Spartans hand Wolverines first loss for third straight year

For the third straight year Michigan entered its annual showdown against Michigan State undefeated. And for the third year in a row, the Wolverines left the field with their first loss.

Kirk Cousins threw a pair of third-quarter touchdown passes to Keshawn Martin to put Michigan State ahead and Isaiah Lewis added a 39-yard interception return for a score to thwart a late Michigan comeback, as the 23rd-ranked Spartans earned a 28-14 win over the 11th-ranked Wolverines.

It was the fourth straight win in the series for Michigan State, tying the longest streak for the Spartans (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten) in the battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy.

The Wolverines (6-1, 2-1) traveled to East Lansing this year after winning their first road game of the season last week, 42-24 over Northwestern, and hoped to reverse an ugly recent trend.

Michigan was 5-0 last year before a 34-17 loss to Michigan State ignited a string of six losses in eight games to end the season. In 2009, Michigan's 4-0 start was halted by a 26-20 overtime loss at Spartan Stadium and started a run of seven losses in eight games to close the campaign.

How the Wolverines respond this year under first-year head coach Brady Hoke is the next question.