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Ranking Mark Dantonio’s 100 wins: MSU forces UM to make it rain in turnovers for win No. 12

Whoa, there goes another interception

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Michigan Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Back-to-back wins over Michigan in the countdown? Yes please!

No. 13 on our countdown was the first Mark Dantonio win over the Ann Arbor school, and now it’s time to go alllll the way back to October for the most recent win.

Wins No. 100-13 are all right here if you’ve missed any of our countdown.


Win No. 12

Oct. 7, 2017: MSU 14, No. 7 Michigan 10

Whoa, I think John O’Korn just threw ANOTHER interception.

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

How They Won

Talk to anyone in the blue and yellow tribe, and they’ll tell you it was the downpour that literally anyone with a smartphone saw coming from 200 miles away.

They do have a point — after all, MSU was trailing before the storm. Oh wait...the Spartans were up 14-3?

Ohhh my bad, that’s right. It was only raining when UM was on offense. That must be it.

Or some call it “luck.” If “luck” is watching the other team electing to air the ball out in a monsoon with their savior second string third string(?) quarterback struggling, then I guess MSU did find some luck. I call it poor coaching and reckless care with the football, but to each their own.

Or — and maybe I’m crazy for thinking this — I think MSU won because its defense forced five turnovers at opportune times and turned the ball over (looks at notes) zero times.

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Michigan Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s just take a trip down memory lane with all of the turnovers the MSU defense forced:

Turnover 1: Ty Isaac ran to midfield, but it ended with Joe Bachie punching the ball out and Chris Frey recovering it. The Spartan offense then generated a touchdown to make it a 7-3 lead they would never give back.

Turnover 2: It looked like UM was going to get back into at least field goal range — maybe more — before the first half ended. Justin Layne had other ideas, jarring the ball free to David Dowell.

Turnover 3: This is where the string of three straight drives ending in interceptions started, with David Dowell picking off O’Korn with 3:52 left in the third quarter.

Fun fact: Dowell was UM’s third leading receiver that game with two catches for 35 yards.

Turnover 4: lol

Turnover 5: Keep airing that ball out, Jimmy.

Also, let’s not forget this A+ play call by MSU to make it 14-3 in the first half.

That is some SENSUAL football. I mean, Kevin Jarvis came out looking for someone to block and just got a leisurely stroll on a fine fall evening.

What This Win Meant

This meant a few fines.

First, it was the first time since the dreaded 3-9 season we looked at MSU and thought “damn, that’s a good football team.” That’s what a road win against a top ten team will do.

Second, it got MSU on the right track after struggling against Notre Dame a few weeks prior at Spartan Stadium.

Third, 8-2 in the last decade. Like this game, they probably have excuses for all eight losses. But MSU now has eight results, and that’s what matters.

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Michigan Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports