There was a time when beating UM in consecutive seasons wasn’t a usual feeling.
This was that time.
The second win over UM you’ll see in our rankings wasn’t the prettiest, but the drama at the end made it one of the most memorable games in program history.
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Want to read more about win No. 18. We got you fam.
Win No. 18
Oct. 3, 2009: MSU 26, No. 22 Michigan 20 (OT)
Not the greatest season but, damn it, one with memories.
The Spartans were off to a forgettable 1-3 overall start, and the opportunity to turn the mood around was right in front of them against No. 22 Michigan.
You probably know by now that this game ended the right way.
How They Won
This one was a toughy — while the passing game between Kirk Cousins and Keith Nichol was efficient with 20-29 passing with 229 yards, there was one problem. Well, two I guess. There were zero touchdowns and two interceptions.
The running game was solid, with Glenn Winston and Larry Caper combining for 86 yards and three touchdowns. One of those is more memorable than the other two (we’ll get to that soon).
I’ll give UM credit — they made a great run at the end of the game to tie it up at 20-20 with two second left to force overtime.
In overtime, UM got the ball first and took advantage when Tate Forcier found Chris L. Rucker in the end zone off a tipped ball on 3rd-and-5. Well, an advantage for MSU.
All MSU needed now was a field goal.
It didn’t start great — a Winston run that went backwards nine yards brought the nerves back into the stadium.
Keith Nichol-to-BJ Cunningham on the next play got back 11 yards.
Alright, now it’s 3rd-and-9.
Let’s just try to get back into field goal range andOH MY GOD THERE GOES LARRY CAPER BREAKING A TACKLE AND THERE HE GOES DOWN THE SIDELINE!! MSU WINS!!!?!!!
Ahh, great time.
What This Win Meant
After a shaky start (at best) to the season, this win breathed fresh air into the season. MSU went on to win its next two games, which helped them stabilize to 4-3 overall. It didn’t get too much better than that, but good enough to get to a bowl game.
This game was also the second straight win over UM, starting the wave of momentum the Spartans would continue to ride to this day in the rivalry.