Michigan State holds on for 27-21 win over Rutgers
BOB TRIPIAssociated Press
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Payton Thorne threw for 256 yards and two touchdowns and Ben Patton scored two field goals in the fourth quarter to lift Michigan State to a 27-21 win Saturday over Rutgers and keep hopes alive. bowl of the Spartans alive.
The Spartans took a 21-7 lead early in the third quarter on Thorne’s 25-yard touchdown pass to Jayden Reed.
The Scarlet Knights (4-6, 1-6) shot within 21-14 when tight end Johnny Langan plowed through the middle on a one-yard touchdown run late in the quarter. It was the first time in the past three games that Rutgers scored points in the second half.
Rutgers had a chance to close the margin in the final quarter but Jacob Slade blocked Jude McAtamney’s 39-yard field goal attempt and cornerback Ameer Speed picked up the ball and fed it back to Michigan State 44 Seven plays later, Ben Patton made a 34-yard field goal to give the Spartans a 10-point lead with 6:28 left. He then added a kick from 48 yards.
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Gavin Wimsatt was able to get Rutgers within six points with a 31-yard touchdown pass to Shameen Jones on fourth-and-29 plays with 47 seconds left. The Scarlet Knights attempted an onside kick, but it was fielded by the Spartans who ran out of time.
Despite rushing for 283 yards and allowing Rutgers to cross midfield just twice in the first half, Michigan State couldn’t get away from the Scarlet Knights.
The Spartans opened the scoring in the first quarter when Thorne hit Daniel Barker on a 26-yard touchdown pass. The Scarlet Knights tied the game late in the second quarter as Wimsatt capped a 96-yard drive with an 18-yard touchdown to Aaron Young.
Jalen Berger put Michigan State back in the lead 14-7 on the next possession with a two-yard run down the middle. The game was set up following a pass interference penalty in the end zone on Avery Young, handing the ball to the Spartans at 2 of the Rutgers.
The take-out sale
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights need to win their last two games to be considered for a bowling spot.
Michigan State: With a win in one of their final two games, the Spartans will be eligible for bowling for the second straight season.
Rutger: Host Penn State on Nov. 19 and visit Maryland on Nov. 26 in the regular season finale.
State of Michigan: Host Indiana on Nov. 19 and close out the regular season at Penn State on Nov. 26.