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2017 Michigan State Spartans football team

The 2017 Michigan State Spartans football team represented Michigan State University in the 2017 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Spartans played their home games at the Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan, and competed in the East Division of the Big Ten Conference. They were led by 11th-year head coach Mark Dantonio. The Spartans finished the season 10–3, 7–2 in Big Ten play to finish in a tie for second place in the East Division. The Spartans received an invitation to the 2017 Holiday Bowl where they defeated Washington State.

2017 Michigan State Spartans football
Michigan State Spartans script.svg
Holiday Bowl champion
ConferenceBig Ten Conference
DivisionEast Division
Ranking
CoachesNo. 16
APNo. 15
2017 record10–3 (7–2 Big Ten)
Head coachMark Dantonio (11th season)
Co-offensive coordinatorDave Warner (5th season)
Co-offensive coordinatorJim Bollman (5th season)
Offensive schemePro-style
Co-defensive coordinatorHarlon Barnett (3rd as DC; 11th overall season)
Co-defensive coordinatorMike Tressel (3rd as DC; 11th overall season)
Base defenseMultiple
CaptainBrian Allen
CaptainChris Frey
Home stadiumSpartan Stadium
(Capacity: 75,005)
Seasons
← 2016
2018 →
2017 Big Ten football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
East Division
No. 5 Ohio State xy$   8 1         12 2  
No. 15 Michigan State   7 2         10 3  
No. 8 Penn State   7 2         11 2  
Michigan   5 4         8 5  
Rutgers   3 6         4 8  
Indiana   2 7         5 7  
Maryland   2 7         4 8  
West Division
No. 7 Wisconsin xy   9 0         13 1  
No. 17 Northwestern   7 2         10 3  
Iowa   4 5         8 5  
Purdue   4 5         7 6  
Nebraska   3 6         4 8  
Minnesota   2 7         5 7  
Illinois   0 9         2 10  
Championship: Ohio State 27, Wisconsin 21
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
  • y – Championship game participant
Rankings from AP Poll

Contents

Previous seasonEdit

The Spartans finished the 2016 season 3–9, 1–8 in Big Ten play to finish in sixth place in the East Division. The season marked a stark drop-off from the school's recent successes, including an appearance in the 2016 College Football Playoff.

OffseasonEdit

2017 NFL DraftEdit

Round Pick Team Player Position
2 35 Seattle Seahawks Malik McDowell Defensive Lineman
4 123 Washington Redskins Montae Nicholson Safety

Undrafted NFL free agentsEdit

Team Player Position
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Riley Bullough Linebacker
Minnesota Vikings R.J. Shelton Wide Receiver
Minnesota Vikings Josiah Price Tight End
Cincinnati Bengals Tyler O'Connor Quarterback
Cincinnati Bengals Demetrious Cox Safety
Arizona Cardinals Brandon Clemons Offensive/Defensive Lineman
Arizona Cardinals Kodi Kieler Offensive Lineman

Dismissals due to sexual assault incidentsEdit

The Spartans dismissed three players, Donnie Corley, Josh King, and Demetric Vance, after they were charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct in relation to a sexual assault investigation.[1] In a separate incident, Auston Robertson, was charged with third-degree sexual misconduct in April and dismissed from the team.[2]

RecruitingEdit

The Spartans signed a total of 23 recruits.

RosterEdit

Position key

Back B Center C Cornerback CB Defensive back DB
Defensive end DE Defensive lineman DL Defensive tackle DT End E
Fullback FB Guard G Halfback HB Kicker K
Kickoff returner KR Offensive tackle OT Offensive lineman OL Linebacker LB
Long snapper LS Punter P Punt returner PR Quarterback QB
Running back RB Safety S Tight end TE Wide receiver WR
2017 Michigan State Spartans football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense
Pos. # Name Class
RB 3 LJ Scott Jr
WR 4 C. J. Hayes Fr
WR 5 Hunter Rison Fr
QB 6 Damion Terry   Sr
WR 7 Cody White Fr
QB 10 Messiah deWeaver   Fr
RB 11 Connor Heyward Fr
QB 12 Rocky Lombardi Fr
QB 13 Mickey Macius   Jr
QB 14 Brian Lewerke   So
WR 16 Brandon Sowards   Jr
WR 17 Laress Nelson Fr
WR 18 Felton Davis III Jr
WR 19 Nick Krumm   So
WR 20 David Lewandowski   So
WR 21 Cam Chambers   Fr
RB 24 Gerald Holmes   Sr
WR 25 Darrell Stewart Jr.   So
RB 27 Weston Bridges Fr
RB 28 Madre London   Jr
FB 30 Tanner Hallock Fr
FB 40 Collin Lucas   Jr
FB 41 Reid Burton   Fr
TE 42 Hussien Kadry   Sr
FB 44 Max Rosenthal Fr
FB 45 Joe Palange   Sr
OT 55 Jordan Reid Fr
OG 56 Matt Carrick Fr
OG 59 David Beedle   Jr
OG 60 Casey Schreiner   Jr
OT 61 Cole Chewins   So
OT 62 Luke Campbell   Fr
OT 63 Noah Listermann   So
OL 64 Matt Allen   Fr
OL 65 Brian Allen (C) Sr
OT 66 Blake Bueter Fr
C 67 Bryce Wilker   So
OL 68 Jeremy Schram   Jr
OL 69 Tommy Liesveld   Fr
OG 70 Tyler Higby   So
OL 71 Chase Gianacakos   Jr
OT 73 Dennis Finley   Sr
OL 74 Jack Henrichs Fr
OG 75 Kevin Jarvis Fr
OT 76 A. J. Arcuri   Fr
OL 77 Nick Padla   Jr
OT 79 Mustafa Khaleefah Fr
TE 80 Matt Seybert   So
TE 81 Matt Sokol   Jr
TE 82 Jack Camper Fr
WR 83 Noah Sargent   Fr
WR 84 Brock Makaric   Sr
TE 84 Noah Davis   Fr
WR 85 Khylin Barton   Fr
WR 86 Trishton Jackson So
WR 88 Andre Welch Fr
TE 89 Matt Dotson Fr
Defense
Pos. # Name Class
CB, WR 2 Justin Layne So
LB 5 Andrew Dowell Jr
DE 8 Lashawn Paulino-Bell Fr
S 9 Dominique Long Fr
S 10 Matt Morrissey   Jr
CB 15 Emmanuel Flowers Fr
CB 15 Tyson Smith Jr
S 16 Austin Andrews   Fr
LB 17 Tyriq Thompson   So
CB 19 Josh Butler   So
S 20 Jalen Watts-Jackson   Jr
CB 22 Josiah Scott Fr
LB 23 Chris Frey (C) Sr
CB 24 Tre Person Fr
DE 26 Brandon Randle   Fr
S 27 Khari Willis Jr
S 28 David Dowell   So
DB 29 Shakur Brown Fr
CB 31 T. J. Harrell   Jr
DB 32 Jahz Watts Fr
LB 34 Antjuan Simmons Fr
LB 35 Joe Bachie So
LB 37 Dante Razzano   Fr
DB 37 Corey Pryor   Fr
LB 38 Byron Bullough   Jr
DL 41 Gerald Owens   Jr
LB 42 Brent Mossburg Fr
S 43 Jack Mandryk Fr
S 44 Grayson Miller Jr
LB 45 Darien Tipps-Clemons Fr
LB 47 Noah Harvey Fr
DE 48 Kenny Willekes   So
LB 49 Shane Jones   Sr
LB 50 Sean Harrington   Sr
DL 51 Kyonta Stallworth   So
DE 52 Dillon Alexander   Jr
LB 53 Peter Fisk   Fr
LB 54 Mitchell Sokol Fr
DT 58 Devyn Salmon   Sr
DT 72 Mike Panasiuk So
DE 83 Mufi Hill-Hunt   Fr
DE 91 Robert Bowers   Jr
DE 92 DeAri Todd Fr
DT 93 Naquan Jones   Fr
DE 96 Jacub Panasiuk Fr
DE 97 Justice Alexander   So
DE 98 Demetrius Cooper   Sr
DT 99 Raequan Williams   So
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
K 8 Cole Hahn Fr
P 25 Jake Hartbarger   Jr
LS 47 Ryan Armour So
LS 57 Collin Caflisch   So
K, P 94 Jack McKenna Fr
K 97 Brett Scanlon   Sr
K 98 Matt Coghlin   Fr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches
  • Harlon Barnett (Associate Head Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs)
  • Mark Staten (Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line)
  • Jim Bollman (Co-Offensive Coordinator/Tight Ends)
  • Mike Tressel (Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers)
  • Dave Warner (Co-Offensive Coordinator/Running Backs)
  • Ron Burton (Defensive Tackles)
  • Brad Salem (Quarterbacks)
  • Terrence Samuel (Wide Receivers)
  • Mark Snyder (Defensive Ends/Special Teams)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  •   Injured
  •   Redshirt

