Recap: Michigan State falls to Nebraska, 9-6
In a game that featured zero touchdowns, Nebraska fought back from a 6-0 deficit with a trio of second-half field goals to defeat Michigan State in Lincoln, 9-6.
Neither team could get much going offensively. In his second career start for the Spartans (6-5, 4-4 B10 East), Rocky Lombardi was 15-for-41 with 146 yards. Nebraska's freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez wasn't much different, going 16-for-37 with 145 yards through the air.
Connor Heyward was the lone bright spot for Michigan State's offense, as he put up 158 all-purpose yards on the Cornhuskers (4-7, 3-5 B10 West).
MSU - Rocky Lombardi: 15/41, 146 yds., INT
NU - Adrian Martinez: 16/37, 145 yds.
MSU - Connor Heyward: 21 atts., 80 yds.
NU - Devine Ozigbo: 18 atts., 74 yds.
MSU - Connor Heyward: 5 recs., 78 yds.
NU - Stanley Morgan Jr.: 4 recs., 67 yds.
Nebraska ices game after defensive stand
Devine Ozigbo rushes up the middle for a gain of 5 on first down.
Timeout #3 Michigan State (1:50 4th)
Ozigbo picks up the first down with an 8-yard run, and with Michigan State out of timeouts, should ice this one.
Adrian Martinez takes two knees and Nebraska knocks off the Spartans.
Nebraska 9, Michigan State 6 (FINAL)
Michigan State offense collapses in Nebraska territory
Rocky Lombardi looks for Matt Sokol on first down and is unable to put the ball on target. He swings it out to Connor Heyward on second down, who picks up 4 yards before flipping getting table-topped. Lombardi cuts up the middle on third down, reaching the 50-yard-line with an 8-yard pickup that'll move the chains.
Lombardi's first-down throw is incomplete. His second-down throw is almost intercepted. His throw over the middle draws a pass interference call, which is honestly somewhat ideal at this point. That'll be a 15-yard penalty, making it first-and-10 at the 35.
Lombardi completes a 4-yard pass to Connor Heyward on first down. His throw to White on second down is complete for a gain of 2. He misses Laress Nelson on third down and can't get it to Sokol on fourth down. Turnover on downs.
Nebraska 9, Michigan State 3 (1:59 4th)
Michigan State defense gets ball back quickly
Devine Ozigbo loses 2 yards on a first-down run.
Timeout #1 Michigan State (4:17 4th)
Adrian Martinez has nowhere to go with it after the screen play is snuffed out, and he throws the football to the turf. Martinez is brought down behind the line on third down.
Isaac Armstrong's punt is downed at the 39.
Nebraska 9, Michigan State 6 (4:03 4th)
Lombardi can't bring Michigan State back in fourth
After a touchback, Michigan State gets right down to business. Connor Heyward gets open near the right sideline and then sprints upfield for a 34-yard reception that'll make it first-and-10 at the Nebraska 41.
Cody White drops Rocky Lombardi's throw on first down. Lombardi's second-down pass is way underthrown. There may have been some confusion on Darrell Stewart's route. Whatever the case, it was nearly intercepted, and now it's third-and-10. Lombardi throws way behind Matt Sokol over the middle on third down.
William Przystup's punt goes out of the end zone.
Nebraska 9, Michigan State 6 (4:21 4th)
Another field goal: Nebraska takes 9-6 lead
Morgan Stanley hauls in an 8-yard reception on first down before getting pushed out-of-bounds at the Michigan State 45. Expect his name to be called a lot down this final stretch. Maurice Washington gets to the 35 with a 10-yard run on second down that'll move the chains.
Martinez's throw down the sideline on the next play falls incomplete. Washington hurdles over Justin Layne on his way to a 5-yard pickup on second down. Washington catches a pass in the flat and is immediately wrapped up by Andrew Dowell for no gain on third down.
Here comes the baddest man in Lincoln, Nebraska: Barret Pickering. His kick from 45 yards out dances in the wind, but ultimately cruises through the uprights.
Nebraska 9, Michigan State 6 (5:17 4th)
Michigan State goes three-and-out in tie game
Michigan State will take over tied at the 25.
