MSU won this weekend for the third straight season over their top rivals Michigan. It was a turning point for Michigan State, who has closed the gap and are approaching a level to Michigan in football. No not historically, or prestige, or even popularity. But talent wise, and current program wise, MSU is right there with Michigan. MSU plays classic Michigan football, where sound defense, running the ball and grit is favored over speed and finesse. MSU grew up as a team these last two weeks, and Dantonio as a coach and a man, who showed how tough he is coaching this game after having health problems this season.
What we learned is that Michigan has trouble winning at home, and the Big House magic of even 5 years ago is gone. RichRod may never be able to consistently beat good Big Ten teams, or good teams regardless. Denard was shut down (he still had a ton of yards, but 3 interceptions and 3.3 yards per carry and only 1 touchdown is not good) and his longest run was 16 yards, far less than his huge gains he had the first 5 weeks. The Michigan defense is awful and can't tackle. They are just terrible. Michigan's special teams look better and even made a field goal. They are still bad, but looked like improvement is a possibility. Michigan will make a bowl, but a 7-5 or 8-4 season is likely. That is fading down the stretch against the Big Ten again, and I am sure Ohio State will beat Michigan again. RichRod could be the next unemployed person in Michigan very soon.
For MSU, we learned the Spartans have an incredible young balanced offense and could have a top rushing attack for years. Cousins was really impressive, making big throws and not forcing a pass all day. The MSU defense shut down the week 1-5 Heisman champ. They stopped the attempt by Michigan to spread the ball to the running backs more, and got crucial turnovers. They looked very very good on the road against a rival.
MSU outplayed UofM, and the excuses about dropped passes or redzone turnovers just don't cover up the fact that Denard played poorly and the whole team suffered. MSU is moving in the right direction, and Michigan can't say the same thing. The only thing is, if MSU doesn't keep moving forward and working hard and winning, this will be for nothing.