Roster
Last update: August 8, 2017

Coaching staffEdit

Name Position Joined Staff
Mark Dantonio Head Coach 2007
Harlon Barnett Associate Head Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs 2007
Mark Staten Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line 2007
Dave Warner Co-Offensive Coordinator/Running Backs 2007
Jim Bollman Co-Offensive Coordinator/Tight Ends 2013
Mike Tressel Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers 2007
Brad Salem Quarterbacks 2010
Terrence Samuel Wide Receivers 2011
Ron Burton Defensive Tackles 2013
Mark Snyder Defensive Ends/Special Teams 2015

Schedule and resultsEdit

Michigan State announced its 2017 football schedule on December 8, 2016. The 2017 schedule consists of seven home and five away games in the regular season. The Spartans host Big Ten foes Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, and Penn State, and travel to Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, and Rutgers.[3] The Spartans host all three non-conference opponents, Bowling Green from the Mid-American Conference (MAC), Western Michigan, also from the MAC, and Notre Dame, an independent. MSU did not leave the state of Michigan until their October 14 game at Minnesota.

DateTimeOpponentRankSiteTVResultAttendance
September 212:00 p.m.Bowling Green*ESPNUW 35–1071,202
September 93:30 p.m.Western Michigan*
  • Spartan Stadium
  • East Lansing, MI
BTNW 28–1472,910
September 238:00 p.m.Notre Dame*
  • Spartan Stadium
  • East Lansing, MI (Rivalry)
FOXL 18–3874,023
September 303:30 p.m.Iowa
  • Spartan Stadium
  • East Lansing, MI
FOXW 17–1073,331
October 77:30 p.m.at No. 7 MichiganABCW 14–10112,432
October 148:00 p.m.at MinnesotaNo. 21BTNW 30–2747,541
October 213:30 p.m.Indiana No. 18
  • Spartan Stadium
  • East Lansing, MI (Rivalry)
ABCW 17–974,111
October 283:30 p.m.at NorthwesternNo. 16ESPNL 31–39 3OT39,369
November 412:00 p.m.No. 7 Penn StateNo. 24
  • Spartan Stadium
  • East Lansing, MI (Rivalry)
FOXW 27–2471,605
November 1112:00 p.m.at No. 11 Ohio StateNo. 13FOXL 3–48107,011
November 184:00 p.m.MarylandNo. 22
  • Spartan Stadium
  • East Lansing, MI
FOXW 17–770,216
November 254:00 p.m.at RutgersNo. 21FOXW 40–735,021
December 289:00 p.m.vs. No. 21 Washington StateNo. 18FS1W 42–1747,092
  • *Non-conference game
  •  Homecoming
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to game
  • All times are in Eastern time
Schedule Source:[4]

Game summariesEdit

Bowling GreenEdit

Series Record Previous meeting Result
2–0 Sep 8, 2007 MSU, 28–17
Week One: Bowling Green at Michigan State – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Bowling Green 3 0 0710
Michigan State 0 14 21035

at Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI

  • Date: September 2, 2017
  • Game time: 12:01 pm EDT
  • Game weather: 65 °F (18 °C), Wind: 7 MPH ESE, Sunny
  • Game attendance: 71,202
  • Referee: Jeff Servinski
  • TV announcers (ESPNU): Clay Matvick (Play-by-Play), Kirk Morrison (Analyst)
  • Sources:[5][6]
Game information

MSU opened the season at Spartan Stadium against Mid-American Conference opponent, Bowling Green looking to improve upon their poor performance in 2016. The Spartans started well, driving to the Falcon goalline before LJ Scott fumbled the ball and Bowling Green returned it to their 31-yard line. The Falcons moved the ball down the field and took the lead shortly thereafter on a Jake Suder 36-yard field goal. After this ominous beginning, neither team managed any further points in the first quarter, but the Spartans took the lead for good less than four minutes into the second quarter on a Madre London seven-yard touchdown run. As time ran out in the first half, Brian Lewerke hit Felton Davis for a four-yard touchdown pass to give the Spartans a 14–3 lead at halftime. MSU's offense took control in the third period, scoring touchdowns on back-to-back possessions, both touchdown passes from Brian Lewerke, to give the Spartans a commanding 28–3 lead. Tyson Smith, playing in his first game since suffering a stroke in November 2016, intercepted a Falcon pass and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown and a 35–3 lead. LJ Scott would lose another fumble early in the fourth quarter, this time the Falcons returned it 46 yards for a touchdown to reduce the Spartan lead to 35–10. Neither team scored again as the Spartans moved to 1–0 on the season with a convincing win.[7]

Brian Lewerke played well, completing 22 of this 33 attempts and throwing three touchdowns. He also rushed for 70 yards on the day. LJ Scott had a poor day, rushing 15 times and gaining only 39 yards and fumbling the ball twice with the Falcons recovering both. The Spartan defense limited the Falcons to three points and 212 total yards on the day.[8]

Western MichiganEdit

Series Record Previous meeting Result
12–2 Sep 4, 2015 MSU, 37–24
Week Two: Western Michigan at Michigan State – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Western Michigan 0 0 7714
Michigan State 7 7 7728

at Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI

  • Date: September 9, 2017
  • Game time: 3:40 pm EDT
  • Game weather: 65 °F (18 °C), 6 MPH ENE, Partly Cloudy
  • Game attendance: 72,910
  • Referee: Daniel Capron
  • TV announcers (BTN): Brandon Gaudin (Play-by-play), Glen Mason (Analyst)
  • Sources:[9][10]
Game information

