Live updates: Michigan State edges Rutgers
Piscataway, N.J. – On a night Michigan State shot itself in the foot from start to finish and watch another handful of players limp off the field, the much-maligned offense came up with its biggest drive of the year.
With the game tied at 24 with a little more than four minutes to play, No. 4 Michigan State marched 76 yards on 10 plays to pull out a 31-24 victory over Rutgers in front of 50,373 at High Point Solutions Stadium on Saturday.
Rutgers had just gone two straight drive, one that lasted 11 plays and the other 16 plays, scoring 10 straight to tie the game.
But Connor Cook hit R.J. Shelton with a 29-yard pass for a big third-down conversion and LJ Scott capped it with a 3-yard touchdown run to secure the victory for Michigan State (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten).
It capped a night of multiple mistakes for MSU, including drops inside the 5-yard line, blocked field goals, bad snaps on punts and an interception in the end zone. But the Spartans did enough as Cook threw for 357 yards and Aaron Burbridge had a career-high nine catches for 146 yards.
Rutgers (2-4, 0-2) took advantage of the mistakes and led 14-10 at halftime before rallying to tie it late in the fourth quarter.
Wide receiver Leonte Carroo, fresh off suspension, had seven catches for 134 yards and three touchdowns. But cornerback Arjen Colquhoun denied No. 4 late in the fourth quarter, knocking away a pass to Carroo and forcing Rutgers to kick the field goal.
Michigan State answered with the winning drive.
Macgarrett Kings Jr. got MSU on the board with an 8-yard TD catch in the first quarter, but Carroo answered with TD catches of 5 and 39 yards before Michael Geiger kicked a 30-yard field goal.
MSU opened the second half with a 1-yard touchdown run from Scott and a 25-yard TD pass from Cook to DeAnthony Arnett before Carroo scored his third touchdown and Rutgers tied the game with a field goal.