Cody White scored on a double reverse with 3:57 left in the game to give Michigan State a 14-10 victory over Rutgers on senior day.
By no means was the win a pretty one, but Michigan State got the better of the Rutgers in the field position battle, and it paid dividends late. William Przystup pinned the Scarlet Knights at their own 1-yard-line halfway through the fourth, and after forcing a three-and-out, the Spartans got a nice return from Brandon Sowards to set up the 35-yard winning drive.
Rocky Lombardi had one of his shakiest games of the season, completing just 46 percent of his passes for 173 yards. Running back Connor Heyward was Michigan State's workhouse, averaging 4.2 yards per carry in a truly gritty performance.
Michigan native and Warren De La Salle alum Giovanni Rescigno did all he could to pick up a win in his final game at Rutgers, but his fourth-quarter interception to Josiah Scott put the final nail in the Scarlet Knights' coffin.
MSU - Rocky Lombardi: 19/43, 173 yds., TD, INT
RU - Giovanni Rescigno: 9/17, 109 yds., TD, INT
MSU - Connor Heyward: 19 atts., 81 yds.
RU - Giovanni Rescigno: 13 atts., 61 yds.
MSU - Darrell Stewart: 7 recs., 53 yds.
RU - Travis Vokolek: 4 recs., 69 yds., TD
Heyward's first down closes game out for Michigan State
After the interception, Michigan State will get it at the 3-yard-line.
Connor Heyward picks up 3 yards on first down.
Timeout #2 Rutgers (1:26 4th)
Connor Heyward breaks free through the middle on second down, picking up 26 and icing the game for Michigan State.
Michigan State will go into victory formation.
Michigan State 14, Rutgers 10 (FINAL)
Rescigno throws interception on fourth down
Isaih Pacheco puts together a decent return and gives Rutgers starting field position at the 29.
Giovanni Rescigno throws a dart to Raheem Blackshear on first down, picking up 21 yards and getting the Scarlet Knights to midfield.
Rescigno dishes it to Travis Vokolek on the next play, and Vokolek makes a couple people miss on his way to a 25-yard pickup. Rutgers has a new set of downs at the 25.
Raheem Blackshear is dropped for a loss of 1 on first down. Rescigno is forced out of the pocket on second down; he scrambles up the middle and spins to the ground for a pickup of 5. Rescigno has Blackshear underneath on third down, but he goes deep to Vokolek for some reason; the throw lands way beyond his target. Rescigno throws an interception to Josiah Scott on fourth-and-6. That should pretty much do it.
Michigan State 14, Rutgers 10 (1:32 4th)
White puts Spartans on top late in fourth
Connor Heyward takes the pitch, laterals it to Rocky Lombardi, and Lombardi throws to Darrell Stewart for a bit of trickery. But Lombardi's throw isn't accurate, and is almost picked off by Trevor Morris. Lombardi throws way behind Brandon Sowards on second down. Lombardi keeps the option and cuts through a lane in the middle, picking up 13 yards and giving Michigan State a first down at the 22.
Timeout Rutgers (4:07 4th)
Cody White takes the reverse and cuts up the right sideline, reaching the end zone for a 22-yard touchdown run. That's Michigan State's first play of over 20 yards this game.
Michigan State 14, Rutgers 10 (3:57 4th)
Spartans get great field position out of defensive stop
Jonathan Hilliman makes a great second effort to avoid a safety and pick up 4 yards on first down, giving Rutgers some breathing room deep in its own territory.
Timeout #1 Michigan State (5:15 4th)
Hilliman is stopped for a gain of 1 on second down.
Injury: Rutgers wideout Shameen Jones is injured on the play.
Raheem Blackshear is dropped for no gain on third down.
Timeout #2 Michigan State (4:49 4th)
Adam Korsak's punt is returned by Brandon Sowards to the Rutgers 35.
