Penn State Vs. Michigan State Live Blog: Michigan State Wins 34-10
This is it for Penn State's regular season and home slate. The Nittany Lions are taking on No. 10 Michigan State for the chance to go 7-5 on the year.
While Penn State is coming off of a loss to Illinois, Michigan State has bounced back nicely from a loss to Ohio State that knocked the Spartans out of likely playoff contention and the Big Ten title game. Since the OSU loss the Spartans have tallied a 37-15 win over Maryland and a 45-3 victory over Rutgers.
The Spartans are lethal across the board and scoring 43.9 points a game which is 7th best in the nation. They're racking up 245 yards on the ground good for 20th best in the country. Couple that with a 20.8 points against average that is 22nd best in the land and you have a team that can score points and keep people from scoring. It's a deadly combination that is largely why the Spartans have lost only to No. 3 Oregon and No. 14 Ohio State.
Connor Cook is as veteran a quarterback as they come in the Big Ten and his 2,720 yards through the air and 21 touchdowns aren't too shabby either. Running back Jeremy Langford's 1,242 yards on the ground and Tony Lippett's 1,071 receiving yards gives the Spartans a threat both through the air on the ground with even more talent behind those two primary weapons.
But the game isn't played on paper, and when 3:30 rolls around nothing will matter but how the next 60 minutes of football unfold.
So stayed tuned to StateCollege.com for quarter by quarter updates, stats and insight.
Penn State's offense can't move the ball and Michigan State is happy to run out the clock drive after drive. Penn State punts on 4th and 3 midway through the quarter and a 63 yard punt is the result but even after a short Michigan drive Penn State fails to move the ball. Minutes later Penn State opts to attempt a fourth and 20 conversion but Hackenberg throws the ball away.
Michigan State converts on the short 20 yard drive to make it 34-10 with 2:49 to play.
Penn State opens the quarter with the ball but a sack kills the momentum Penn State had and the Spartans drive down the field on the ensuing drive to take a 20-3 lead with a 10-yard pass to Tony Lippett. Hackenberg is hit and fumbles the ball giving Michigan State a short field yet again and it takes only 5 plays and 18 yards to find the end zone again.
Penn State responds with the best drive of their game on a 10 play, 79 yard effort that ends with an Akeel Lynch 3-yard touchdown run and featured a Lynch 26-yard burst to get Penn State in Spartan territory.
Heading into the fourth quarter Hackenberg has passed for 176 yards on 18-of-31. In total Penn State trails in total offense by only 9 yards through three quarters of play.
Michigan State drives the ball but settles for another field goal to make it 13-0 midway through the quarter.
Penn State can't capitalize on a drive on the Michigan State 41 and punts it down to inside the five and Michigan State in turn stalls and gives Penn State the ball back at the 40. A Sam Ficken field goal cuts into Michigan State's lead. The Spartans look to drive it again but an Anthony Zettel interception gives Penn State the ball deep in Michigan State's end again. Penn State drives a short distance but a bobbled catch attempt that would have been a touchdown by Godwin turns into an interception to end the half.
Christian Hackenberg is having an okay game with a 12-of-23 for 106 yard performance to keep Penn State's offense moving. More importantly the Nittany Lion defense has held Michigan State to 6 points on offense and 122 total yards, only 4 more than Penn State's.
Penn State has 10 rushes for 12 yards.
The opening kickoff was returned for a touchdown to put Penn State behind only 15 seconds into the game and that might be all the Spartans need. The Nittany Lions ended the quarter with a few short drives and 4 first downs while Hackenberg has passed for 55 yards on 6-of-11 passing with a few questionable no-calls on the Michigan State defense.
Penn State's defense has stood strong despite giving up 61 yards on the ground. Three big pass deflections kept the Spartans out of the end zone late in drives. Mike Hull has registered 5 tackles already through a quarter of play.
Jordan Lucas will wear Ryan Keiser's number (23) instead of his own (9) today in honor of the injured senior.
Bill Belton will wear Zach Zwinak's number (28) instead of his own (1) today in honor of the injured senior.
Linebackers, Brandon Bell and Jason Cabinda are both out with injury.
Senior Day festivities get underway and Sam Ficken, Zach Zwinak and Mike Hull all receive the biggest cheers.
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