East Lansing, MI (SportsNetwork.com) – Jeremy Langford and Nick Hill each ran
for two scores and No. 10 Michigan State routed Rutgers 45-3 on Saturday.
Langford carried the ball 16 times for 126 yards for the Spartans (9-2, 6-1
Big Ten), who have won two in a row since a loss to Ohio State on Nov. 8. Hill
rushed for 59 yards on 12 carries.
Connor Cook completed 16-of-24 passes for 254 yards for Michigan State, which
racked up 520 yards of total offense.
Michigan State’s slim hopes of making the Big Ten title tilt for the second
straight year were dashed when Ohio State beat Indiana on Saturday. The
Buckeyes captured the Big Ten’s East Division crown and clinched a spot in the
conference championship game for the second straight year.
“I think it is important that you try to move forward in the rankings. If you
win, good things happen,” said Spartans coach Mark Dantonio. “It doesn’t
matter how much you win by necessarily, although some people will point to
that. Just win. If you do that, things will take care of themselves.”
Gary Nova connected on 11-of-26 passes for 108 yards and two interceptions for
the Scarlet Knights (6-5, 2-5), who were unable to build off last weekend’s
win over Indiana.
“We were disappointed in the outcome, but proud of the effort,” said Rutgers
coach Kyle Flood. “The players came out in the second half with energy. We
couldn’t really find a rhythm offensively in the first half. Michigan State
certainly got into a rhythm on offense and were able to get up on us. Not a
lot of things went right for us in that first half, but I am pleased with the
effort level that we came out with second half.”
Cook actually fumbled on Michigan State’s first possession of the game.
Rutgers moved the ball past midfield before Nova was intercepted by Kurtis
The Spartans decided to go for it on 4th-and-5 from the Rutgers 30. Cook
hooked up with Tony Lippett for a touchdown.
Langford ripped off an 18-yard TD run on the next Michigan State possession.
Rutgers kicker Kyle Federico missed a 46-yard field goal early in the second
quarter. Langford added a 38-yard TD run six plays later.
Hill’s 1-yard TD run made it 28-0. After Riley Bullough picked off Nova, R.J.
Shelton caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Cook.
Federico made a 44-yard field foal with 49 seconds left in the third stanza.
In the fourth quarter, Michael Geiger made a 23-yard field goal and Hill
scored from 16 yards out.
The all-time series is tied, 3-3 … Michigan State heads to Penn State next
Saturday to end the regular season … Lippett caught five passes for 72 yards
… The Scarlet Knights have only next Saturday’s trip to fellow Big Ten
newcomer Maryland left on the regular-season docket.