Mark Dantonio’s first season (2007) as head coach at Michigan State saw the Spartans enter their tenth game of the season with a 5-4 record coming off back-to-back losses to Ohio State and Iowa on the road.
Back at Spartan Stadium the Spartans got ready for rival Michigan as Dantonio felt he had a team with enough weapons on both sides of the ball to beat their rival for the first time since 2001.
However, just as Spartan Nation saw light at the end of the losing streak, the Wolverines got the plays they need as banged up quarterback Chad Henne found Mario Manningham on a 3rd and 12-play in the end zone for the go ahead points and following the point after attempt a 28-24 victory.
Wolverine players had bulletin board material prior to the game from comments Dantonio made from a question asked following the Spartans season opening win about his thoughts on the Wolverines loss to Appalachian State.
In Dantonio fashion, it was a question he didn’t really care much about and tried to push it aside. However, when he said “Should we have a moment of silence?” it opened up pandora's box giving U-M coaches and players a little more ammunition coming into the game.
U-M players gathered at midfield after the game with some giving Dantonio a shush sign with their fingers to their mouths.
But what happened following all this made the 2007 Spartans vs. Wolverines feud the most talked about game in the rivalry and what looks to have fueled Dantonio when preparing his teams each year for the game.
What started it all? U-M running back Mike Hart’s response to a question is what started it all.
In case you forgot, here is what Hart had to say with his now famous “Little Brother” quote.
MIKE HART: "I was just laughing. I thought it was funny. (The Spartans) got excited, it's good. Sometimes you get your little brother excited when you're playing basketball and let him get the lead. Then you just come back and take it back."
Two days later in Dantonio fashion, the first year MSU head coach added his own quotes to the rivalry to the amusement of the reporters that gather around him. Dantonio’s “Pride Comes Before The Fall” quote will forever live in MSU Football lore.
For those who might have forgotten, here is the now famous quote.
Mark Dantonio: “I find a lot of the things they do amusing. They need to check themselves sometimes. Let’s just remember, pride comes before the fall. ... They want to mock us, I’m telling them, it’s not over. They want to print that crap all over their locker room, it’s not over and it’ll never be over here. It’s just starting. ... I’m very proud of our football team, and I’m very proud of the way our football team handled themselves after the game as well. You don’t have to disrespect people. If they want to make a mockery of it, so be it. Their time will come.”
For those who didn’t know too much about Dantonio they soon learned he had a way of responding with dry humor, a quick wit and a sharp needle.
But what about the game? Does anyone remember much about the game itself?
Here is a quick look back.
|Michigan Wolverines at Michigan State Spartans|
|#12 Michigan Wolverines (7-2)||7||7||0||14||28|
|Michigan State Spartans (5-4)||3||0||7||14||24|
|FIRST QUARTER SCORING||MICH||MSU|
|11:28||(MSU) Brett Swenson 36 yd FG||0||3|
|3:54||(MICH) Chad Henne 11 yd pass to Mario Manningham PAT Good||7||3|
|SECOND QUARTER SCORING||MICH||MSU|
|12:46||(MICH) Chad Henne 5 yd pass to Carson Butler PAT Good||14||3|
|THIRD QUARTER SCORING||MICH||MSU|
|6:32||(MSU) Jehuu Caulcrick 1 yd run PAT Good||14||10|
|FOURTH QUARTER SCORING||MICH||MSU|
|14:55||(MSU) Brian Hoyer 5 yd pass to Kellen Davis PAT Good||14||17|
|7:40||(MSU) Jehuu Caulcrick 1 yd run PAT Good||14||24|
|6:47||(MICH) Chad Henne 14 yd pass to Greg Mathews PAT Good||21||24|
|2:28||(MICH) Chad Henne 31 yd pass to Mario Manningham PAT Good||28||24|