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Michigan State Routs Michigan, 35-11

MSU safety RJ Williamson intercepts Michigan’s Devin Gardner and returns it for a touchdown in the third quarter. (Getty Images)

Michigan State’s defense forced three turnovers and scored a touchdown, leading the Spartans to their sixth win over arch-rival Michigan in eight seasons, 35-11.

MSU put the game out of reach for good in the third quarter. Leading 14-3, junior safety RJ Williamson picked off a poor pass from U-M quarterback Devin Gardner and returned it 29 yards for a score, pushing the lead to 21-3.

The defensive score gave MSU’s defense more touchdowns that Michigan’s offense during the rivals’ last three meetings.

On MSU’s next possession, Connor Cook found receiver Tony Lippett along the sideline for a 70-yard touchdown pass, boosting the Spartans’ lead to 28-3 in just 11 seconds.

The first half was more contested. MSU marched down 75 yards down the field in eight plays and about three minutes on the game’s opening possession to take a 7-0 lead with a Jeremy Langford 2-yard touchdown run.

U-M made things closer in the second period of play. The Wolverines defense stripped MSU tight end Josiah Price late in the second quarter, then scored a field goal a few plays later, making the score 7-3.

MSU responded right away, though, with a nine-play, 73-yard scoring drive capped by another Langford touchdown run. That made the score 14-3 at half.

Langford ran for 100-plus yards for the 12th consecutive conference game. He finished with 177 yards and three touchdowns on 35 carries.

MSU outgained U-M 446 yards to 186.

Interesting Streaks Come to an End

Michigan ended a pair of dismal streaks against its in-state rival. Wolverines running back De’Veon Smith plunged into the end zone late in the fourth quarter to snap an 11-quarter stretch Michigan had suffered without reaching the end zone versus Michigan State. The previous touchdown Michigan State allowed to Michigan came in the fourth quarter of the Spartans’ 28-14 win in 2011.

MSU also allowed more points against Michigan than the previous meeting for the first time since 2006.The trend had been ongoing under Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio.

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