La'Darius Jefferson runs up the middle on first down for a 1-yard pickup. Rocky Lombardi's throw to Cody White on second down misses the mark wide. Matt Dotson is hit while trying to haul in a pass on third down. William Przystup will be out to punt.
Stanley Morgan returns the punt to Nebraska's 47.
Michigan State 6, Nebraska 6 (7:12 4th)
Nebraska ties game with field goal
Devine Ozigbo rushes for a gain of 1 on first down. Adrian Martinez's second-down throw is incomplete. Ozigbo takes the handoff on third down, hitting a huge hole and getting to the 4-yard-line with a 15-yard gain to set up first-and-goal.
An illegal substitution on first down will make it first-and-goal from the 2.
Ozigbo is dropped behind the line for a loss of 1 on first down. Martinez has nowhere to go with the football and throws it out of the end zone on second down. Justin Layne gives Stanley Morgan no room to breathe in the end zone on third down, and Martinez's throw to his favorite receiver falls incomplete. It could be argued there was some pass interference.
Nonetheless, Barret Pickering puts his 20-yard field goal attempt right down the middle.
Michigan State 6, Nebraska 6 (8:07 4th)
Lombardi fumbles in own red zone
Michigan State will take over at the 28 after a 19-yard kick return by Connor Heyward.
Heyward picks up 2 yards with a first-down run. Rocky Lombardi is absolutely blindsided by Antonio Reed, forcing a fumble that's recovered by the Cornhuskers at the Spartan 20-yard-line.
Michigan State 6, Nebraska 3 (10:16 4th)
Nebraska cuts deficit in half with field goal
Maurice Washington returns the kick to the 30. An unsportsmanlike penalty on Shakur Brown will put the football at the 45.
Adrian Martinez finds Stanley Morgan wide open on a seam route, and Morgan turns on the jets for a pickup of 35 yards that'll make it first-and-10 at the 20-yard-line.
Martinez 's first-down throw to Morgan is incomplete. Mike Williams hauls in a 1-yard reception on second down. Martinez misses Jack Stoll on third down.
Injury: Stanley Morgan was hurt on the play and is being evaluated by the training staff.
Barret Pickering puts his 36-yard field goal attempt through the uprights.
Michigan State 6, Nebraska 3 (11:07 4th)
Michigan State adds to lead with another field goal
Connor Heyward runs a nice go route out of the backfield and hauls in pass while streaking up the field, advancing all the way to Nebraska's 38-yard-line for a gain of 36.
Of course, Michigan State is called for holding on the next play. It'll be first-and-20 from the 48.
Rocky Lombardi keeps it on first down, reaching the 36 with a 12-yard run up the middle. Lombardi complets a 7-yard pass to La'Darius Jefferson on second down to make it third-and-1. Jefferson rushes for a gain of 6 on third down to move the sticks.
Heyward rushes for a gain of 3 on first down, bring the third quarter to a close.
Michigan State 3, Nebraska 0 (End 3rd)
Michigan State starts the fourth quarter in the wildcat. Heyward pitches it to Jefferson, who's then tackled by Tyrin Feguson for a loss of 1. Lombardi's third-down throw is caught by Darrell Stewart for a gain of 11 that'll move the sticks. Great throw, great catch as the snow really starts to fall in Lincoln.
First-and-goal from the 10 coming up.
Heyward rushes for 2 yards on first down. Lombardi escapes pressure and finds Matt Dotson wide open in the back of the end zone. Dotson can't hold onto it, though, and it'll be third-and-goal. Heyward is stopped for no gain on third down. Woof.
Coghlin puts it through from 26 yards out.
Michigan State 6, Nebraska 0 (12:13 4th)
Nebraska struggling to reach Spartan territory
Adrian Martinez and the Nebraska offense will take over at the 2.
Stanley Morgan catches a 10-yard pass on first down. Kenny Willekes is flagged for offsides, but the penalty is declined. It'll be first-and-10.
Devine Ozigbo runs for 7 yards on the next play. Morgan gets some separation from his receiver on second down and hauls in a pass in the flat before cutting up the field on his way to a 14-yard gain and a Nebraska first down at the 33.
Ozigbo rushes for 2 yards on first down and picks up 7 on first down. Ozigbo is dropped behind the line for a loss of 1 on third down.
