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Rivalry week overshadowed by MSU's plummet

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News


College Park, Md. — Michigan State knows what’s coming next week, but quite frankly, the Spartans have bigger issues than just one game.

It’s Michigan-Michigan State week, and there is almost never a bigger few days in East Lansing, but following a 28-17 loss to Maryland at Capital One Stadium on Saturday night, the Spartans will be spending far more time on themselves than the Wolverines after losing for the fifth straight game.

“It is Michigan, but right now we’re focusing on us,” junior linebacker Chris Frey said. “We need to regroup and regather and get ready for the next test. You can say it’s Michigan but before we focus on Michigan we have to figure out what we’re doing wrong. We have to figure out what we can do to win games and we need to fix the small things we keep messing up on.

“That’s what we’re gonna do (Sunday). We’re gonna go in and sit in the film room. I really don’t care if we’re there for 10 hours. We need to figure out what is going wrong and we need to fix it.”

That might not be so simple against No. 3 Michigan, which comes into the game undefeated and still stinging from last season’s last-second loss at home, the seventh win in the last eight in the series for Michigan State.

Wolverines have revenge over MSU on their minds

If the Spartans are going to somehow pull off the upset next week, they’ll have plenty to clean up in the next few days.

“We killed ourselves,” senior receiver R.J. Shelton said. “You can tell with all the penalties we got out there. I don’t know how many we got but I know it was a lot. It’s eye control on the defensive side and guys blowing coverages and not fitting their gaps. On the offensive side there were a couple of holding calls.

“You just have to swallow it. Been saying swallow it a lot lately, but Michigan is up and we know what that game means to this program so we need to gear in.”

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio has lost just twice to Michigan in the last nine years and he knows there’s no magic cure that will lead the Spartans to an eighth win in nine seasons.

“There is no going back,” Dantonio said. “Going down the road you can’t hit reset. It’s not a computer game. This is real life. There is real tackling, real blocking, catching the ball.

"So, we have Michigan coming next weekend and we’ve got to get ourselves ready to play and outstanding football game. Our guys will be motivated but you have to see results on the field.”

mcharbneau@detroitnews.com

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