In the second week of the season, the Spartans hosted another MAC opponent, the previous year's MAC champion, Western Michigan. The Michigan State defense would hold steady on the opening drive by the Broncos, with Josiah Scott recording his first career interception. The Spartan offense was able to drive into WMU territory following the interception, but was unable to score. Several possessions later, Brian Lewerke finally opened the scoring in the first quarter on a read option play, scoring on a 61-yard run, giving Michigan State a 7–0 lead. Michigan State would add another score late in the second quarter on a 15-yard pass from Lewerke to LJ Scott. As a result, MSU led 14–0 at halftime. For the second week in a row, an opponent scored on a fumble recovery when true-freshman receiver Hunter Rison had the ball stripped by WMU cornerback Darius Phillips and returned it 67 yards for a touchdown, to pull the Broncos within 14–7. The Spartan offense immediately answered the score, taking less than three minutes on their following drive to score, which included a Darrell Stewart run of 41 yards to the WMU one-yard line. Lewerke would punch it in from one-yard out, restoring MSU's two touchdown lead, 21–7. The Spartans increased the lead in the fourth quarter when LJ Scott broke a 44-yard run on fourth and one from the Spartan 45-yard line. Scott would eventually score on a two-yard touchdown run, giving MSU a 28–7 lead. However, Darius Phillips answered the Spartan touchdown on the ensuing kickoff with a 100-yard return for touchdown, making it 28–14. The Bronco offense would finally put a drive together late in the fourth quarter, driving all the way to the MSU 15-yard line before failing to convert on fourth and one. The Spartan offense would then run out the clock to secure the 28–14 victory.[11] The win moved the Spartans to 2–0 on the season with a bye week to follow.

The Michigan State defense played extremely well, tallying four sacks (they had 11 total sacks all of last year) and surrendering only 195 yards and, for the second week in a row, did not give up a touchdown. Brian Lewerke totaled 242 all purpose yards (161 yards passing, 81 yards rushing), with two rushing TDs and a passing TD. LJ Scott led all rushers with 86 yards rushing with a couple of TDs (one receiving and one rushing). Felton Davis led all receivers with four receptions and 69 yards. Michigan State rushed for 296 yards, the most yards rushing the Spartans have had in a game since rushing for 330 yards against Indiana in 2014.[12]

Notre DameEdit

Series Record Previous meeting Result
29–49–1 Sep 17, 2016 MSU, 36–28
Week Three: Notre Dame at Michigan State – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Notre Dame 14 14 7338
Michigan State 7 0 3818

at Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI

  • Date: September 23, 2017
  • Game time: 8:00 pm EDT
  • Game weather: 84 °F (29 °C), 5 MPH SE, Clear
  • Game attendance: 74,023
  • Referee: Gary Patterson
  • TV announcers (FOX): Gus Johnson (Play-by-play), Joel Klatt (Analyst), Jenny Taft (sideline reporter)
  • Sources:[13][14]
Game information
First Quarter
  • ND – Brandon Wimbush 16-yard run (Justin Yoon kick), 13:05. Irish 7–0. Drive: 7 plays, 78 yards, 1:55.
  • ND – Julian Love 59-yard interception return (Justin Yoon kick), 10:33. Irish 14–0.
  • MSU – Darrell Stewart Jr. 4-yard pass from Brian Lewerke (Matt Coghlin kick), 06:33. Irish 14–7. Drive: 7 plays, 75 yards, 4:00.
Second Quarter
  • ND – Dexter Williams 8-yard pass from Brandon Wimbush (Justin Yoon kick), 9:32. Irish 21–7. Drive: 6 plays, 24 yards, 2:23.
  • ND – Dexter Williams 14-yard run (Justin Yoon kick), 0:47. Irish 28–7. Drive: 5 plays, 80 yards, 1:34.
Third Quarter
  • MSU – Matt Coghlin 40-yard field goal, 11:13. Irish 28–10. Drive: 9 plays, 53 yards, 3:38.
  • ND – Deon McIntosh 9-yard run (Justin Yoon kick), 7:46. Irish 35–10. Drive: 8 plays, 62 yards, 3:19.
Fourth Quarter
  • ND – Justin Yoon 46-yard field goal, 04:51. Irish 38–10. Drive: 10 plays, 66 yards, 5:01.
  • MSU – Gerald Holmes 25-yard run (Cody White pass from Brian Lewerke for two points), 03:09 Irish 38–18. Drive: 7 plays, 71 yards, 1:35.

Following a bye week, the Spartans welcomed rival Notre Dame to Spartan Stadium for their third consecutive home game. Notre Dame jumped up early on the Spartans, taking the opening drive 78 yards on seven plays as Notre Dame QB Brandon Wimbush ran for 16 yards to put the Irish up 7–0. On the next possession, things got even worse for the Spartans as Brian Lewerke's pass was intercepted by Julian Love and returned 59 yards for a touchdown. Trailing 14–0, the Spartans would answer, going 75 yards and scoring on a Darrell Stewart Jr. four-yard touchdown catch to cut the lead to 14–7. Neither team managed any more points in the first quarter, but Lewerke again committed a mistake early in the second quarter as he fumbled the ball at the MSU 24-yard line. Six plays later Wimbush hit Dexter Williams for an eight-yard touchdown to put the Irish up 21–7. Looking to avoid the rout. the Spartans took their next drive deep into Notre Dame territory. L. J. Scott scored an apparent touchdown from 14 yards out, but he was stripped of the ball before he crossed the goalline and Notre Dame recovered the fumble. Instead of the lead being reduced to 21–14, Notre Dame moved down the field on five plays as Williams again scored for the Irish, putting the score at 28–7. MSU was unable to answer and trailed by 21 at the half.

In the second half, MSU attempted to prevent the blowout, but only managed a field goal on their opening possession. The Irish put the game out of reach on their next possession, going 62 yards on eight plays to balloon the lead to 35–10. Notre Dame added a field goal with five minutes remaining in the game as the MSU offense continued to struggle. The Spartans did get another touchdown as Gerald Holmes caught a 25-yard pass from Brian Lewerke to cut the lead to 38–18 with the two point conversion. However, with just 1:36 remaining the game, it was too little too late and the Spartans fell 38–18. As a result of the win, the Irish received the Megaphone Trophy. The Spartans fell to 2–1 on the season.

MSU outgained the Irish 496–355, but the three turnovers cost the Spartans. Lewerke completed 31 of 51 passes for 340 yards and the Spartans gained 151 yards on the ground. Despite the yardage discrepancy, it was a complete and utter blowout.