Brandon Sowards calls for a fair catch at the 25.
Michigan State 3, Nebraska 0 (3:27 3rd)
Overthrown Lombardi pass on third down ends Michigan State drive (again)
Connor Heyward takes it up the middle for a gain of 8 on first down. Heyward is brought down for a 1-yard gain on second down. Heyward plows forward on third down for a gain of 4 that'll move the sticks.
Rocky Lombardi throws on the run to Matt Sokol on first down, hitting his tight end for a gain of 14 that'll give the Spartans a first down at the 34.
Heyward busts up the middle for a 5-yard pickup on first down and a gain of 7 on second down.
Lombardi looked like he was trying to give it to Heyward on the next play, but there was some obvious confusion as Lombardi dives forward for a gain of 1 to salvage the broken play. Heyward takes the snap in the wildcat formation, which doesn't fool anybody. He's taken down for a loss of 3. Lombardi overthrows Cody White, and the Spartan receiver can't hold onto the pass as Cam Taylor drives through his midsection to break up the pass.
William Przystup's punt is downed at the 2-yard-line.
Michigan State 3, Nebraska 0 (6:21 3rd)
Punt, punt, punt-punt-punt! Everybody!
Adrian Martinez's throw on first down falls incomplete. Martinez is taken down for a loss of 2 on second down by Kenny Willekes. Devine Ozigbo hauls in a third-down reception, but only picks up 3 yards. Another punt coming up.
Folks, Nebraska's punter may be named Isaac Armstrong, but they should call him Isaac Legstrong - his punt drops at the 7.
Michigan State 3, Nebraska 0 (12:08 3rd)
Michigan State goes three-and-out to start the half
Barret Pickering's kick goes for a touchback. Michigan State will start at the 25. Rocky Lombardi completes a pass to Darrell Stewart, but Stewart is eventually dropped behind the line for a loss of 3. Lombardi kicks it out to Nelson near the left side for a gain of 5 on second down to make it third-and-8. Lombardi's third-down pass misses the mark.
William Przystup's punt is downed at the Nebraska 27. A fair catch inference penalty will put it at the 46.
Michigan State 3, Nebraska 0 (13:30 3rd)
MSU - Rocky Lombardi: 4/17, 32 yds., INT
NU - Adrian Martinez: 9/22, 74 yds.
MSU - Connor Heyward: 12 atts., 51 yds.
NU - Devine Ozigbo: 8 atts., 33 yds.
MSU - Darrell Stewart Jr.: 2 recs., 15 yds.
NU - Jack Stoll: 2 recs., 26 yds.
Lombardi throws an interception to end late second-quarter drive
Connor Heyward picks up a yard for the Spartans on first down.
Timeout #2 Nebraska (1:24 2nd)
La'Darius Jefferson picks up another yard on second down.
Timeout #3 Nebraska (1:19 2nd)
Rocky Lombradi rumbles, stumbles, tumbles through the middle on third down, using his feet to pick up 24 yards on third-and-8 to reach the 36-yard-line.
Lombardi overthrows Darrell Stewart on first down. Spartans still have 50 seconds on the clock and two timeouts to work with. The pocket collapses on Lewerke on second down, forcing another incompletion. Lombardi immediately tucks it on third down and sprints up the middle for a gain of 10 to pick up the first down. His shoe fell off on the run, forcing the Spartans to take a timeout. It'll be first-and-10 at the 47.
Timeout #2 Spartans (0:34 2nd)
Lombardi tries to dish it away quickly to Jefferson; the pass falls incomplete. Nebraska is called for pass interference on the next play, making it first-and-10 at the Nebraska 45.
Lombardi runs for a gain of 4 on first down. His throw to White near the sideline on second down is overthrown. Lombardi throws an interception near the goal line on third down.
Michigan State 3, Nebraska 0 (0:03 2nd)
Adrian Martinez throws it out-of-bounds to end the half.
Michigan State 3, Nebraska 0 (End 2nd)
Spartan defense gives Lombardi and Co. another chance before half
Devine Ozigbo rushes for 12 yards on first down, reaching the 36.
