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Remembering That Time MSU Lost To Michigan 119-0

Goodyear Cotton Bowl - Alabama v Michigan State
Yeah, we know, not a great memory. (Getty Images)

It’s rivalry week in Michigan and that means it’s time for fans to really ramp up the smack talk.

For University of Michigan fans, a favorite ghost to bring up is the infamous 119-0 defeat they bestowed upon what was then referred to as Michigan Agricultural College. As defeats go, this one was about as embarrassing as they come.

Does that, though, have any weight on Saturday’s rivalry-match when the Michigan State Spartans march into the Michigan Stadium?

Clearly not, but any loss that bad gives an excuse to dig deep into one of the greatest college football rivalries in the country.

The aforementioned 119-0 loss happened in 1902 during the two schools’ second meeting.¬†While the Wolverines tore apart the Aggies that day, Michigan Agricultural was far from the only team to face the Wolverines’ wrath under Fielding H. Yost that year.

In 1902, Regents Field saw it’s share of wallopings on Michigan’s road to an 11-0 season. Iowa also joined the pack in allowing 100+ points that year. Yost’s offense finished the season with 644 points compared to only 12 points allowed.

Four years earlier, the MAC Aggies went to Ann Arbor for a 39-0 shut out loss. Four games and 11 years later, MAC would finally win. By that point, the collective score of the series was 287-25.

The scales tipped even more considering by 1934 when Michigan State won its first game in the rivalry as Michigan State College. By then, Michigan led overall point differential 755-74.

Take a note, Michigan State fans: The next time a Wolverine tries to give you any noise about the historical point differential, you can always take solace in the fact most of those blow outs happened before MSU even became Michigan State College in 1925.

That said, Michigan still leads the series 36-26-2 since 1953, which was MSU’s first year in the Big Ten. Only three of those Wolverine wins come in the Mark Dantonio era.

No matter what happens on Saturday, one thing is certain: Neither the embarrassing scores nor Michigan’s historical dominance can really help predict the outcome.

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