Michigan vs. Michigan State football: A look back at the past 5 meetings

Michigan State is 4-1 in past 5 games against Michigan

The Michigan State Spartans celebrate after Jalen Watts-Jackson scored the winning touchdown against the Michigan Wolverines during the final seconds of college football game on Oct. 17, 2015 in Ann Arbor. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Michigan and Michigan State will face each other this weekend after both teams celebrated big wins this past weekend. 

The Spartans stunned No. 8 Penn State, 21-17, in Pennsylvania while the Wolverines dominated No. 15 Wisconsin, 38-13, in Ann Arbor. 

Michigan (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten) is now ranked at No. 6 in the nation as they head to East Lansing to take on the Spartans (4-2, 2- Big Ten). Michigan State is back in the rankings at No. 24. 

Michigan State heads into this rivalry game boasting an 8-2 record against the Wolverines since 2008. Michigan had won six straight games against the Spartans before that 2008 loss. 

Here's a quick look back at just the past five meetings between these two rivals: 

Nov. 2, 2013 -- Michigan State 29, Michigan 6

Michigan State responded the next year. Connor Cook threw for a touchdown and ran for one, but this game belonged to Michigan State's defense, which at the time solidified its spot among the nation's best with an overwhelming performance on a rainy afternoon at Spartan Stadium.

This was Michigan State's most lopsided win in the series since 1967. They held Michigan to minus-48 yards rushing, the worst output in the Ann Arbor program's history. Michigan's previous low point for rushing was in 1962, when the Wolverines were held to minus-46 yards by Minnesota. 

FULL RECAP: No. 24 Michigan State batters No. 23 Michigan 29-6

Oct. 25, 2014 -- Michigan State 35, Michigan 11

Michigan State picked up right where they left off a year before with the rivalry's first-ever back-to-back games in East Lansing. Cook threw for 227 yards and a touchdown on 12-of-22. Tony Lippett had three receptions and a 70-yard touchdown for the Spartans, who continued their domination in the series by beating the Wolverines for the sixth time in seven meetings.

Devin Gardner was intercepted twice and threw for 121 yards as Michigan was limited to 186 total yards en route to its fourth loss in five games. 

FULL RECAP: Michigan State beats Michigan, 35-11

Oct. 17, 2015 -- Michigan State 27, Michigan 23

This is arguably the craziest finish to any game in this historic rivalry. When pretty much everyone thought the game was over and Michigan was going to win, the unthinkable happened. 

After the snap was flubbed on a Michigan punt attempt and the ball went flying as the final seconds ticked down, Michigan State's Jalen Watts-Jackson grabbed it and raced 38 yards into the end zone for a touchdown on the final play of the game in Ann Arbor. 

This was Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh's first game against the Spartans. 

FULL RECAP: No. 7 Michigan State stuns No. 12 Michigan 27-23 on final play

"A mistake was made," Harbaugh said. "Mistakes were made. It's very unfortunate circumstances."

For Michigan State fans, it's worth watching again:

Oct. 29, 2016 -- Michigan 32, Michigan State 23

Harbaugh's Wolverines bounced back the next year and beat the Spartans in East Lansing. 

Amara Darboh caught eight passes for a career-high 165 yards, and De'Veon Smith ran for two touchdowns to lift Michigan to a 32-23 win.

It was another low point in a 3-9 season for the Spartans, but many imagined this game would be much more lopsided. Still, it wasn't all that close until the very end. 

Michigan will now go for its first back-to-back wins in the series since 2007. 

FULL RECAP: Michigan stays unbeaten with 32-23 win at Michigan State

Oct. 7, 2017 -- Michigan State 14, Michigan 10

ClickOnDetroit football writer Derick Hutchinson recapped it this way: 

Michigan was a double-digit favorite in the game, and in front of 112,000 fans in a night game atmosphere, the table was set for Jim Harbaugh's team to keep bragging rights in Ann Arbor for another year.

Instead, Michigan got outplayed for the better part of 60 minutes, and the mistakes finally caught up with the Wolverines. They lost the turnover battle by five, dropped several passes and committed crippling penalties. All things considered, it was a minor miracle that Michigan only lost by four points.

Read his full recap here

Oct. 20, 2018: Game is in East Lansing

This year's game has a noon start time at Spartan Stadium. Michigan is considered a 7.5-point favorite on the road. 

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