Spartans still hoping for Rose Bowl breakthrough

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- After back-to-back 11-win seasons -- and four straight wins over Michigan -- the Michigan State Spartans are missing one big item on their recent resume.

A trip to the Rose Bowl.

Coach Mark Dantonio's team has certainly come close. Two years ago, Michigan State finished in a three-way tie at the top of the Big Ten with Wisconsin and Ohio State, losing out to the Badgers in a tiebreaker despite a victory against them. Last season, the Spartans made it to the first Big Ten championship game but lost a 42-39 thriller to Wisconsin.

Now Michigan State has to move on without quarterback Kirk Cousins, who is in the NFL.

Michigan State opens the season Aug. 31 against Boise State.