"Don't worry about all the things that are being said — just keep your mouth shut," Dantonio said. "Get ready to play, start the game and finish stronger than when you started. We were going to let the lion out of the cage at 3:30, and that's what happened."
Dantonio's Spartans battered their biggest rivals for the full 60 minutes Saturday, and 24th-ranked Michigan State remained unbeaten in the Big Ten with a 29-6 victory over the 23rd-ranked Wolverines. Michigan quarterbacks were sacked seven times and the Wolverines finished with minus-48 yards rushing, the worst output in the program's history.
This after the Wolverines had vowed Saturday wouldn't be a repeat of the game in East Lansing in 2011, when Michigan State's physicality was too much for them.
"Two years ago was nothing," Michigan State linebacker Denicos Allen said. "It was a lot worse today, and I think they felt it."
Michigan State (8-1, 5-0 Big Ten) has won five of the last six meetings with the Wolverines (6-2, 2-2), and this was the Spartans' most lopsided win in the series since 1967.
Connor Cook threw for a touchdown and ran for one, but this game belonged to Michigan State's defense, which solidified its spot among the nation's best with an overwhelming performance on a rainy afternoon at Spartan Stadium. Shilique Calhoun and Ed Davis had 2 1/2 sacks each, and Allen added two more.
"We're going to bully people — that's the game of football," Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi said. "We didn't want any personal fouls — we had one stupid one, I think on special teams at the end — we talked really about not getting any penalties. . . . They've got a good football team, but we've got a great football team."