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MSU fans disappointed by loss, but not surprised

Michael Gerstein
The Detroit News

East Lansing — Michigan State University football fans say they’re disappointed after losing to the University of Michigan Saturday afternoon. But many aren't too disappointed.

“Nobody likes to lose,” said George Holmes, a 1965 MSU graduate who now lives and works as an attorney in Caro City, in the thumb area. “But I don’t feel bad about the loss. Because we played a lot better and we played much closer to our potential. It’s just, we got outplayed. And that’s just the way it is.”

Saturday the Spartans lost 23-32 to the Wolverines from the University of Michigan on the heels of an MSU losing streak but an oft-remembered and unexpected Spartan win against U-M last year.

MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon, walking briskly toward the edge of campus after the game, said she thought the Spartans played well.

“Well it was a classic rivalry game and I think the Spartans played hard and we kept ourselves in the game,” Simon said.

Simon added that she doubts dejected students will burn couches after the loss Saturday.

Droves of people poured onto campus Saturday morning to make their way to the Spartan Stadium on a rare day when fans can drink to their hearts content without fear of arrest for public intoxication: On game day at Michigan State University you can drink on campus.

But even with the beers, many Spartans were still pessimistic just before the game began at noon because of a losing streak that for some overshadowed the faint glimmer of hope to which they held fast throughout the game.

“It’s rough. We have three OK quarterbacks and it’s hard to pick who’s the best out of three OK choices,” said Nick Shevnock, a 21-year-old supply chain management junior at MSU. “But ultimately, they were out there and they played better than they did the rest of the season, so I can’t be too upset.”

Blake Bieware, a business management senior at MSU was a little more dejected.

“Michigan State really put her heart out there,” he said. “But in the end, Wolverines came out on top. Hard-fought battle. Spartans put their hearts fully in it, 100 percent. But you know, the victors came out on top. It’s a sad day in East Lansing.”

Wolverines can now bask in the glory of their victory.

“It was a little bit closer than it probably needed to be. But they’ve won one time in the last eight years, so I’ll take anything coming out of Michigan State,” said Wolverine fan Joel Devries, 35. “I knew, I mean, Michigan State had absolutely nothing to lose going into this game. So I kind of expected them to play better. Still closer than I thought it would be.”

The North Carolina resident who said he works in the pharmaceutical industry said he expected a tough fight from the Spartans though. Devries said he came to Michigan to watch the game with his father and aunt on Saturday.

“I figured Mcihgian State, if they were gonna play a good game, this was gonna be the one they’ll play a good game in.”