Spartans rough up rival Wolverines

Michigan State safety Trenton Robinson holds up his first-quarter interception. The Spartans beat Michigan for the third consecutive time in dominating fashion.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. --- Michigan State made Denard Robinson look close to normal for the first time this year, helping the program dominate rival Michigan in a way it hasn't in generations.


The 17th-ranked Spartans intercepted three of Robinson's passes -- one in the end zone, one just outside of it -- and scored 24 unanswered points to break open a close game in a 34-17 rout of the 18th-ranked Wolverines on Saturday.

For the first time since 1965-67, Michigan State has won three in a row in the series.

"It's pretty big," star linebacker Greg Jones said. "Especially after my freshman year, losing that lead and the comments that were made. That's the worst feeling you could have. Nobody wants to hear that.

"We just stay classy and get the job done."

College football's winningest program has not beaten Michigan State in football or men's basketball since 2007, when former Wolverines running back Mike Hart referred to the Spartans as Michigan's little brother.

As the Spartans ran out the clock on the final drive, green- and white-clad fans seemed to outnumber those in maize and blue.

They jeered the Wolverines by chanting "lit-tle sis-ter!" along with "Go green! Go white!" in the emptying Big House that once had 113,065 fans packed in it on a warm, sun-splashed afternoon.

"That was the best feeling ever," shouted Trenton Robinson, who had the first interception. "To shut up all these people was great!"

Michigan State earned its most-lopsided victory in the series since beating the Wolverines 34-0 in 1967.

"I don't look at margin of defeat," Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez bristled. "I'm just disappointed we didn't play better. We didn't play well and they played well. Give them credit.

"We made too many mistakes against a good team."

Robinson was 17 of 29 for 215 yards and accounted for two touchdowns, but made the three costly turnovers and ran for a season-low 86 yards -- with a long of 16 -- on 21 carries.

"We contained him," defensive tackle Kevin Pickelman said. "We knew he couldn't throw the ball."

Michigan State's Kirk Cousins avoided turning over the ball, threw for 284 yards and a TD and handed off to Edwin Baker, Le'Veon Bell and Larry Caper for three scores.

Baker ran for 147 yards, Bell had 78 yards rushing and Caper chipped in enough to help the Spartans roll up 249 on the ground, striking a balance that gave Michigan's lackluster defense plenty of problems.