IowaEdit

Series Record Previous meeting Result
21–23–2 Dec 5, 2015 MSU, 16–13
Week Four: Iowa at Michigan State – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Iowa 0 7 0310
Michigan State 14 3 0017

at Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI

  • Date: September 30, 2017
  • Game time: 4:17 pm EDT
  • Game weather: 64 °F (18 °C), 3 MPH NNE, Sunny
  • Game attendance: 73,331
  • Referee: Mike Cannon
  • TV announcers (FOX): Joe Davis (Play-by-Play), Brady Quinn (Analyst), Bruce Feldman (sideline reporter)
  • Sources[15]
Game information
First Quarter
  • MSU – Felton Davis 22-yard pass from Brian Lewerke (Matt Coghlin kick), 11:50. Spartans 7–0. Drive: 7 plays, 75 yards, 3:10.
  • MSU – Felton Davis 6-yard pass from Brian Lewerke (Matt Coghlin kick), 2:11. Spartans 14–0. Drive: 10 plays, 31 yards, 4:08.
Second Quarter
  • IOWA – Akrum Wadley 9-yard run (Miguel Recinos kick), 12:15. Spartans 14–7. Drive 10 plays, 72 yards, 4:51.
  • MSU – Matt Coghlin 38-yard field goal, 0:43. Spartans 17–7. Drive: 7 plays, 16 yards, 2:50.
Fourth Quarter
  • IOWA – Miguel Recinos 43-yard field goal. Spartans 17–10. Drive: 8 plays, 45 yards, 4:56.

In their fourth consecutive home game to begin the season, the Spartans hosted the Hawkeyes in East Lansing in the teams' first matchup since the 2015 Big Ten Championship. MSU started off hot as Brian Lewerke hit his first five passes including a 22-yard catch by Felton Davis for a touchdown and an early 7–0 lead over Iowa. After exchanging punts on their next possessions, the Spartans again got hot through the air as Lewerke again hit Davis, this time from six yards out to move the MSU lead to 14–0. Iowa would answer as they went 72 yards on 10 plays before Arkum Wadley scored on a 9-yard run that cut the lead in half at 14–7. Michigan State managed a 38-yard field goal from Matt Coghlin with 43 seconds left in the half to push the halftime lead to 17–7.

In the second half, both defenses controlled the game. However, Iowa, on the first possession of the half moved to the Spartan five-yard line before Iowa quarterback Nathan Stanley fumbled the ball without being touched and MSU recovered at their own three yard line. The first scoring of the half came with a little over nine minutes left in the game as Iowa converted on a Miguel Recinos 43-yard field goal to narrow the lead to 17–10. After exchanging punts, the Spartans punted to Iowa with just over three minutes remaining in the game. The Spartan defense, however, limited the Hawkeyes to three plays before the clock ran out and the Spartans left with the victory 17–10.[16]

Iowa managed only 231 yards in the game while the Spartans put up 300 yard. The difference in the game were the turnovers as the Spartans, who entered the game with eight turnovers on the season, did not turn the ball over while the Hawkeyes lost two fumbles. The win moved MSU to 3–1 on the season and 1–0 in the Big Ten with a trip to Ann Arbor looming.

MichiganEdit

Series Record Previous meeting Result
35–69–5 Oct 29, 2016 Michigan, 32–23
Week Five: Michigan State at Michigan – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Michigan State 7 7 0014
No. 7 Michigan 3 0 7010

at Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI

  • Date: October 7, 2017
  • Game time: 7:43 pm EDT
  • Game weather: 78 °F (26 °C), Wind: 20-30 MPH SW, Partly Cloudy with Rain
  • Game attendance: 112,432
  • Referee: John O'Neill
  • TV announcers (ABC): Chris Fowler (Play-by-Play), Kirk Herbstreit (Analyst), Maria Taylor (Sideline)
  • [17]
Game information
First Quarter
  • MICH – Quinn Nordin 30-yard field goal. Wolverines 3–0. Drive: 16 plays, 64 yards, 6:56.
  • MSU – Brian Lewerke 14-yard run (Matt Coghlin kick). Spartans 7–3. Drive: 6 plays, 46 yards, 2:49
Second Quarter
  • MSU – Madre London 16-yard pass from Brian Lewerke (Matt Coghlin kick). Spartans 14–3. Drive: 9 plays, 83 yards, 3:45.
Third Quarter
  • MICH – Khalid Hill 1-yard run (Quinn Nordin kick). Spartans 14–10. Drive: 4 plays, 33 yards, 1:41.

Leaving Spartan Stadium for the first time on the season, the Spartans traveled to take on rival Michigan in a matchup for the Paul Bunyon Trophy. No. 7-ranked Michigan looked like the better team to start the game as they went 64 yards on 16 plays, but stalled on the MSU 11-yard line and settled for a 30-yard field goal to take an early 3–0 lead. The unranked Spartans were forced to punt on their first possession and, after a first down for Michigan, MSU took control of the game. Joe Bachie stripped Michigan's Ty Isaac and Chris Frey recovered the fumble at the Michigan 46-yard line. The Spartans drove straight down the field and Brian Lewerke scrambled in from 14 yards out to give the Spartans a 7–3 lead. The MSU defense forced Michigan to punt and the Spartan offense stalled at the Michigan 47. Following another punt by the Wolverines, the Spartans capped off an 83-yard drive with a Madre London 16-yard run to put the Spartans up 14–3. Another forced fumble by the Spartan defense ended a Michigan drive at the Spartan 29-yard line with just over a minute remaining in the half. The Spartans happily went to the locker room with a 14–3 lead.

In the second half, the weather became a major factor. With the wind kicking up and a storm approaching, Michigan scored on their second possession after a short punt gave the Wolverines the ball as the Spartan 33. The one-yard touchdown run narrowed the MSU lead to 14–10. MSU's offense, facing a strong wind and a storm, went conservative for the remainder of the game. MSU's defense did not, intercepting Michigan quarterback John O'Korn on the next three possessions. Though MSU did not convert any of the interceptions into points, each stopped a Wolverine drive at crucial junctures. The Spartan defense kept up its good play, forcing Michigan to punt on their next two possessions and the Spartans took over with 3:58 remaining in the game. A pair of MSU first downs, their first first downs of the half, appeared to seal the win for MSU, but penalties set the Wolverines up with the ball at their own 20 with 34 seconds to go. Another personal foul penalty on the Spartans following 15-yard gain gave Michigan the ball at midfield. Finally, as time expired, the Wolverines' Hail Mary-pass was deflected to the ground at the goal line to give the Spartans the win and the Paul Bunyon trophy.[18]

The win gave the Spartans their eighth win over Michigan in the last 10 years, all under head coach Mark Dantonio. The Spartans rushed for 158 yards, but were limited to only 94 yards through the air. The MSU defense held the Wolverines to 300 yards. MSU also did not turn the ball over, while forcing five Wolverine turnovers.

