The final score really didn’t tell the story of that game, as the Spartans were up 30-13 in the fourth quarter. Minnesota took an early 3-0 lead, but once the Spartans took the lead in the mid-first quarter, they did not relinquish it the rest of the game. MSU dominated the Gophers on the ground, out-rushing Minnesota 245 yards to 74 yards, and won the total yardage battle by a mark of 365 to 290 yards. Minnesota added a couple of late scores to make things look close, and gave MSU fans a bit of a scare, but the Spartans held on for the victory.
Coming off of a putrid 3-9 campaign, the Spartans are now already one victory away from bowl eligibility. Poll voters have started to take notice of Michigan State, as the program moved up to No. 18 in this week’s AP Poll. The Spartans gain three spots in the poll, after ranking at No. 21 last week.
The No. 18 ranking is the highest spot the Spartans have been in so far this season. The team was not ranked at all through the first six weeks of the year.
Michigan State is now ranked ahead of rival Michigan. The Wolverines dropped two spots to No. 19 after an overtime win against Indiana. Oddly enough, Michigan ranked ahead of Sparty after Michigan State beat the Wolverines in Ann Arbor.
The Spartans also moved up three spots in the Amway Coaches Poll, going from No. 22 to No. 19. This put them ahead of Central Florida, Auburn, Stanford, West Virginia, Texas A&M and LSU, who round out the Top 25.
Michigan is still somehow ranked ahead of Michigan State in the coaches poll, after moving up one spot to No. 15.
With Clemson being upset against Syracuse this past weekend, the Tigers dropped to No. 7 and it cleared the way for the Big Ten powerhouses. Penn State jumped up to No. 2 in both polls, while fellow Big Ten foe Wisconsin made it up to No. 5 in each poll. Ohio State took over the No. 6 spot in both.
Five Big Ten teams make up the Top 20 in both the AP and Coaches Polls. Alabama remains at No. 1 in each.