University Park, PA (SportsNetwork.com) – Jeremy Langford totaled 118 yards
and two touchdowns on 30 carries as No. 10 Michigan State wrapped up its
regular season with a 34-10 rout of Penn State.
Connor Cook went 13-for-25 for 180 yards with one touchdown and one
interception for the Spartans (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten), who won their final three
games after a loss to Ohio State kept them from battling for the Big Ten
“I thought that was a tremendous job by our football team today,” said
Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio. “The benchmark has become 10 wins at
Michigan State four out of the last five years so a tremendous accomplishment
Akeel Lynch had a rushing touchdown while Christian Hackenberg was 21-for-45
for 195 yards along with an interception and a lost fumble for the Nittany
Lions (6-6, 2-6), who lost their last two games of the regular season.
“I think the game really just comes down to we had an opportunity to make some
plays,” said Penn State head coach James Franklin. “We weren’t able to do that
and had some critical mistakes.”
It didn’t take long for the Spartans to take the lead, as R.J. Shelton broke a
couple of tackles on the opening kickoff and raced down the right side for a
90-yard score and a 7-0 lead.
Penn State attempted a 51-yard field goal on its ensuing possession, but Sam
Ficken was well short, and Michigan State took advantage of the short field to
get a 36-yard field goal from Michael Geiger with 8:41 to play in the first.
The Lions had to punt on their next touch, and the Spartans were able to move
58 yards over the next nine plays. The drive stalled at the Penn State 22,
and Geiger hit a 39-yard field goal for a 13-0 lead late in the first.
Benefiting in field position after exchanging punts, the Lions were able to
get on the board as Ficken was good from 41 yards out to make it a 13-3 game
with 4 1/2 minutes to play in the half.
The Lions then had a chance to cut further into their deficit as Anthony
Zettel picked off a Cook pass.
Getting down to the Michigan State 23, Hackenberg threw a pass into the end
zone that was tipped into the hand of Trae Waynes as the Spartans held on to a
10-point lead at the break.
Penn State had to punt on the opening possession of the second half, with the
Spartans getting the ball back at their own 37.
Cook completed passes of 25 yards to Keith Mumphery and 31 yards to Macgarrett
Kings Jr. to get the ball to the PSU 5, and Langford ran it in from three
yards out on third down for a 20-3 lead.
Hackenberg had the ball stripped out of his hands on the Lions’ ensuing touch,
and Michigan State recovered at the PSU 18. Five plays later, Cook found Tony
Lippett in the end zone for a 27-3 lead.
The Lions answered the score with one of their own, as the team moved 79 yards
over 10 plays, with Lynch taking an inside handoff three yards into the end
zone to make it a 27-10 game late in the third quarter.
Penn State later failed on a 4th-and-20 in its own territory, and Langford put
the game away with a 6-yard score.
Langford eclipsed 100 yards for a ninth straight game, eclipsing his own
school record … The series between these two schools now sits at 14-14-1 …
Michigan State controlled the ball for almost 35 minutes.