MCCC reacts to rivalry

For the first time in 42 years, the Michigan State Spartans won back-to-back games against their arch-rival  Michigan Wolverines.
But the Spartans had to hold off a furious comeback led by Michigan freshman quarterback Tate Forcier, and needed a big play from their defense to pull out a 26-20 victory in overtime.
At MCCC, where Wolverine fans appear to outnumber Spartan fans, the maize and blue crowd had plenty to rant about.
“Michigan played their worst game of the year and almost won,” MCCC student Craig Scheich, a Michigan fan, said.
Another Michigan fan, Ryan McCleery, was even more displeased.
“Michigan’s defense played the worst game of the season. They couldn’t cover the receivers and couldn’t make good tackles. Forcier made an amazing comeback for nothing,” McCleery said.
The green–and-white crowd was pretty happy after the Spartans won two in a row against the Wolverines for the first time since 1965-67 when they won three straight.
 “I was nervous near the end.” MCCC student and Spartan fan Amanda MacIver said. “The defense was letting Michigan drive down the field (in the fourth quarter). I was happy that they won.”
MCCC student Darbi Miller thinks that the rivalry may be bigger with two straight Spartan victories.
“It’s a lot more intense than it has been in the last 10-15 years.”
Despite the loss, Michigan fans remain optimistic for their team.
 “Tate (Forcier) showed some signs of a possible Heisman Trophy candidate within the next couple of years,” MCCC student Jeremy Hickey said.
MCCC student Jacob McLaughlin thinks that while the loss may lower expectations, the Wolverines are a long way from where they were last season.
“Michigan is still rebuilding,” McLaughlin said. “They’ll probably lose a couple more games, but they’ll win the games that they should win, and Forcier will lead them to a winning record and a bowl game.”
The Spartan fans believe their team is now back on track after a 1-3 start.
 “MSU is headed in the right direction after a tough start. This win was a huge confidence booster” said MCCC student Joe Hoffman.
“Hopefully they can win out the rest of the way.” MacIver added.
Heading into the game, the Wolverines were 4-0 and ranked in both the AP Poll and USA Today Coaches’ Poll and appeared to be on track for a big season after going 3-9 last year. The Spartans had limped to a 1-3 record through the first four games, with all three losses decided by a combined total of 13 points.
On an overcast day in East Lansing, a raucous crowd of 78,629 would witness another classic showdown between the two in-state rivals.
Michigan got on the scoreboard first with a 36-yard field goal by Jason Olesnavage, despite getting excellent field position after intercepting MSU quarterback Kirk Cousins on the third play of the game.
On the ensuing drive, the Spartans drove 80 yards in 17 plays, capping off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run by freshman running back Larry Caper, making the score 7-3.
The only scores the rest of the first half for both teams were a 42-yard field goal by Olesnavage, and a 26-yard field goal by Brett Swenson, which gave the Spartans a 10-6 lead at halftime.
In the third quarter, The Wolverines tried a fake punt on 4th-down-and-inches at their own 16, but punter Zoltan Mesko was tackled for a 3-yard loss.
The Spartans were forced to settle for a 24-yard field goal by Swenson, giving them a 13-6 lead.  They would score again on a 15-yard touchdown run by Glenn Winston in the fourth quarter, putting the score at 20-6.
It wasn’t until late in the fourth quarter when the Wolverines’ offense appeared to come to life, when Forcier found Darryl Stonum for a 60-yard touchdown pass with 4:03 to go in the fourth quarter, making the score 20-13.
The Spartans were forced to punt on their next possession, giving the Wolverines one last chance to tie the game with 2:58 to go and no timeouts. Forcier went to work immediately, driving the Wolverines 92 yards in 12 plays as he capped it off with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Roy Roundtree with two seconds left, tying the game at 20-20.  
In overtime, Michigan got the ball first and drove to the MSU 8-yard line, but on a 3rd-down-and-5, Forcier’s pass for Martavius Odoms was broken up by Danny Fortener and intercepted in the end zone by Chris L. Rucker. When the Spartans took over, it only took three plays to win the game as Caper would score on a 23-yard touchdown run.
Michigan was held to 251 yards of offense, and only 28 yards rushing after averaging over 240 yards per game through the first four games. MSU rang up 198 yards on the ground, despite ranking 10th in the Big Ten in rushing. Spartan quarterback Kirk Cousins, not known as a threat to run, led his team in rushing with 75 yards.