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Michigan State Clinches Big 10 East With Win Over Wolverines

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Michigan State Clinches Big 10 East With Win Over Wolverines

Michigan State clinched the #1 seed out of the Big 10 East going into the Big 10 semifinals with a convincing 32-19 victory over rivals Michigan State.

This is the annual rivalry match between the two teams, known as the Battle for the Mitten, and with the result MSU is 3-0 in Big 10 East action.

"It always feels good to win the Battle for the Mitten," said Michigan State Head Coach Jim Rogers. "So proud of the team tonight, good performances from everyone, 1 to 23."

The forwards did the job on the night, though, with No. 8 Jeronimo Ballesty setting the tone and lock Jacob LaFave and tighthead Henry Kantzes playing strong throughout. Among the backs the halfback combination of scrumhalf Jacob Broyles and flyhalf Lucas Rins worked nicely together while outside center Robbie Smith and fullback Tom Downey were excellent.

"I can’t say enough about Lucas," said Rogers. "He is just solid in everything he does."


This is a massive step forward for Michigan State as they are now in the top four in the Big 10 and could easily challenge for the championship.

Michigan State ends the regular season 3-0 in the Big 10 East, having beaten Notre Dame, Ohio State, and, now, Michigan. The Wolverines drop to 1-2 while Ohio State takes 2nd at 2-1.

The West standings will be finalized this weekend with Wisconsin vs Illinois—the winner will take 2nd in the Big 10 West; if it's a tie, Illinois takes 2nd.

So right now the Big 10 semifinal matchups look like this:

Illinois or Wisconsin at Michigan State
Ohio State at Indiana

5th-Place semis:
Purdue at Michigan
Notre Dame at Illinois or Wisconsin

All eight teams will then convene at Notre Dame for Finals Day November 11. 

For Michigan State, then, there's a solid chance to be in the championship match but they need to keep improving.

"We were a little better at finishing our chances, but we still made a couple of simple mistakes that let Michigan get right back into the match after we had scored," said Rogers. "We were also much better about controlling our emotions and keeping level-headed, especially in a rivalry game. We’re inching closer to that full-potential game I expect, and I think at just the right time. We’re going to need it to get past Wisconsin or Illinois on November 4, two very tough teams."