MinnesotaEdit

Series Record Previous meeting Result
29–17 Nov 30, 2013 MSU, 14–3
Week Six: Michigan State at Minnesota – Game summary
1 2 34Total
No. 21 Michigan State 10 7 6730
Minnesota 6 0 02127

at TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota

  • Date: October 14, 2017
  • Game time: 8:00 pm EDT
  • Game weather: 50 °F (10 °C), Wind: N 10 MPH, Rainy
  • Game attendance: 47,541
  • Referee: Don Willard
  • TV announcers (BTN): Brandon Gaudin (play-by-play), Glen Mason (analyst), and Elise Manaker (sideline reporter)
  • [19][20]
Game information
First Quarter
  • MIN – Emmit Carpenter 25-yard field goal. Golden Gophers 3–0. Drive: 4 plays, −4 yards, 1:03.
  • MSU – Matt Coghlin 42-yard field goal. Tie 3–3. Drive: 9 plays, 47 yards, 3:19.
  • MSU – Madre London 3-yard run (Matt Coghlin kick). Spartans 10–3. Drive: 2 plays, 8 yards, 0:40.
  • MIN – Emmit Carpenter 47-yard field goal. Spartans 10–6. Drive: 4 plays, 5 yards, 1:16.
Second Quarter
  • MSU – LJ Scott 24-yard run (Matt Coghlin kick). Spartans 17–6. Drive: 6 plays, 62 yards, 3:24.
Third Quarter
  • MSU – Matt Coghlin 35-yard field goal. Spartans 20–6. Drive: 9 plays, 58 yards, 4:15.
  • MSU – Matt Coghlin 25-yard field goal. Spartans 23–6. Drive: 16 plays, 73 yards, 9:13.
Fourth Quarter
  • MIN – Tyler Johnson 28-yard pass from Demry Croft (Emmit Carpenter kick). Spartans 23–13. Drive: 2 plays, 27 yards, 0:50.
  • MSU – LJ Scott 6-yard run (Matt Coghlin kick). Spartans 30–13. Drive: 4 plays, 45 yards, 1:40.
  • MIN – Tyler Johnson 17-yd pass from Demry Croft (Emmit Carpenter kick). Spartans 30–20. Drive: 9 plays, 61 yards, 4:55.
  • MIN – Tyler Johnson 9-yd pass from Demry Croft (Emmit Carpenter kick). Spartans 30–27. Drive: 10 plays, 73 yards, 1:55.

Going on the road for the second straight week but leaving the state of Michigan for the first time on the season, the newly ranked Spartans traveled to Minnesota. The start of the game was delayed for approximately 45 minutes due to thunderstorms in the area. The weather made for a very sloppy start for both offenses, with Minnesota going three-and-out on their first drive. Michigan State took over, but a fumbled snap set the Spartans back and they had to punt as well. Disaster struck on the punt, as the snap was high and slipped through punter Jake Hartbarger's hands, with Minnesota recovering at the Spartan three yard line. The MSU defense stood tall and drove the Gophers back, leading to an Emmit Carpenter 25-yard field goal to open the scoring. Michigan State responded with a field goal drive of their own, with Matt Coghlin hitting from 42 yards out to even the score at 3–3. On the ensuing Gopher possession, a fumbled hand-off was recovered by Spartan defensive end Kenny Willekes at the Gopher eight yard line. Madre London scored the game's first touchdown two plays later from three yards out to make the score 10–3. After a Gopher punt, Brian Lewerke threw his first interception in three games and the Gophers took over at the MSU 34 yard-line. This led to a 47-yard field goal from Carpenter to make the score 10–6. Michigan State responded with a touchdown drive, with LJ Scott scoring from 24 yards out to extend the lead to 17–6 at the half.

Michigan State received the opening kickoff of the second half and drove down into the red zone, but were forced to settle for another field goal, with Coghlin hitting from 35 yards out to move the score to 20–6. The Gophers punted on their next possession and the Spartans put together another long drive. However, a false start penalty forced MSU to settle for another Coghlin field goal to increase the lead to 23–6. Following yet another fumble by LJ Scott, Minnesota recovered scored their first touchdown of the game on a 28-yard pass from Demry Croft to Tyler Johnson to cut the lead to 23–13. After a good kickoff return from Connor Heyward, MSU quickly responded to the Gopher touchdown with Scott scoring from six yards out, making it 30–13 Spartans. Minnesota was not done as Croft found Johnson again for a touchdown from 17 yards out to cut it to 30–20 with under eight minutes remaining in the game. The next Spartan drive led to a missed field goal from 45 yards out and Minnesota took over with under five minutes remaining in the game. Croft found Johnson in the end zone for the third time in the second half to reduce MSU's lead to three. However, Minnesota's onside kick was recovered by MSU as the Spartans pulled out a hard-fought 30–27 victory on the road at Minnesota.[21]

Scott ran for a career-high 194 yards on 25 carries with two touchdowns. London added 74 yards and a touchdown as the Spartans ran for 245 yards in the game while limiting the Gophers to 74 yards on the ground. The win moved the Spartans 5–1 overall and 3–0 in the Big Ten.

IndianaEdit

Series record Previous meeting Result
45–16–2 Oct 1, 2016 Ind, 24–21
Week Seven: Indiana at Michigan State – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Indiana 3 0 339
No. 18 Michigan State 0 3 01417

at Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI

  • Date: October 21, 2017
  • Game time: 3:36 pm EDT
  • Game weather: 76 °F (24 °C), Wind: S 12 MPH, Partly Cloudy
  • Game attendance: 74,111
  • Referee: Ron Snodgrass
  • TV announcers (ABC): Dave Flemming (Play-by-play), Greg McElroy (analyst), Tom Luginbill (sideline reporter)
  • [22]
Game information
First Quarter
  • IND – Griffin Oakes 33-yard field goal. Hoosiers 3–0. Drive: 4 plays, 0 yards, 1:14.
Second Quarter
  • MSU – Matt Coghlin 23-yard field goal. Tie 3–3. Drive: 10 plays, 68 yards, 4:59.
Third Quarter
  • IND – Griffin Oakes 44-yard field goal. Hoosiers 6–3. Drive: 13 plays, 61 yards, 4:28.
Fourth Quarter
  • IND – Griffin Oakes 20-yard field goal. Hoosiers 9–3. Drive: 12 plays, 63 yards, 4:37.
  • MSU – Felton Davis 10-yard pass from Brian Lewerke (Matt Coghlin kick). Spartans 10–9. Drive: 7 plays, 55 yards, 3:08.
  • MSU – LJ Scott 18-yard run (Matt Coghlin kick). Spartans 17–9. Drive: 7 plays, 64 yards, 3:15.

The Spartans returned home to face rival Indiana on Homecoming in East Lansing in a matchup for the Old Brass Spittoon. Michigan State had its seven-game winning streak in the series snapped last season as the Hoosiers defeated the Spartans in overtime. Prior to the game, it was announced that MSU running back LJ Scott would play after being arrested for driving without a license during the week.[23]

Both offenses struggled throughout the first half. Following a Madre London fumble that was recovered at the MSU 15-yard line by the IU defense, Indiana notched their only points of the half on a Griffin Oakes 33-yard field goal with 1:14 remaining in the first quarter. The teams exchanged punts before Michigan State hit a Matt Coghlin 22-yard field goal, capping off a 10 play, 68-yard drive with 6:46 remaining in the first half. Punts ruled the remainder of the half as the score remained 3–3 at halftime.

