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Michigan State's Mel Tucker on historic win: This is for the whole state of Michigan

Making history as Michigan State's first coach to win his first two games against rival Michigan, Mel Tucker says the win is for the whole state and the world.
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Mel Tucker had just made Michigan State history – and made life miserable yet again for Spartans' archnemesis Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines.

Just in his second year in East Lansing, Michigan, Tucker became Michigan State's first-ever football coach to win his first two games against the rival Wolverines – and Tucker won both contests with his squad as underdogs.

Michigan State outscored Michigan 23-3 across the game's final 18 minutes, 58 seconds to secure the victory and push their perfect start to 8-0. The Spartans also had trailed 10-0 after the first quarter.

“I tell you what, it's unbelievable,” Tucker said on the field after his team again retained the Paul Bunyan trophy. “I told you our guys were not gonna quit. They just kept playing, (absorbing) body-blow, body-blow, body-blow.

“We had to dig deep. And right there at the end, we got it done.”

Spartans running back Kenneth Walker III ran for 197 yards and five touchdowns against the Wolverines, who saw the Spartans tie the game with consecutive second-half touchdowns and subsequent two-point conversions.

A Wake Forest transfer, Walker III suddenly found himself being pushed for Heisman Trophy consideration by his coach.

“He's a special player, he's a team player,” Tucker said. “We all know he's a Heisman-type guy. Credit to the offensive line, receivers blocking downfield. … He's a Heisman guy.”

And Tucker knows this latest win resonates beyond just his program's fan base.

“This is a big win for us, a big win for the whole state of Michigan,” Tucker said. “All of our fans, all across the country and around the world. This is a big game, this is a big win. I'm proud of our guys. …

“It means a lot, but it's not about me. It's about Spartans. It's about Spartan Nation. Players, coaches, our university, our alumni, fans. That's what it's about. That's what it's for.”