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SPORTS UPDATE: Spartans fall to rival Wolverines

November 3, 2002

Ann Arbor - The battle between intrastate rivals failed to measure up to last year‘s classic, as the Spartans failed to keep Saturday’s contest close against Michigan, losing 49-3.

Last season, Michigan and MSU battled it out until the last play, needing every tick on the clock to decide a winner. But Saturday at Michigan Stadium, it was over early as the Spartans (3-6 overall, 1-4 Big Ten) suffered their fourth consecutive blowout loss.

“We got embarrassed out here today,” junior wide receiver Charles Rogers said.

Wolverine cornerback Marlin Jackson kept Rogers to four catches for 75 yards on the day. Jackson also tied Michigan’s single-season pass breakup record with his 15th, which also is held by former Wolverine great Charles Woodson.

MSU struck first, though, taking a 3-0 lead as sophomore place-kicker Dave Rayner nailed a 39-yard field goal.

But the Wolverines (7-2, 4-1) stormed back with 49 unanswered points.

Michigan wideout Ronald Bellamy caught a 38-yard strike from quarterback John Navarre, giving the Wolverines a 21-3 lead with 12:53 remaining in the second quarter. It was the third-consecutive scoring drive of the half.

The Wolverines continued to pour it on in the third quarter as Navarre connected on two touchdowns passes. He completed 16-of-27 passes for 229 and three touchdowns.

His counterpart, sophomore quarterback Damon Dowdell, didn‘t show any improvement in his second start of the season. He was 15-of-34 for 178 yards without a touchdown. Dowdell was sacked four times.

Michigan added two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter to complete the rout.

The Wolverines out gained MSU 441-237 in total offense.

Romando J. Dixson can be reached dixsonro@msu.edu.su.edu.

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