Michigan Vs. MSU Rumored To Be A Night Game In 2022
Michigan and Michigan State will reportedly lock horns under the primetime lights for just the second time in the 124 years of their football rivalry.
Detroit Sports Nation broke the news, based on an anonymous source familiar with the details.
The Spartans and Wolverines played their in-state rivalry game under the lights for the first time on Oct. 7, 2017. Michigan State won, 14-10, despite being a 10-point underdog. The Spartans came into that game unranked with a 3-1 record. Michigan was 4-0 and ranked No. 7 before the upset.
The 2022 game will be played in Ann Arbor. Michigan State has long resisted scheduling the U-M game at night when played at Spartan Stadium over infrastructure and public-safety concerns. Both schools agreed on that until 2017, when U-M hosted MSU at Michigan Stadium for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
In 2013, Dave Brandon and Mark Hollis, then athletic directors at Michigan and MSU, respectively, both told reporters they and their universities did not support hosting the annual rivalry game at night.
We don’t think it’s a good idea, from our perspective – the nature of that rivalry and the intensity of it,” Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said at the time.
“When you put that on at prime-time and give everybody all day long to gear up for it, I know hosting that at Michigan Stadium, we think that’s probably taking it a step further than it needs to go.
“There’s plenty of excitement and plenty of high-pitched emotions associated with that game, I don’t think we need to kick it off at 8 p.m. I don’t think that will add anything to it and potentially could detract from it.”
“From our perspective, night games add a new dimension to hosting,” Hollis said. “We’ve had very good success here with Notre Dame and Boise in the past. We always listen and then we gather as an institution and determine which direction we want to go. A lot of that has to do with what else is in the schedule – what other games do you have out there, and what do you believe is in the best interest of both your institution and your game.
Heading into 2022's reported night game, Michigan State has beaten Michigan 10 out of the last 14 meetings, including the first two under head coach Mel Tucker. The Spartans have won three of the last four rivalry games played in Ann Arbor, as well as five of the last seven meetings at Michigan Stadium.
The road team has won five of the last seven games in this series, with the lone home-team wins coming in 2019 and last year when Michigan State won 37-33 in a Top 10 showdown.