Oct. 25, 2008
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Michigan State finally beat Michigan.
And the Spartans had to overcome a blown call to do it.
Javon Ringer's second touchdown broke a tie midway through the fourth quarter and Brian Hoyer's third touchdown pass padded the lead, lifting the Spartans to a 35-21 win over the Wolverines on Saturday.
Michigan State (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten) had not knocked off its rival since 2001, when T.J. Duckett scored with a disputed second on the clock, and was winless at the Big House since 1990.
Michigan (2-6, 1-3) tied the game in the first quarter when the replay official overturned a ruling on the field, giving Brandon Minor a TD because his foot hit a pylon.
The NCAA rule book, however, states: "A player or an airborne player who touches a pylon is out of bounds."
Referee Dave Witvoet was to speak to a pool reporter about the play that was overturned by a replay official.
Michigan State ended up making the explanation moot.
The Spartans outgained Michigan 473-252, their highest total in a win at Michigan Stadium in a half-century.
Ringer ran for 194 yards and two scores on 37 carries. Hoyer was 17-of-29 for 282 yards and a season-high three touchdowns. Blair White scored on a 61-yard reception to start the scoring and finished with four catches for 143 yards.
Steven Threet was 13-of-26 for 168 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions. He scored on a third-quarter run, giving Michigan its only lead.
Minor ran for 55 yards and a score and was credited with a 19-yard TD reception.
Michigan State, 7-2 for just the third time in 40 years, will be tied for second place in the Big Ten with the loser of the Penn State-Ohio State game.
The Rich Rodriguez-led Wolverines are having their worst season since 1962, when they finished 2-7 and tied a school record for losses. They've lost four games at home for the first time in four decades.
College football's winningest program has to win its final four games - three of which are on the road including one at Ohio State - just to be eligible to play in a 34th straight bowl game.