UM Wolverines vs. MSU Spartans: a Look at This Michigan Football Rivalry

When Do the Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State Spartans Play Next?

Upcoming game information can be found below. Michigan Wolverines football tickets and Michigan State Spartans football tickets can be found on their respective team pages.

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Are the Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State Spartans Rivals?

Yes, the Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State Spartans have an in-state interdivisional rivalry within the B1G conference. The winner of the B1G Eastern Division gets an automatic berth into the B1G Championship game, along with either an automatic berth into a New Year’s Six bowl game or the College Football Playoff.

Who Are the Michigan Wolverines’ Biggest Rivals?

The Michigan Wolverines have three rivalries within the B1G conference: “The Game” played annually against Ohio State, a game for the Paul Bunyan trophy against Michigan State, and a game for the Little Brown Jug trophy against Minnesota. Michigan also has a non-conference rivalry against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

Who are the Michigan State Spartans’ Biggest Rivals?

The Michigan State Spartans also have three rivals within the B1G conference: the Indiana Hoosiers, the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan State also shares a rivalry against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

Michigan Wolverines vs. Michigan State Spartans Series History

The Michigan-Michigan State rivalry dates back more than 125 years. Between 1898 and 2022, the Spartans and Wolverines have played each other 114 times, with Michigan leading the head-to-head 71-38-5. The Wolverines also have the longest win streak at 14; however, the Spartans have the current win streak at two in a row in 2020 and 2021.

In what was arguably the most iconic game game of 2015, simply referenced by the radio call, “Trouble with the snap,” in October, the 12th-ranked Wolverines, led by first-year head coach Jim Harbaugh, led the undefeated and 7th-ranked Spartans 23-21. With the ball over midfield and in field goal range, the Wolverines took a third down sack and elected to punt.

Mark Dantonio, known for his special teams coaching, sent all 11 defenders to cover the punt, which overwhelmed the punter. Michigan punter Blake O’Neill bobbled the snap and the ball was eventually scooped and scored by Michigan State special teams player Jalen Watts-Jackson as time expired. Michigan State did not lead at any point in the game until the clock hit 0:00.

The two teams have had success both historically and recently. Both Michigan State and Michigan have made College Football Playoff appearances, and they have a combined 17 national championships. Each team has also made an appearance in the B1G Championship game since 2015.

The Paul Bunyan Trophy

The Paul Bunyan Governor’s Trophy first made an appearance in 1953 as a welcome offering to Michigan State when they joined the Big Ten Conference. The statue is a four-foot-tall painted-wood carving made in the image of local folk hero Paul Bunyan.

Where Do the Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans Play?

The Michigan Wolverines play at Michigan Stadium, nicknamed “The Big House.” The Big House is the largest stadium in the United States and the third-largest stadium in the world, with an official capacity of 107,601.

Michigan State plays at Spartan Stadium, formerly called College Field, Macklin Field and Macklin Stadium. The stadium is also nicknamed “The Woodshed.” Spartan Stadium opened in 1923 and has a formal capacity of 75,005.

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