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Michigan State responds to rivalry week chaos in East Lansing

November 3, 2021
<p>People climbing and taking pictures on a flipped car at the Cedar Village apartments after MSU&#x27;s win against U-M on Oct. 30, 2021.</p>

People climbing and taking pictures on a flipped car at the Cedar Village apartments after MSU's win against U-M on Oct. 30, 2021.

Photo by Lauren Snyder | The State News

Over the Halloween weekend, one of the most anticipated matchups in Michigan and Michigan State’s rivalry history ended in a Spartan victory — and with that came a variety of celebrations in East Lansing.

Fans headed to the game with big expectations as East Lansing hosted major network coverage from both ESPN College Gameday and Fox Big Noon Kickoff. 


Athlete discussions leading into game

Michigan came into the game ranked No. 6 in the country with MSU only trailing them by two spots at No. 8. It was the first matchup of its kind in 57 years, and Michigan fans and former players had a lot to say before the showdown. 

Former Michigan offensive lineman Taylor Lewan, who only beat MSU in one game out of five in his college career, talked a lot of trash before the matchup.

While former players spent much of the time going back and forth before the matchup, the actual players were busy taking the time seriously.

Michigan graduate student linebacker Josh Ross stressed how important the rivalry is as a Michigander and MSU redshirt junior wide receiver Jayden Reed discussed how superstitious he is, stating that he has the same routines going into each game.

After the game

Needless to say, the maize and blue's comments did not age well as Michigan State lit up the Wolverines for 37 points in a four-point win to keep the Paul Bunyan trophy in East Lansing. Kenneth Walker III led the way for the Spartans, rushing for five touchdowns and 197 yards.

Before the game MSU players preached that they were blocking out all of the noise from Michigan coming in, it is apparent that senior safety Xavier Henderson heard all of it, and he responded accordingly.

Coaches were also busy going about their business after the showdown. Michigan Football Head Coach Jim Harbaugh stated they have to move on with their season despite the tough loss and MSU Football Head Coach Mel Tucker stressed how important this win is going forward.

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Fan reactions in East Lansing

Outside of the game and the heated rivalry among the players, MSU fans had a lot to celebrate on their own after the big win on Saturday.

Despite the urging of students to act civilly and responsibly after the game from the city of East Lansing, chaos ensued. Cedar Village Apartments served as the location for some of the uproar.

Just 30 minutes after the game ended, in the middle of the apartment complex, a car was flipped and multiple people kicked the windshield and doors. The vehicle was then flipped back over. After that, two fireworks were set off near the vehicle which caused many to flee the scene.

One hour after the game ended and 30 minutes after the chaos had commenced, police showed up to clear out the already half-dispersed area. Bottles and cans were thrown at police, but no one was hit. 

MSU Deputy Spokesperson Dan Olsen said the university was upset with the events that occurred this weekend.

“MSU is deeply disappointed with the deeply destructive behavior that occurred off-campus this weekend with the celebration that happened after the win against Michigan," Olsen said.

The university will use its existing student conduct system to follow up on all reports of potential violations to university policy, which includes off-campus behavior. If students are found to have violated the university policy, discipline can include up to removal from MSU.

Those who have information about individuals involved in the destructive off-campus actions are encouraged to share it with the Dean of Students Office.

Despite the destructive actions that happened this weekend, Olsen said the university was thankful for the majority of Spartans who practiced safe and respectful behavior. He added there were very few issues inside of the stadium.


“I would like to thank all of those individuals who celebrated safely and responsibly," Olsen said. "The vast majority of Spartans did do the right thing ... For all the patrons that respected the rivalry, we appreciate your cooperation for keeping game-day safe on campus.” 


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