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No. 18 Michigan State eyeing bigger prize (Rose Bowl) after resounding win over Michigan

  • 190184c60e4e0125420f6a706700404e.jpg

    Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard (31) and Isaiah Lewis tackle Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner (98) during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, in East Lansing, Mich. Michigan State won 29-6. (AP Photo/Al Goldis) (The Associated Press)

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    Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner, left, is tripped up by Michigan State's Damon Knox (93) during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, in East Lansing, Mich. Michigan State won 29-6. (AP Photo/Al Goldis) (The Associated Press)

Beating Michigan is always special for Michigan State.

The Spartans just hope it won't be the highlight of their season.

Michigan State can think big after Saturday's 29-6 victory over the Wolverines. Michigan State moved up six spots to No. 18 in Sunday's AP Top 25. It was the fifth win in six games for the Spartans against their in-state rivals — and this one was a manhandling.

After holding Michigan to minus-48 yards rushing — the worst total in program history — Michigan State remains one of two Big Ten teams unbeaten in conference play. The Spartans have not been to the Rose Bowl since 1988, but they've quietly emerged as contenders this season because of a bruising defense.