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Michigan State kicker Matt Coghlin and quarterback Brian Lewerke react after Coghlin’s game-winning discipline aim towards Penn State on Saturday in East Lansing.(Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press)

EAST LANSING — Chris Frey was working again towards the huddle after protecting Saquon Barkley halfway by way of the fourth quarter when the Penn State working again shared somewhat information along with his foe.

“He was like, ‘Yo,” the Michigan State senior linebacker recalled, “‘we’re playing for a championship.’”

Only the Spartans are left standing.

Round 1 went to MSU, thanks to a different monster pbading sport from Brian Lewerke and a 34-yard, game-winning discipline aim from Matt Coghlin as time expired in a 27-24 upset of the No. 7 Nittany Lions. Penn State (7-2, Four-2) is actually KO’ed of competition with its second-straight defeat towards its Big Ten East Division rivals.

Round 2 for the Spartans (7-2, 5-1) comes subsequent Saturday, once they face No. Three Ohio State on the street at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes (7-2, 5-1), who beat the Nittany Lions final week, obtained demolished 55-24 at Iowa on Saturday.

The winners of that sport (midday, Fox) will maintain the ticket to the Big Ten Championship Game of their arms for the ultimate two weeks of the season.

“We’re in the driver’s seat right now,” MSU captain Frey mentioned. “All of our dreams and everything that we’ve wanted is in front of us. We have a very tough path ahead of us in Columbus, and we’re going to get after it.”


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It might be every week’s value of buildup that will not match the drama that unfolded Saturday. The hype, climate and end at Spartan Stadium carefully resembled the Spartans’ upset win on a Michael Geiger discipline aim as time expired at Ohio State in 2015.

This season, towards Penn State, redshirt freshman kicker Coghlin tied the sport at 24-all with a 32-yard discipline aim with 10:56 left. The Spartans obtained a second interception of the sport from security David Dowell to cease one Penn State drive, then recovered from Lewerke’s lone decide by stopping the Nittany Lions on fourth-and-Three on the Spartans’ 31-yard line with Four:05 to play.

“For the few people that were in (Spartan Stadium),” sophomore linebacker Joe Bachie mentioned, “it was loud.”


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Lewerke guided the Spartans into Penn State territory with two mbadive cross performs to Felton Davis III and Hunter Rison. The drive seemed to be stalling on third-and-Four when Cody White dropped a cross on the Nittany Lions’ 37, however Penn State’s Marcus Allen was known as for roughing the pbader with 49 seconds left. It allowed MSU to maintain its drive going.

“I stayed in the pocket as long as I could and delivered a strike,” Lewerke mentioned. “Luckily, the guy kind of hit me low and they called a penalty to help us get into field-goal range. Things worked out.”

The Spartans ran the clock right down to Four seconds, and Coghlin drained the winner as time expired, dashing throughout the sphere towards the remnants of MSU’s scholar part and doing a soccer-style dive on the moist discipline.

“(Coach Mark Dantonio) said, ‘You’ve been dreaming of this moment,’ and gave me a little prayer card,” Coghlin mentioned. “He told me that we want to trample the lion, and it was just giving me confidence. That’s all I had before the kick.”

Lightning and rain within the second quarter delayed the sport for Three hours and 22 minutes, with gamers consuming and enjoyable within the locker room because the introduced crowd of 71,605 needed to be evacuated from the stadium.

When all of them returned — about 30,000 followers at most — they had been handled to 37 minutes and 58 seconds of high-drama soccer the remainder of the way in which.


The Spartans trailed 14-7 going into the break, however Lewerke guided them on a landing drive shortly after play resumed, capped with a 33-yard scoring strike to Davis that despatched the sport into halftime tied.

Lewerke, who set an MSU single-game pbading file of 445 yards final week at Northwestern within the Spartans’ first Big Ten lack of the season, produced one other 400-yard efficiency towards the Nittany Lions. He tied Bill Burke for the second-highest whole at school historical past by going 33-of-56 with two touchdowns. Davis set profession highs with 12 catches for 181 yards and a landing.

MSU’s held Penn State star Saquon Barkley to 63 yards on 14 carries. The junior working again had simply 14 yards on 12 carries a yr in the past towards MSU, however the Nittany Lions nonetheless received that sport, 45-12, to maneuver on and finally declare the Big Ten title.

This yr, it was quarterback Trace McSorley who saved Penn State within the sport, throwing for 381 yards and three touchdowns, together with a go-ahead 70-yarder to DeAndre Thompkins when MSU cornerback Josiah Scott slipped because the third quarter ended. But McSorley was picked off thrice and sacked thrice.

“It was a championship game, I guess you could say that…,” Barkley mentioned. “It’s still a long season, there’s still three games left. But we gotta get back to ourselves, get back to who we are and what got us to this point.”

At this level final yr, the Spartans had been eradicated from bowl competition with a loss to Illinois. They confronted Ohio State with nothing on the road however satisfaction, almost pulling off an upset earlier than shedding 17-16 on a failed 2-point conversion.

Next week, the 2 will meet once more with every little thing at stake. 

Contact Chris Solari: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @chrissolari. Download our Spartans Xtra app without spending a dime on Apple and Android units!