Cody White scored on a 22-yard end-around with 3:57 to play, and Michigan State edged Rutgers 14-10 on Saturday night, handing the Scarlet Knights their 11th straight loss.
The Spartans (7-5, 5-4 Big Ten) trailed 10-7 when William Przystup’s punt pinned Rutgers (1-11, 0-9) back at its own 1-yard line with 5:23 remaining. The Scarlet Knights eventually had to punt, and Michigan State took over at the Rutgers 35. Quarterback Rocky Lombardi ran for a 13-yard gain on third-and-10, and on the next play, White scored.
The Scarlet Knights drove into Michigan State territory, but Josiah Scott intercepted a pass at the 3-yard line with 1:32 to play.
Michigan State was stopped on fourth down at its own 33 in the first quarter, and Rutgers took advantage of the field position. Giovanni Rescigno threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Travis Vokolek for a 7-0 lead.
The Spartans tied it in the second quarter on an 18-yard scoring strike from Lombardi to Matt Sokol. That was all the scoring for a while.
Michigan State caught a break late in the half when a punt hit Saquan Hampton of the Scarlet Knights, and the Spartans recovered the loose ball at the Rutgers 13. But when Michigan State attempted a field goal, there appeared to be an issue with the hold, and holder Brian Lewerke eventually tried a pass that was intercepted.
Hampton intercepted a pass at the Rutgers 33 in the third quarter, then the Scarlet Knights gave the ball back on the next play. Running back Isaih Pacheco attempted a pass on a trick play, and it was picked off by Scott. Michigan State took over at the Rutgers 34, but the Spartans couldn’t get a first down and ended up punting from the 35. It was that kind of day for the offenses.
In the fourth, Rescigno was ruled short of the marker on a third-down run, then was called for unsportsmanlike conduct, knocking Rutgers back to the Michigan State 40. So the Scarlet Knights punted, but in doing so, they pinned the Spartans back at their own 8. After the Spartans were forced to punt the ball back, Rutgers took over at the Michigan State 25 and finally took the lead on a 34-yard field goal by Justin Davidovicz.
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights fought gamely on the road, but this was their worst record since they also went 1-11 in 2002.
Michigan State: It was about as unimpressive a win as the Spartans could have mustered, but Michigan State did snap a two-game losing streak and scored its first touchdown since Nov. 3. Lombardi started at quarterback in place of Lewerke, who has been dealing with a shoulder injury, and the offense was mostly inept.
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights head into the offseason after a winless Big Ten campaign.
Michigan State: The Spartans are headed to a bowl, and maybe by the time they play in it, their injury-plagued offense will be in better shape.
Source: The Associated Press