Spartans soar amid Michigan's seasons-long slump

Michigan State defensive end Shilique Calhoun (89) tackles Indiana quarterback Zander Diamont (12) in the second half of an NCAA college football game in Bloomington, Ind., Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. Michigan State won the game 56-17. (AP Photo/Sam Riche)
Sam Riche

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Brady Hoke's arrival at Michigan was supposed to signal a return to the program's roots: power football and physicality.

In its fourth season under Hoke, Michigan has had a hard time recapturing that identity. Never was that more apparent than when they lined up against Michigan State last year.

Michigan lost 29-6, and the underlying stats were more alarming. The Wolverines allowed seven sacks, finished with minus-48 yards rushing and were shut out in the second half.

For 60 overpowering minutes, Michigan State demonstrated just how drastically this rivalry has shifted.

The eighth-ranked Spartans host Michigan again this weekend and were a 17-point favorite as of midday Wednesday.

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