Adrian Martinez's throw on the next play bounces straight up in the air after getting thrown straight off the face mask of Khari Willis. Ozigbo runs for a yard on second down. Martinez can't connect with Stanley Morgan on third down, and Nebraska will give Michigan State the ball back with a little over a minute and a half remaining.
The punt is downed at the 9.
Michigan State 3, Nebraska 0 (1:35 2nd)
Spartan offense sputtering in second quarter
Antjuan Simmons loses the ball after getting hit on first down. Rocky Lombardi falls on it, though, and the Spartans will keep possession, losing 6. Darrell Stewart catches a 10-yard pass on second down. Cody White hauls in a 10-yard reception on third down to move the chains. First down at the Michigan State 46.
Connor Heyward rushes for 2 yards on first down. La'Darius Jefferson gets 3 more yards on second down. Lombardi's throw on third-and-5 is behind Darrell Stewart. Stewart is visibly upset.
William Przystup's punt is downed at the 24.
Michigan State 3, Nebraska 0 (3:04 2nd)
Spartans stand strong with another fourth-down stand
Jack Stoll has the ball punched away near the sideline on first down on a pass that would have gone for a decent gain. Stoll redeems himself on second down with a 13-yard reception that'll give Nebraska a first down at the 36.
Devine Ozigbo gets 5 yards on first down. Nebraska is called for a false start on second down, erasing the gain. Adrian Martinez is cracked while letting go of the ball on third down, resulting in an incomplete pass. Raequan Williams is called for a weak roughing the passer penalty. It'll be first down Nebraska at the 49.
Ozigbo runs for a yard on first down. Martinez's second-down through falls incomplete.
Timeout #2 Nebraska (8:51 2nd)
Stoll catches a pass while heading toward the sideline, picking up 13 yards and a Nebraska first down at the Michigan State 35-yard-line.
The booth will review if Stoll got a foot down in-bounds. He did.
Martinez completes a pass for 1 yard on first down. His throw on second falls to the turf, and he gets 1 yard with his feet on third down. The Huskers go for it on fourth down, and Martinez overthrows an open receiver down the field. Michigan State will take over at the 33.
Michigan State 3, Nebraska 0 (6:54 2nd)
Missed Coghlin field goal keeps score at 3-0
La'Darius Jefferson is dropped for a loss of 2 on first down after the turnover. Connor Heyward loses 2 more on second down. Mohamed Barry is questionably flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after the play, giving Michigan State a first down at the 12.
Heyward gains 1 yard on first down and gets 3 tough yards on second down. Rocky Lombardi's throw to Dotston in the end zone on third down is played well by Tre Neal, forcing an incompletion. Dotson is then flagged for pass interference for going back to talk some smack.
Here comes Coghlin. The try from 41 is no good.
Michigan State 3, Nebraska 0 (10:58 2nd)
Michigan State forces another turnover
Adrian Martinez's throw to Kade Warner on first down is incomplete to end the first quarter.
Michigan State 3, Nebraska 0 (End 1st)
Martinez hits Devine Ozigbo on second down near the sideline for a gain of 10 to give Nebraska a first down.
Ozigbo gets 4 yards on the ground on the next play. Adrian Martinez fumbles after getting sacked by Jacob Panasiuk on second down. The fumble is recovered by Kenny Willekes, who returns it to the 21.
Michigan State 3, Nebraska 0 (13:57 2nd)
Dropped third-down pass forces Michigan State punt
Connor Heyward picks up 4 yards on first down and 5 more on second down. He takes it up the middle on third down and falls forward to cross the line-of-scrimmage with a 1-yard pickup.
Rocky Lombardi's pass intended for Cody White on first down is incomplete. Lombardi keeps the option himself before getting tossed to the turf by Dicaprio Bootle for a gain of 3.
Timeout #1 Michigan State (0:18 1st)
Lombardi's throw to Matt Dotson near the sideline is a tad high, going in-and-out of Dotson's hands. William Przystup's punt goes for a touchback.
