Sparty stun­ner: Penn State falls to Michi­gan State

Michi­gan State scores late to knock off Penn State

The Republican Herald - - FRONT PAGE - By TRAVIS JOHN­SON

As­so­ci­ated Press STATE COL­LEGE — Each Michi­gan State player brought a poker chip to Happy Val­ley and coach Mark Dan­to­nio en­cour­aged the Spar­tans to push them all to the cen­ter of the ta­ble Satur­day.

As the evening wore on against No. 8 Penn State, it was clear the Spar­tans were all- in.

They con­verted a fake

punt early, tried a fake field goal in­stead of kick for the ty­ing points late in the fourth quar­ter and opted to throw to the end zone in­stead of run it to pre­serve an­other shot at an equal­iz­ing kick. That go­for- broke men­tal­ity paid off in Michi­gan State’s 21- 17 win.

Brian Lew­erke threw a 25- yard touch­down pass to Fel­ton Davis with 19 sec­onds left to lift the Spar­tans over the Nit­tany Li­ons, mak­ing it two con­sec­u­tive sea­sons Michi­gan State used a late score to hand Penn State a sec­ond straight loss.

It was a needed win for the Spar­tans af­ter a week filled with play­ers pub­licly de­mand­ing more from each other fol­low­ing a tough loss at home to North­west­ern.

“We didn’t want to play to try and tie it,” Dan­to­nio said “And quite hon­estly, I felt like Penn State was too ex­plo­sive with ( QB Trace) Mcsor­ley cre­at­ing too many plays, that even­tu­ally they would find their way back down the field.”

From PAGE B1

But de­spite hav­ing a week off to pre­pare for the Spar­tans, the Nit­tany Li­ons ( 5- 2, 1- 2) couldn’t get it done and were out­played again in the fi­nal quar­ter, two weeks af­ter they let a fourth- quar­ter lead get away against Ohio State.

Penn State lost to Ohio State and Michi­gan State in con­sec­u­tive weeks last sea­son, too, with the Spar­tans kick­ing a last- sec­ond field goal.

“We had a chance to put them away sev­eral times on of­fense, on de­fense and on spe­cial teams and we didn’t do it,” Penn State coach James Franklin said. “We let them stay in the game.”

Davis stayed in de­spite hurt­ing his hip on Michi­gan State’s penul­ti­mate drive and fin­ished with eight catches for 100 yards. He knew he would get his shot late.

“In the hud­dle, I told Brian to just throw it up and give me a chance and he did,” Davis said.

Miles San­ders ran for 162 yards and a touch­down for the Nit­tany Li­ons and Mcsor­ley com­pleted 19- of- 32 passes for 192 yards with a touch­down to be­come the pro­gram’s all- time pass­ing yardage leader.

It looked like the Spar­tans would re­gret an at­tempt at

late trick­ery.

Af­ter a 10- play drive deep into Penn State ter­ri­tory, Michi­gan State lined up for what could’ve been a ty­ing 40- yard field goal with 5: 19

left, but faked the kick. The ploy failed when safety Gar­rett Tay­lor swat­ted Lew­erke’s pass away from de­fen­sive tackle Rae­quan Wil


But Penn State ran just seven plays on its next two pos­ses­sions and gave Lew­erke the ball back with 1: 19 to play. He put to­gether an eight- play, 76- yard drive that ended with Davis turn­ing and catch­ing a back- shoul­der throw and juk­ing past corner Amani Oruwariye for the win­ning score.

the take­away

Michi­gan State: The banged up Spar­tans, still without run­ning back LJ Scott and wide­out Cody White, were able to con­trol time of pos­ses­sion and keep Penn State’s of­fense well be­low its scor­ing av­er­age. That pos­ses­sion time ad­van­tage paid off as Penn State’s de­fense looked gassed again in the fourth quar­ter.

Penn State: Coach James Franklin said his team needed to evolve from a great team to an elite one af­ter its one- point loss to Ohio State. The Nit­tany Li­ons still have plenty of work to do to get there. They looked slug­gish on of­fense late, com­mit­ted six penal­ties for 41 yards, turned the ball over twice and had no an­swer for Lew­erke’s arm in the fourth quar­ter.

So Close

The Nit­tany Li­ons had two chances to seal the game as the Spar­tans mounted their fi­nal drive. Both Tay­lor and Oruwariye stepped in front of Lew­erke passes but both times the ball eluded their grasp.

Nel­son STEPS up

Dan­to­nio said he planned on red­shirt­ing fresh­man wide­out La­ress Nel­son, but ad­mit­ted that will be hard to do af­ter his per­for­mance. Nel­son caught five passes for 60 yards in­clud­ing two for 32 yards on the fi­nal drive.

up Next

Michi­gan State: The Spar­tans host No. 12 Michi­gan next week.

Penn State: The Nit­tany Li­ons go to In­di­ana next week.

ABBY drey / cen­tre daily times VIA AP

Penn State foot­ball coach James Franklin pats quar­ter­back Trace Mcsor­ley ( 9) on the back as they walk off the field af­ter Satur­day’s 21- 17 loss to Michi­gan State at Beaver Sta­dium.


Michi­gan State run­ning back La’dar­ius Jef­fer­son pushes though a pack of Penn State de­fend­ers for a touch­down dur­ing Satur­day’s game in State Col­lege.

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