwards’ one-man show in 2004.
Michigan leads the all-time series 67-30-5, and with both teams 5-0 this season, it could be an instant classic an Ann Arbor this weekend. Until then, here’s five of the best games that went in the Wolverines’ favor.
5. 1980- Michigan wins 27-23 on heels of Bo Schembechler’s gutsy call
With the game tied 13-13 in the second quarter, the Spartans were called for a roughing the kicker penalty after Michigan’s Ali Haji-Sheikh had nailed a field goal. But instead of opting to decline the penalty call, Michigan coach Bo Schembechler accepted the penalty, and three plays later, quarterback John Wangler delivered a strike to wide receiver Anthony Carter for a touchdown. Who needs field goals? Not Michigan, as they won the game by exactly the difference between Haji-Sheikh’s field goal and Carter’s touchdown.
4. 1964- Michigan stops losing skid and beats Spartans, 17-10
After a rough stretch against Sparty in the late ’50s and ’60s, the Wolverines bounced back and received a huge road win against their in-state rivals. After the longest Michigan losing streak by far in the rivalry (eight games), the Wolverines, led by All-American Bob Timberlake, ousted Michigan State on their way to the Rose Bowl.
3. 2007- Manningham’s late catch lifts Michigan in East Lansing, 28-24
With victory looking more and more out of reach, Michigan quarterback Chad Henne was left with a 3rd-down-and-12 which ultimately decided the game in its final minutes. Henne, having thrown three touchdown passes already, launched a beauty into the back of the end zone, which seemed almost out of wide receiver Mario Manningham’s reach. But Manningham extended just far enough to pull the ball down, stealing Michigan’s last victory over State.
2. 1997- Wolverines trounce Spartans en route to ’97 National Championship
This game may have been the one that meant the most out of these top five moments. The Wolverines demoralized a 5-1 Spartan squad that had its best start since the ’60s. Charles Woodson made one of the greatest interceptions in college football history and did a great deal to beef up his 1997 Heisman Trophy resume. It may not have had the same effect as the Wolverines’ end-of-the-season win over Ohio State, but Woodson’s grab said it all in Michigan’s in-state beatdown on its way to a national championship.
1. 2004- Braylon Edwards puts on one-man show in OT victory
In one of the best individual performances in Michigan history, Michigan wideout Braylon Edwards put up three touchdowns in a six-minute span to squeak out one of the wildest victories the program has ever seen. He essentially did it all for the Wolverines. Edwards, donning the legendary No. 1 jersey, looked like a man among boys, grabbing touchdown after touchdown over helpless Spartan defensive backs. Then-freshman Chad Henne delivered one of his most poised performances ever, and Michigan delivered a crushing blow to Sparty.