Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio and quarterback Connor Cook discuss the Spartans' win over UM.
East Lansing — When it comes to running backs in the Big Ten, there are plenty of good ones.
Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah, Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon and Indiana's Tevin Coleman get plenty of attention, and deservedly so. But Michigan State's Jeremy Langford belongs in the same category, and he proved it once again Saturday.
The fifth-year senior carried the ball 35 times for a career-high 177 yards in No. 8 Michigan State's 35-11 victory over Michigan, the 12th straight time he has gone over 100 yards against a Big Ten opponent.
"Obviously today he was put to work," Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said. "I thought Nick Hill and Delton Williams also ran well, but Jeremy ran the ball as a workhorse and is a very, very good football player. He has got some power and is a solid 205 (pounds) that can break a big one. He is a senior, so he has all of those things working for him."
The Spartans finished the game with 219 yards rushing against a Michigan defense that was allowing only 93.6 yards a game, fourth-best in the nation.
But it was Langford that has been the star and was again Saturday, adding three touchdowns, the final one coming with 28 seconds to play.
"Jeremy is playing at a high level, a lot similar to last season," offensive coordinator Dave Warner said. "When the Big Ten season rolls around he turns it up. He had a great game, he has been playing good over the last couple of weeks. I think our offensive line deserves a lot of credit as well."
Michigan State freshman linebacker Chris Frey was called for targeting in the first quarter and was ejected from the game. He hit Michigan punt returner Amara Darboh helmet-to-helmet, resulting in the penalty.
A similar fate nearly waited for senior linebacker Taiwan Jones, who was called for a targeting on a hit on Devin Gardner in the third quarter. After a review, however, the call was reversed and Jones stayed in the game.
What really worried Jones was the fact an ejection would have forced him to sit the first half in two weeks against Ohio State.
"I was praying, 'Please let this turn out well for me,' " Jones said. "Luckily it did. I'm happy with the call they made."
Sophomore kicker Michael Geiger missed his only field-goal attempt of the game, pushing a 36-yarder wide right. It was the fourth straight game he has missed a kick and he is 7-for-12 this season after missing only once in 2013.
… Dantonio is second all-time in victories at Michigan State with 71, ranking behind the 109 wins of Duffy Daugherty.
… Michigan State has won 13 straight conference games, the second-longest in school history.