The defenses continued to assert themselves in the second half, as neither offense could sustain drives to begin the third quarter. Indiana finally put a lengthy drive together with just under 10 minutes left in the third quarter, driving all the way to the Michigan State 26-yard line before being forced to settle for a 44-yard field goal to give the Hoosiers a 6–3 lead. On the ensuing possession, MSU's offense also came alive on a nine-play, 40 yard drive, but the Spartans would turn the ball over on downs at the Indiana 35-yard line. Indiana took over and drove to the MSU two-yard line before being stymied again by the Spartan defense and being forced to settle for another field goal that gave Indiana a 9–3 lead with 12:29 remaining in the game. The teams exchanged punts as MSU quarterback Brian Lewerke repeatedly missed open receivers with inaccurate throws. Taking over at their own 45 with 9:07 remaining in the game, the Spartans moved the ball down the field converting on a fourth and three with a Lewerke pass to Hunter Rison for a first down. Two plays later, Felton Davis caught the go-ahead touchdown pass from Lewerke to give MSU a 10–9 lead. The Spartan defense again forced a three-and-out, handing the offense an opportunity to run out the clock with 4:39 remaining. On third down and eight, Lewerke again hit Hunter Rison for a first down. Indiana, using their timeouts, forced the Spartans into another third and long situation. Lewerke again converted on a pass to Cody White for a gain of 34 yards. Indiana, in an effort to preserve their final timeout and to ensure that they got the ball back with enough time to score and tie the game, purposely allowed LJ Scott to score on from 18 yards out on the following play. The score gave Michigan State a 17–9 lead with 1:49 remaining. the MSU defense held stout, forcing Indian to turn the ball over on downs, allowing MSU to run out the clock for the win.[24]

Cody White led all receivers with seven receptions for 99 yards and LJ Scott rushed for 87 yards and a touchdown. Joe Bachie recorded a career high 13 tackles, including a forced fumble. For the third time on the season, the defense did not allow an offensive touchdown. With the win, Michigan State reclaimed the Old Brass Spittoon and became bowl eligible. The win moved MSU to 6–1 on the season and 4–0 in the Big Ten.[25]

NorthwesternEdit

Series Record Previous meeting Result
37-18 Oct 15, 2016 NU, 54–40
Week Eight: Michigan State at Northwestern – Game summary
1 2 34OT2OT3OTTotal
No. 16 Michigan State 7 3 0777031
Northwestern 0 10 0777839
  • Date: October 28, 2017
  • Game time: 3:30 pm EDT
  • Game weather: 40 °F (4 °C), Wind: 12 MPH W, Cloudy
  • Game attendance: 39,369
  • Referee: Mark Kluczynski
  • TV announcers (ESPN): Anish Shroff (Play-by-Play), Ahmad Brooks (Analyst)
  • [26]
Game information
First Quarter
  • MSU – Cody White 6-yard pass from Brian Lewerke (Matt Coghlin kick), 12:25. Spartans 7–0. Drive: 7 plays, 92 yards, 2:35.
Second Quarter
  • MSU – Matt Coghlin 46-yard field goal 9:31. Spartans 10–0. Drive: 6 plays, 20 yards, 3:22.
  • NU – Clayton Thorson 1-yard run (Charlie Kuhbander kick), 3:58. Spartans 7–0. Drive: 13 plays, 81 yards, 5:28.
  • NU – Charlie Kuhbander 35-yard field goal, 0:04. Tie 10–10. Drive: 11 plays 56 yards, 1:45.
Fourth Quarter
  • NU – Ben Skowronek 12-yard pass from Justin Jackson (Charlie Kuhbander kick), 10:49. Wildcats 17–10.' Drive: 5 plays, 58 yards, 1:27.
  • MSU – Felton Davis 13-yard pass from Brian Lewerke (Matt Coghlin kick), 0:25. Tie 17–17. Drive: 12 plays, 88 yards, 2:49.
First Overtime
  • NU – Cameron Gree 14-yard pass from Clayton Thorsson (Charlie Kuhbander kick). Wildcats 24–17. Drive: 5, plays 25 yards.
  • MSU – Felton Davis 6-yard pass from Brian Lewerke (Matt Coghlin kick). Tie 24–24. Drive: 5 plays, 25 yards.
Second Overtime
  • MSU – Cody White 11-yard pass from Brian Lewerke (Matt Coghlin kick). Spartans 31–24.' Drive 2 plays, 25 yards.
  • NU – Justin Jackson 3-yard run (Charlie Kuhbander kick). Tie 31–31. Drive 4 plays, 25 yards.
Third Overtime
  • NU – Flynn Nagel 22-yard pass from Clayton Thorson (Cameron Green pass from Clayton Thorson). Wildcats 39–31. Drive: 3 plays, 25 yards.

MSU's third road game on the season was a trip to face Northwestern. MSU started well, driving 92 yards on their opening possession as Brian Lewerke hit Cody White from six yards out to give MSU the 7–0 lead. Northwestern moved into MSU territory on their first possession, but Andrew Dowell forced a fumble which was recovered by his brother David Dowell to end the Wildcat threat. MSU's offense again moved deep into Northwestern territory looking to increase their lead, but Cody White fumbled at the NU 7-yard line to end the MSU drive. The teams exchanged punts into the second quarter before MSU again moved into NU territory. This time the Wildcat defense forced a field goal by Matt Coghlin which moved the Spartan lead to 10–0. Northwestern answered on their next drive, scoring from one yard out to narrow the lead to 10–7. Following a punt, NU took over with 1:49 remaining in the half and drove into MSU territory. The MSU defense finally stiffened and forced Northwestern to settle for a 35-yard field goal to tie the game at the half.

In the third quarter, both offenses started well, but had drives stall as NU punted from MSU territory and the Spartans' Matt Coghlan hit the right upright on a 51-yard field goal attempt. The teams exchanged punts into the fourth quarter before Northwestern moved to the Spartan 12 yard line. On a halfback pass play, Justin Jackson hit Ben Skowronek to give the Wildcats a 17–10 lead with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game. MSU attempted to answer, moving into NU territory again, but Matt Coghlin again hit the right upright, this time from 32 yards out as the score remained 17–10. Following a Wildcats put, MSU, needing a touchdown to tie, took over at their own 12 with 3:14 left in the game. The offense moved down to the NU 30 yard line with 53 seconds remaining. On fourth down, Brian Lewerke scrambled for the first down to keep MSU alive. Two plays later, Lewerke hit Felton Davis in the corner of the end zone to tie the game at 17 with 25 seconds remaining. The Wildcats simply knelt out the clock to force overtime.

In the first overtime, NU took three plays to shred the MSU defense for a touchdown as Clayton Thorson found Cameron Green open for a 14-yard touchdown and an NU lead 24–17. MSU answered in their possession as Lewerke again hit Davis for a six-yard touchdown to force a second overtime. In the second overtime, MSU took the lead as Lewerke hit White for another touchdown from 11 yards out. MSU's defense could not hold the lead however, allowing an NU touchdown in four plays to tie the game again. In the third overtime, the MSU defense continued its struggles giving up a 22-yard touchdown pass on third down and allowing the two-point conversion as NU took a 39–31 lead. Following an incomplete pass, Lewerke fumbled on the second play of overtime, but was able to recover and scramble out of the pocket. However, a poor decision by Lewerke to thrown the ball over the middle of the field resulted in the ball being intercepted by the Wildcats and giving MSU its second loss on the season.[27]

Lewerke set an MSU single-game record, throwing for 445 yards in the loss.[28] MSU's defense struggled for one of the first times in the season, allowing 432 yards to Northwestern's offense.

Penn StateEdit

Series Record Previous meeting Result
15–15–1 Nov 26, 2016 PSU, 45–12
Week Nine: Penn State at Michigan State – Game summary
1 2 34Total
No. 7 Penn State 14 0 10024
No. 24 Michigan State 7 7 7627

at Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI

  • Date: November 4, 2017
  • Game time: 12:00 p.m. EDT
  • Game weather: 43 °F (6 °C), Wind: 10 MPH NE, Overcast, rain
  • Game attendance: 71,605
  • Referee: Don Willard
  • TV announcers (FOX): Joe Davis (play-by-play), Brady Quinn (analyst), Bruce Feldman (sideline reporter)
Game information

Coming off their first Big Ten loss, MSU welcomed rival and reigning Big Ten Champion Penn State to Spartan Stadium, marking the first time since 2013 the teams did not conclude the regular season playing each other. The Nittany Lions were also coming off their first Big Ten loss, having blown a lead against Ohio State the prior week.

MSU forced a Penn State turnover on the opening possession of the game as Joe Bachie intercepted a Trace McSorley pass to give the ball to MSU for their first possession. MSU moved into Penn State territory, but stalled and were forced to punt. Starting at their own eight yard line, PSU moved quickly down the field and opened the scoring as McSorley connected on a 31-yard touchdown pass to DaeSean Hamilton to give the Nittany Lions a 7–0 lead. A personal foul penalty on the Lions on the ensuing kickoff gave MSU the ball at their own 48 yard line. Four plays later, Brian Lewerke found Darrell Stewart Jr. on a seven-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at seven. However, PSU answered, moving 75 yards on nine plays as McSorley hit Saeed Blacknall on fourth down to take a 14–7 lead. After each team exchanged punts, MSU moved into Penn State territory before a weather delay stopped play with 7:58 remaining in the second quarter. Due to lightning and storms in the area, the game was delayed for three hours and 23 minutes. The teams began play again around 3:30 EDT and MSU turned the ball over on downs. After a Penn State punt, the Spartans moved quickly down the field and Lewerke hit Felton Davis on a 33-yard touchdown pass to tie the game with 3:50 left in the half. Neither team could manage anything further as the half ended with the score tied at 14.

To begin the second half, each team punted the ball before MSU moved 91 yards on a 10-play drive capped off by an LJ Scott three-yard touchdown pass to give the Spartans a 21–14 lead. Penn State, looking to answer, stalled on their next drive at the MSU eight yard line and settled for a field goal to reduce the lead to 21–17. Following a Spartan punt, McSorley hit a wide-open DeAndre Thompkins on a 70-yard touchdown pass to take a 24–21 lead as the third quarter expired. The Spartans, again given good field position due to a PSU personal foul on the kickoff, answered on their next possession. The drive sputtered at the PSU 14, and Matt Coghlin kicked a 32-yard field goal to tie the game at 24. McSorley was intercepted on the next PSU possession, but the Spartans were forced to punt. Looking to take the lead, the Lions moved to the Spartan 31 yard line, but McSorley's pass fell incomplete on fourth down with 4:05 remaining in regulation. MSU moved methodically down the field and on third down from the Lion 27 yard line, Lewerke's pass to Cody White fell incomplete appearing to end the drive. However, PSU was called for roughing Lewerke on the play to give the Spartans a first down at the PSU 22. With time running out, MSU maneuvered to the Lion 16 yard line to set up Coghlin for the game-winning field goal as time expired, giving MSU the 27–24 win.[29]

Brian Lewerke threw for 400 yards for the second consecutive game, the first Spartan ever to do that and only the third Big Ten quarterback to accomplish that feat in the last 20 years.[30] The game completed at 7:03 EDT, some seven hours and three minutes after the start. The win left MSU in the driver's seat in the Big Ten East with only loss and facing Ohio State, also with one loss, the next week.

Ohio StateEdit

Series Record Previous meeting Result
15–30 Nov 19, 2016 OSU, 17–16
Week Ten: Michigan State at Ohio State – Game summary
1 2 34Total
No. 12 Michigan State 0 3 003
No. 13 Ohio State 14 21 13048

at Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH

  • Date: November 11, 2017
  • Game time: 12:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 34 °F (1 °C), Wind: 5 MPH ESE, Mostly cloudy
  • Game attendance: 107,011
  • Referee: Michael Cannon
  • TV announcers (FOX): Joe Davis (play-by-play), Brady Quinn (analyst), Bruce Feldman (sideline reporter)
Game information

MSU traveled to Columbus to take on Ohio State with a chance to move into sole possession of first place in the Big Ten East division. However, Ohio State would have none of that, blowing out the Spartans 48–3, the worst lost by MSU under head coach Mark Dantonio.[31] The Buckeyes scored touchdowns on five of their first six possessions to take a commanding 35–0 lead before halftime. OSU rushed for 335 yards against MSU's defense, the most allowed by a defense at MSU under Dantonio.[32] Meanwhile, the Spartan offense struggled mightily as well, rushing for only 64 yards while amassing only 195 yards of total offense. A Matt Coghlin field goal as the first half expired marked the Spartans only points of the game. The Buckeyes would add a touchdown and two field goals in the second half to end any realistic shot the Spartans had at the Big Ten Championship. The loss left the Spartans at 7–3 on the season and 5–2 in Big Ten play with two games remaining.

MarylandEdit

Series Record Previous meeting Result
6–2 Nov 22, 2016 Mary, 28–17
Week Eleven: Maryland at Michigan State – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Maryland 0 0 077
No. 17 Michigan State 7 7 3017

at Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI

  • Date: November 18, 2017
  • Game time: 4:12 pm EST
  • Game weather: 41 °F (5 °C), Wind: 13 MPH N, Rain
  • Game attendance: 70,216
  • Referee: Jerry McGinn
  • TV announcers (FOX): Tim Brando (play-by-play), Spencer Tillman (analyst)
Game information

Following the worst loss under head coach Mark Dantonio, the Spartans returned home for Senior Day against Maryland. On a rainy day that often turned to snow, both offenses struggled. However, on MSU's first possession of the game, the Spartans moved 69 yards on 11 plays as L.J. Scott capped the drive with a two-yard touchdown run to give the Spartans the early 7–0 lead. MSU added to the lead early in the second quarter as Brian Lewerke scored on a 25-yard run to increase the lead to 14–0. MSU continued to dominate the game moving inside the Terrapin 10 yard line on their next possession, but a Gerald Holmes fumble was recovered by Maryland at their own one-yard line to end the drive. As MSU's defense dominated Maryland in the first half, the Spartans took a 14–0 lead at the half.

Late in the third quarter, MSU added to the lead again on a Matt Coghlin field goal to move the lead to 17–0. Rain and snow continued to hamper both offenses as neither team could manage much offense. Maryland finally got on the board in the fourth quarter, scoring on a four-yard run by Lorenzo Harrison to reduce the lead to 17–7. A missed field goal on the next Maryland possession gave the Spartans the ball as they were able to run out the clock for a 17–7 win.

The win moved the Spartans to 8–3 on the season and 6–2 in the Big Ten. However, a win by Ohio State that day eliminated MSU from the Big Ten Championship. MSU outgained Maryland 291–204 while MSU's offense rushed for 271 yards in the game with L.J. Scott accounting for 147 of the MSU rushing yards. Brian Lewerke struggled on the day, completing only two of 14 attempts for 20 yards.[33]

RutgersEdit

Series Record Previous meeting Result
5–3 Nov 12, 2016 MSU, 49–0
Week Twelve: Michigan State at Rutgers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
No. 16 Michigan State 13 3 32140
Rutgers 0 7 007

at High Point Solutions Stadium, Piscataway, NJ

  • Date: November 25, 2017
  • Game time: 4:17 EST
  • Game weather: 58°F (14°C), Wind: 10 MPH S, Mostly Cloudy
  • Game attendance: 35,021
  • Referee: Don Willard
  • TV announcers (FOX): Brian Custer (play-by-play), Ben Leber (analyst), Jen Hale (sideline reporter)
Game information

On the final day of the regular season, the Spartans travelled to New Jersey to take on Rutgers, the team against which MSU tallied its lone conference win from the prior year. MSU started fast scoring on their first possession as Brian Lewerke hit Connor Heyward from seven yards out for the early 7–0 lead. On the ensuing Rutgers possession, MSU forced a fumble on the first play which was recovered by Andrew Dowell at the Rugers eight yard line. The Spartans were unable to get into the end zone, however, and settled for a Matt Coghlin 26-yard field goal. Following a Scarlet Knight punt, MSU again moved deep into Rutgers territory, but again could not punch the ball in and settled for another 26-yard field goal and a 13–0 lead. Rutgers answered on their next possession early in the second quarter on a 42-yard touchdown pass to pull within 13–7. The Spartans were able to add another Coghlin field goal to take a 16–7 lead at the half.

Another field goal led off the third quarter for the Spartans as they took a 19–7 lead with five minutes remaining in the third. On MSU's next drive, the Spartans went 60 yards and 12 plays in six minutes and finally scored another touchdown early in the fourth quarter as Gerald Holmes ran in from two yards out to increase the lead to 26–7. Following a Spartan interception, Brian Lewerke scored from three yards out on the next Spartan possession to push the lead to 33–7. Another interception preceded another touchdown, this a Madre London three-yard run as the Spartans pushed the score to 40–7 and ran away with the win.

The Spartan defense performed well, limiting Rutgers to 112 total yards, only five first downs, and forcing three turnovers. Meanwhile, MSU ran for 209 yards and threw for 222 in the rout. The win capped a turnaround season as the Spartans went from a 3–9 record in 2016 to 9–3 record with the win. The Spartans finished at 7–2 in the Big Ten in a tie for second place in the East division.

Holiday BowlEdit

Series Record Previous meeting Result
5–2 Sep 17, 1977 WSU, 23–21
2017 Holiday Bowl: Michigan State vs. Washington State – Game summary
1 2 34Total
No. 16 Michigan State 0 21 14742
No. 21 Washington State 3 0 7717

at Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA

  • Date: December 28, 2017
  • Game time: 8:30 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 66°F (18°C), Wind: 5 MPH N, Clear
  • Game attendance: 47,092
  • Referee: Mark Cules
  • TV announcers (FS1): Gus Johnson (play-by-play), Joel Klatt (analyst), Jenny Taft (sideline reporter)
Game information

Michigan State received an invitation to play Washington State in the 2017 Holiday Bowl. The appearance marked the Spartans first bowl appearance since playing in the College Football Playoffs during the 2015 season. Washington State was without its starting quarterback Luke Falk (injury)[34] and its top two wide receivers (dismissed from team) for the game.[35][36][37]

Neither team's offense started the game well with only the Cougars managing a field goal in the first quarter. In the second quarter, the game turned around for the Spartans. MSU scored the first touchdown of the game following a 16-play, 81 yard, 9:24 second drive that was capped off by a Brian Lewerke touchdown pass to Cody White. The touchdown gave the Spartans the lead 7–3, a lead they would never relinquish. Following a punt by WSU, the Spartans scored quickly on Lewerke's 49-yard touchdown pass to Felton Davis to increase the lead to 14–3. The Spartan defense again forced WSU to punt and MSU took over with 3:12 remaining in the half. The Spartans scored another touchdown, their third straight touchdown, on an LJ Scott three-yard run to increase the lead to 21–3 at the half.

MSU kept the great play up in the second half, scoring their fourth touchdown on their fourth straight possession as Lewerke hit White again for a 10-yard touchdown as the lead ballooned to 28–3. WSU fumbled the ball on the ensuing possession and MSU capitalized as Lewerke moved MSU to the one yard line. However, Lewerke was forced to leave the game after being hit in the head on a rush. Senior quarterback Damian Terry replaced Lewerke and bowled his way in from six yards out to put the game out of reach at 35–3. WSU scored their first touchdown on their next possession, however, to draw within 25 at 35–10. Terry, still in the game for Lewerke was intercepted on the ensuing possession and WSU scored again narrowing the lead to 35–17 with 8:25 left in the game. Following a failed onside kick by the Cougars, Lewerke returned to the game to hand the ball off to LJ Scott on four straight downs and Scott rushed for 46 yards, scoring from 28 yards out to push the lead to 42–17. A Spartan interception on the next WSU possession ensured the game would end with an MSU victory. Terry returned to the game on the final MSU possession, but the Spartans were forced to punt. The Cougars had one last gasp, but ran out of time as the Spartans cruised to the 42–17 victory.

The Spartans dominated the Cougars in the game, out-gaining them 440–296. MSU out-rushed WSU 227–24 in the game and controlled the ball for nearly 37 minutes.[38] The win was the largest bowl victory in MSU history.[39]

The win marked the 100th win at MSU for head coach Mark Dantonio, placing him second all-time in MSU history.[40][41] The win was also the 10th on the season for the Spartans, their eighth 10-win season, sixth under Dantonio, in school history.[42] Following the game, MSU running back LJ Scott, who rushed the ball 18 times for 110 yards and two touchdowns, announced he would return to MSU for his senior season.[43][44]

RankingsEdit

Ranking movements
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.
NR = Not ranked. RV = Received votes. ( ) = First place votes.
Week
Poll Pre 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Final 
AP RV RV RV RV NR NR 21 18 16 24 13 22 21 19 18 15 
Coaches RV NR RV RV NR RV 22 19 18 RV 16 24 22 19 19 16 
CFP Not released 24 12 17 16 16 16 Not released

Players in the 2018 NFL DraftEdit

Player Position Round Pick NFL Club
Brian Allen C 4 111 Los Angeles Rams

ReferencesEdit

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