Gophers-Michigan State game recap


Michigan State didn’t let the thrill of beating Michigan last week deter the momentum.

Scott was only a spectator for the fun in the previous game, when the Spartans forced five turnovers to hold on through a thunderstorm for a 14-10 win at MI.

In doing so, they showed no letdown after an upset road win over then-No.

Minnesota: The Gophers host IL, which lost 35-24 to Rutgers on Saturday to fall to 2-10 in Big Ten play under coach Lovie Smith.

Michigan State (5-1, 3-0 Big Ten) hosts IN next Saturday.

Those conditions contributed to four fumbles, one lost by each team, in the first eight minutes along. No other Gopher had more than nine tackles. But the Gophers managed just a field goal from the possession. Shurmur, a four-year letterwinner (83, 85-87) at Michigan State, is now the offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings. The Spartans shut down Iowa and MI the past two weeks.

Scott’s 24-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter capped six-play, 62-yard drive in 3:24 to lift the Spartans to a 17-6 lead at the half.

On Saturday, he ran like he was healthy and well-rested.

With five minutes left, Croft and Johnson connected for their second score of the game.

Croft took over for Rhoda midway through the second quarter. By halftime, he had already set his season-high for rushing yards. Probably not, but a win is a win, and Michigan State came out on top despite a almost epic fourth-quarter collapse against Minnesota on Saturday night. London was effective, as well, gaining 74 yards on 16 carries and adding a 3-yard touchdown run.

The Gophers responded, though, with two straight touchdown drives. But Michigan State recovered the ensuing onside kick to ice the game.

But just as they did later in the first quarter after an interception of Lewerke by Gophers safety Duke McGhee at the 34, the Spartans stiffened on defense and gave up only a field goal.

The rushing numbers looked pretty good for Michigan State through the first five games of the season, however, the Spartans knew they needed to be better.

The game’s kickoff was delayed 34 minutes because of a thunderstorm. The late surge, however, wasn’t enough to overcome the bruising, pulling and trapping Spartans blockers who wore down an injury-depleted Gophers defense.

Michigan State (4-1, 2-0 Big Ten) will bring its usual stingy defense (fourth nationally at 258.6 yards per game) and a grind-it-out offense.

Freshman running back Connor Heyward handled both kickoff and punt return duties on Saturday for Michigan State, marking his appearance as a return man this season for Michigan State.

Holmes was dressed but didn’t play after injuring his ankle last week against MI, leaving Scott and London to get the job done.

After Spartans running back LJ Scott fumbled in the fourth quarter, the Gophers were able to capitalize on the short field as Croft threw his first collegiate touchdown pass, a 28-yard connection to Johnson.


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