ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan State has made last season look like an aberration.

And, the Mark Dantonio-led Spartans have proven their dominance against Michigan is no fluke.

“We’ve done it eight times,” Dantonio said. “I don’t know why there’s a lot of doubt.”

With a defense that took advantage of mistakes and an offense that didn’t make many miscues, double-digit underdog Michigan State beat the seventh-ranked Wolverines 14-10 in the series’ first game completely under the lights. For the first time in a rivalry that stretches back to 1898, the Spartans have beaten their rivals eight times in a 10-year stretch.

A season after slipping to 3-9 and having a scandal shake the program, the 21st-ranked Spartans (4-1, 2-0 Big Ten) are showing Dantonio has built a program strong enough to bounce back from on- and off-the-field setbacks.

“I knew that our football team and our program would come back to the top,” Dantonio said Saturday night.

Several months ago, there were questions about whether Michigan State would even have its annual spring game and some were %href_on(file: