No. 7 Penn State lost to No. 24 Michigan State 27-24 Saturday evening following a three-hour weather delay in East Lansing.
Matt Coghlin’s 34-yard field goal as time expired gave his team a huge victory over James Franklin’s squad at Spartan Stadium.
How It Happened
After last week’s injury to Ryan Bates, Will Fries got the start at left tackle, with Chasz Wright continuing to fill in on the right side. Trace McSorley tossed an untimely interception to Michigan State’s Joe Bachie just as the Nittany Lions crossed midfield on their opening drive, but the defense came up with a clutch stop.
McSorley promptly marched Penn State down the field 92 yards on seven plays, culminating in DaeSean Hamilton’s 31-yard score to make it 7-0. Saquon Barkley also completed his second-ever pass on the drive, a 20-yard strike to Mike Gesicki.
Michigan State would tied the game at 7-7 on its next series, however. Spartan quarterback Brian Lewerke hit Darrell Stewart for a 7-yard touchdown with 3:28 left in the first quarter. Penn State retook the lead on Saeed Blacknall’s tremendous 27-yard score, which saw the senior receiver break two tackles on his way to the end zone.
McSorley passed Christian Hackenberg for the most passing touchdowns in program history on the play with the 49th of his career. Midway through the second quarter, Spartan Stadium was evacuated due to lightning concerns and a torrential downpour.
After a three-hour delay, Michigan State tied things up 14-14 on its second drive, as Lewerke found Felton Davis for a 33-yard strike with 3:54 left before the half. McSorley threw another pick, this time to David Dowell, but the defense bailed him out again by forcing a punt. Soon pinned inside its own 5-yard line, Penn State would take a knee and head into the locker room.
LJ Scott gave the Spartans their first lead of the game with 7:25 to go in the third quarter, punching it in from the 3-yard line to make it 21-14 following Matt Coghlin’s PAT. The Nittany Lions scored their first points since the end of the first quarter on Tyler Davis’ 26-yard field goal with 2:11 left in the third.
Penn State’s offense got the spark it needed on a 70-yard connection from McSorley to DeAndre Thompkins, who was about as wide open as a receiver can be. Coghlin tied the ballgame at 24-24 on a 32-yard field goal, then McSorley tossed his third pick of the day to give the ball right back.
Amani Oruwariye delivered a huge interception of his own deep in Penn State territory only a few plays after he was called for pass interference. The Nittany Lions went for it on fourth and three from the Michigan State 31-yard line, but McSorley’s pass sailed over Thompkins’ head. Marcus Allen was called for roughing the passer and the Spartans extended their drive before Coghlin nailed a 34-yard field goal to win it.
Player Of The Game
Felton Davis | Junior | Receiver
Davis finished with a career-high 12 catches for 181 yards and a touchdown.
The Nittany Lions (7-2) return home to Beaver Stadium next Saturday for a Homecoming clash against Rutgers at noon.