Michigan State 3, Nebraska 0 (0:06 1st
Michigan State gets ball back with fumble recovery
Adrian Martinez completes a pass to Kade Warner on first down for a gain of 4. Warner catches a bullet on second down and gets into Michigan State territory, but loses the ball as he's hit. This one is recovered by Andrew Dowell and the Spartans will get the football at their own 32 after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Michigan State 3, Nebraska 0 (3:00 1st)
Spartans go three-and-out with 3-point lead
Rocky Lombardi takes a shot down the sideline on first down to Cody White that's just out of reach. Second-and-10 coming up from the 27. La'Darius Jefferson punches it up the middle for a gain of 6 on second down. Lombardi rolls out and fires low to Darrell Stewart on third down. The throw was just a tad too late.
William Przystup's punt is returned by Stanley Morgan to the 33-yard-line. He has is clock cleaned by Matt Sokol on the sideline, but Sokol somehow avoids a penalty.
Michigan State 3, Nebraska 0 (3:07 1st)
Nebraska drives down field, turns ball over on downs
Cole Hahn sends the kickoff out-of-bounds. Nebraska will start at the 35.
Adrian Martinez misfires on his first-down throw to Stanley Morgan. Nebraska is then flagged for a false start, making it second-and-15. Martinez scrambles away from several Spartan defenders on his way to a 10-yard pickup on second down. He leaves the pocket quickly on third down, cutting up the field for a gain of 19 before getting hit and fumbling out-of-bounds.
Maurice Washington runs for a gain of 4 on first down. He appeared to have fumbled at the end of the run, but the officials say he was down. Mark Dantonio will challenge the ruling on the field.
After the officials take a look, they say that there was a fumble, but they could not determine whether there was a clear recovery. Second-and-6 coming up.
Washington catches a screen pass in the left flat and turns through two Michigan State defenders up the field, picking up 7 yards to give the Cornhuskers a first down.
Devine Ozigbo is stopped for no gain on a first-down run, and he can't hold onto Martinez's pass on second down. He takes a pitch on third down for a gain of 5. Brandon Bouyer-Randle made a nice play to keep the Huskers contained.
Nebraska is going for it on fourth down. The pocket closes on Martinez quickly, forcing him to dump the ball off in the middle of nowhere. Turnover on downs.
Michigan State 3, Nebraska 0 (4:11 1st)
Coghlin field goal gives Spartans early lead
Rocky Lombardi starts at quarterback for the Spartans. His offense will take over at the 34.
Connor Heyward punches it up the middle on first down for a gain of 6. Lombardi tries to make a play with his legs on second down but is stopped for no gain. He hits Darrell Stewart at the line-of-scrimmage on third down to move the chains.
Heyward goes back up the middle on first down, this time hitting a hole cleared by tight end Matt Sokol on his way to a 27-yard gain to give the Spartans a first down at the Nebraska 27.
Heyward takes it for 3 yards on the next play. Lombardi rolls and fires through a tight window to Laress Nelson, who pulls the pass in for an 8-yard reception to keep the chains moving.
Lombardi's throw to Matt Dotson in the end zone is just out of the reach of his tight end's hands. Heyward is dropped for no gain by Tre Neal on second down. Lombardi has defenders in his face right after taking the snap on third down and is hit by Luke Gifford as he throws, forcing an incompletion.
Matt Coghlin's 34-yard field goal attempt is good.
Michigan State 3, Nebraska 0 (7:46 1st)
Spartan defense opens game strong
Michigan State has won the toss and will defer to the second half.
Cole Hahn's kick is received by Maurice Washington and returned to the 22.
Devine Ozigbo runs up the middle for a gain of 5 on first down. Adrian Martinez's second-down throw is incomplete. On third down, Kade Warner catches a screen pass to the left side and breaks a tackle on his way to the first-down marker.
Martinez goes back to Warner again on the next play, but this time it is batted to the ground. Martinez is wrapped up by Kenny Willekes for a loss of 1 on second down. Ozigbo gets 7 yards with a third-down reception, forcing a Nebraska punt.
Isaac Armstrong's punt is downed at the Michigan State 34.
Michigan State 0, Nebraska 0 (12:31 1st)
Michigan State will try to rebound from the loss to Ohio State in a Big Ten road showdown against Nebraska. You can follow the action here with live updates throughout the game by Nolan Bianchi of The Detroit News.
Michigan State at Nebraska
Kickoff: Noon Saturday, Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb.
Records: Michigan State 6-4, 4-3 Big Ten; Nebraska 3-7, 2-5
Line: Michigan State by 2