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[Live Blog] Penn State vs. Michigan State

Welcome, fans, to the Big Ten regular-season finale. The Nittany Lions (7-4) take on fifth-ranked Michigan State (10-1) in an afternoon showdown with B1G title game implications at Spartan Stadium. We will have updates throughout the game on this page, including game analysis, photos, and more. Here’s the media information you’ll need, and here’s our staff’s game predictions. 

Fourth Quarter

1:46: Penn State takes over and runs a few token plays before the clock hits zero. Final score: Michigan State 55, Penn State 16.

5:10: The Spartans turned to Madre London in the backfield, who steadily gouged his way down the field. On Senior Day, Phillip-Michael Williams got his chance to tote the rock as well, bouncing outside for a 10-yard gain. Fellow senior Tommy Vento entered the ballgame to finish things out at quarterback.

9:48: Nick Scott came on to return the kick. With the game well out of reach, backup quarterback Trace McSorley entered the ballgame in relief of Hackenberg and orchestrated a solid drive before turning the ball over on downs.

9:56: Penn State promptly fumbled the kickoff on its own nine-yard line. Cook pumped up the crowd before the Spartans dialed up a trick play to offensive lineman Jack Allen, who poured gasoline on the fire with a touchdown of his own to make it 55-16 Michigan State.

11:18: Angelo Mangiro kicked off Penn State’s drive with a holding penalty, backing the Nittany Lions up to their own 15-yard line. Hackenberg escaped a collapsing pocket, but couldn’t connect with Brent Wilkerson down the left sideline. On 3rd and 15, Shilique Calhoun got a paw on Hackenberg’s pass and tipped it into the outstretched arms of Malik McDowell, who rumbled into the end zone to make it 48-16 Spartans, tripling up Penn State.

14:51: Michigan State called a timeout after seeing an unorthodox look from the Nittany Lions, who had both Chris Gulla and Tyler Davis on the field at the same time. The duo stayed in the game, as Penn State went ahead with the onside kick attempt. The Spartans recovered on the Nittany Lions’ 44-yard line. Cook immediately found Shelton for a 16-yard completion, making the signal-caller Michigan State’s all-time leader in total offense. Running back L.J. Scott waltzed into the end zone with ease from six yards out to put the Spartans up 41-16.

15:00: After multiple failed attempts at scoring from the two-yard line, Penn State started the fourth quarter from the Spartans’ five and was finally able to convert. Hackenberg found Godwin to make it 34-16 Michigan State. The two-point attempt to Blacknall fell incomplete.

Third Quarter

3:31: With a big hole to climb out of, Penn State came out throwing in its next drive. An incomplete pass and a throw for negative yards looked ugly, but Saeed Blacknall took a 77-yard gain all the way to the two-yard line to keep things interesting.

11:40: Penn State took a touchback to start at the 20-yard line, then was penalized back to the 15. Two incomplete passes and a gain that wasn’t long enough quicly ended the drive, and Michigan State took over in decent field position trying to bury the Nittany Lions. Head Coach Mark Dantonio stuck to running plays for the most part, killing clock and pounding a tired Penn State defense. A gorgeous double-fake handoff gave Cook a wide-open tight end to work with, and the Spartans extended their lead to 34-10.

15:00: Michigan State starts with the ball, already leading 20-10 and looking to add more. The drive starts at the 25-yard line. It made short work of the Lions, mixing in long runs and deep passes until Burbridge spun his way past Marcus Allen and into the endzone. Early in the half, the Spartans led 27-10.

Second Quarter

0:35: Michigan State ran a few plays, even calling a timeout with one second on the clock, before heading into the half with a 20-10 lead.

2:36: Farmer did some damage on the return, bringing it back 33 yards. However, Penn State’s offensive line continued to struggle as right tackle Andrew Nelson was flagged for grabbing a Spartan facemask, setting up 2nd down and 20. Receptions from Chris Godwin and Brent Wilkerson helped the Nittany Lions reach Michigan State territory before Barkley rattled off a smooth 21-yard run. Penn State used all three of its timeouts on this drive. Hackenberg found Hamilton on a slant to the three-yard line. However, Brian Gaia’s false start penalty pushes the Nittany Lions back five yards. Hackenberg found Godwin in the right corner of the end zone to make it 20-10 Spartans.

7:12: Michigan State’s kickoff hopped into the end zone. The Nittany Lions started their drive from the 25-yard line, as Barkley got things going with a nine-yard burst up the middle. Penn State’s offense line collapsed again, allowing a 14-yard sack and another big hit on Hackenberg. An untimely delay of game penalty further backed up the Nittany Lions, but Barkley added a 22-yard boost to keep the drive going. Hackenberg found DaeSean Hamilton on the left side of the field for a first down. Kyle Carter fumbled after hauling in a 10-yard catch over the middle and Michigan State’s Demetrious Cox scooped and scored on a weaving 77-yard touchdown. 20-3 Spartans.

10:09: Cook found Gerald Holmes for a 24-yard connection, moving the Spartans deep into Penn State territory. Holmes took a handoff and stretched the play outside down the left of the field for an eight-yard gain, setting up 1st and goal. Michigan State stayed with the hot-handed Holmes and the sophomore took Jason Cabinda along for a six-yard touchdown run to make it 13-3 Spartans.

11:45: Following a Hackenberg incompletion on second down, Penn State gives up a costly sack on its own five-yard line, bringing Paquariello on to punt from the own end zone. The Aussie boomed a 53-yarder, but Michigan State still starts out on its own 49-yard line.

14:14: Chris Gulla kicked off to Delton Williams, who returned it 15 yards to the Michigan State 30-yard line. Wide receiver Aaron Burbridge took the direct snap for a 13-yard gain down the left sideline. Some impressive defense stalls the Spartans’ drive, however, forcing a punt to the Penn State 12-yard line.

15:00: Penn State starts the second quarter with 1st and goal from the Michigan State five-yard line. Barkley moved the pile for four yards, but Hackenberg’s rollout pass, intended for Adam Breneman, on second down sailed high. The Nittany Lions settle for a 19-yard field goal from Tyler Davis. 6-3 Michigan State.

First Quarter

3:20: Penn State’s next drive started with a rush from the speedy Brandon Polk for 25 yards. Penn State’s third down woes continued, but it went for it on 4th down this week and converted. Saquon Barkley dragged a few defenders with him to the five-yard line soon after.

6:01: Starting practically in its own endzone, Michigan State mixed in power runs and outside slants en route to comfortable field position. The Spartans couldn’t get enough done and punted to Penn State’s 36-yard line.

9:35: The drive almost started with another interception, but the ball snuck through a defender’s hands as Godwin picked up a first down. Adam Breneman took the field for his first snaps in quite some time later on the drive. On an eventual 3rd and 3, Hackenberg went deep and incomplete, forcing a punt that ended at the five-yard line.

13:00: Michigan State’s first drive started at the 20-yard line. Connor Cook put together first down after surgical first down as the team marched past midfield. Soon after, Cook found a wide-open R.J. Shelton to put his team ahead by a touchdown with a missed extra point. 6-0 Spartans with 9:35 left.

15:00: The opening kick by Michigan State went out of bounds, so Penn State will start at the 35. The drive began progressing nicely, with consecutive first downs off of a Saquon Barkley rush and a big completion to Chris Godwin. It ended abruptly with an interception in the end zone.


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About the Author

Ethan Kasales

Ethan’s a senior journalism major who grew up in Lemont, a few minutes from campus. When he’s not covering Penn State sports, you can usually find him golfing or teaching snowboarding at Tussey Mountain. Feel free to email him at [email protected]


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