The #10 Michigan State Spartans and #19 Nebraska Cornhuskers got off to a sloppy start in East Lansing on Saturday night, with MSU QB Connor Cook throwing a pick on the game's second play. The Spartans would rebound, however, using two big plays and Nebraska's offensively-challenged start to take a 17-0 lead into the break.
Biggest Play: Nebraska seem to finally be the beneficiary of some good luck, down 14-0, after Spartans punt returner Macgarrett Kings Jr. muffed a catch at the Spartans 24.
Nebraska would fall on it and proceed to move all the way down to the Michigan State 8 on the ensuing drive. However, a bad day for RB Ameer Abdullah got worse as MSU's Ed Davis would force a fumble after a Wildcat option play to the Nebraska halfback. Shilique Calhoun would scoop up the loose rock and motor all the way to the Spartans 45. Six plays later, MSU would complete a potential 10-point swing with a 28-yard Michael Geiger field goal - making it 17-0 Spartans instead of what have could have been 14-7.
Biggest Surprise: Coming into play on Saturday, Nebraska was 2nd in the FBS with a staggering 354.8 rushing yards per game. Tonight has been a different story, with the Cornhuskers' running back corps rushing for a paltry 14 yards on 20 carries.
Michigan State's front seven basically controlled the line of scrimmage for the word "go," and Nebraska QB Tommy Armstrong Jr. was forced to throw to his safety valves for little to nothing instead of relying on the Cornhuskers' vaunted running game.
Michigan State Key Player(s): Split the award between WR Tony Lippett (2 catches, 86 yards, 1 TD) and RB Jeremy Langford (13 carries, 64 yards, 1 TD). Lippett would break contain on the near sideline to the open the scoring at 7-0, streaking 55 yards after a perfectly-arching Connor Cook heave. Langford would double that advantage a few drives later, busting free for 31 yards (the only play of the drive) and a 14-0 Spartans lead. Neither offense did much else in the first 30 minutes, so these cash-ins loomed large.
Nebraska Key Player(s): DE Randy Gregory and DT Vincent Valentine each provided a takeaway (an interception and a forced fumble respectively). Other than Nebraska's aforementioned special-teams break, nothing else can really be taken as a positive for a Cornhuskers team that was dominated at most every turn in the first 30 minutes.
Who Has The Edge? Michigan State has dominated this game in every phase of the game, save three turnovers that kept things from getting completely out of hand. Nebraska's offense isn't built to throw the ball from behind, so give the decided edge to the Spartans in front a hyped-up Spartan Stadium crowd in East Lansing.Back to the Michigan State Spartans Newsfeed