Rutgers 10, Michigan State 7 (4:39 4th)
Lombardi's inaccuracy halts Michigan State drive
Justin Davidovicz's kick goes for a touchback.
Rocky Lombardi's throw on first down goes right through the hands of Matt Dotson and falls to the ground. Connor Heyward rushes for 8 yards after taking a pitch from Lombardi on second down. Heyward picks up the first down with a 4-yard run.
Lombardi goes to Cam Chambers on first down, but his pass is broken up by Saquan Hampton. He hits Darrell Stewart on second down for a gain of 6 and then hits Stewart again on third down to move the chains with a pickup of 5 yards.
Lombardi has his pass battled down by Julius Turner on first down, and Avery Young breaks up his throw on the next play. Lombardi throws so far behind White on third down that the Spartan receiver nearly broke his neck just turning around to look at it.
William Pryzstup drops a beauty of a punt on the Rutgers 1-yard-line.
Rutgers 10, Michigan State 7 (5:23 4th)
Rutgers takes fourth-quarter lead with field goal
Raheem Blackshear rushes for 7 yards on first down. Isaih Pacheco is stopped for no gain on second down. Blackshear tries to fight for the line to gain on third down, but he's stopped a yard short.
Justin Davidovicz will try his first field goal attempt in two weeks. His try is good from 34 yards out.
Rutgers 10, Michigan State 7 (7:52 4th)
Michigan State's offense has lost its marbles
Connor Heyward picks up 3 yards on first down. Rocky Lombardi is sacked for a loss of 7 by Elorm Lumor and Jon Bateky. Lombardi's throw on third down is way over the head of Cody White.
William Pryzstup's punt is returned by Avery Young to the Michigan State 25.
Michigan State 7, Rutgers 7 (9:49 4th)
Rescigno moves Rutgers out of field position with costly unsportsmanlike penalty
Isaih Pacheco runs it up the middle on first down to pick up 7 yards and bring the third quarter to a close.
Michigan State 7, Rutgers 7 (End 3rd)
Pacheco chugs along for a pickup of 12 yards, which will be supplemented by a 15-yard face mask penalty. Rutgers has a first down at the 49.
The Scarlet Knights cross into Michigan State territory with a 3-yard run by Pacheco on first down. Giovanni Rescigno's second down pass is nearly picked off by Andrew Dowell, and then almost caught by receiver Bo Melton. It eventually falls to the dirt. Rescigno fits his throw in a tight window on third down, hitting Travis Vokolek for a 13-yard gain that keeps the chains moving.
Raheem Blackshear gets to the 32 with a 3-yard reception on first down, and Rescigno rushes for 2 yards on second down to set up third-and-15. Rescigno is table-topped over a Michigan State defender, and while reaching for the first down, he fumbles out-out-bounds. Officials say he's just shy of the yard marker.
Rescigno draws an unsportsmanlike penalty for yelling at the referee, "That's a [expletive] first down," which was conveniently picked up by the Fox microphones. The penalty will move Rutgers out of field position and it'll be fourth-and-16.
Now Rutgers is challenging the spot on the field. If its ruled a first down, the foul will still force a loss of 15, but it'll be first-and-25 instead of fourth-and-16.
The ruling is upheld.
Adam Korsak's punt is downed at the 8-yard-line.
Michigan State 7, Rutgers 7 (11:31 4th)
Does anybody want to score?
La'Darius Jefferson picks up a yard on first down. Rocky Lombardi tucks it and runs for a pickup of 6 yards on second down. Lombardi rolls and throws incomplete to Jalen Nailor on third down. Isaiah Wharton got his hand on the ball to break up the pass.
William Pryzstup's punt is fair caught at the 15.
Michigan State 7, Rutgers 7 (0:27 3rd)
Michigan State defense forces three-and-out deep in Rutgers territory
Rutgers takes over at the 6.
Giovanni Rescigno is stuffed for a gain of 1 on first down, and is sacked by Jon Reschke for a loss of a yard on second down. Rescigno's attempt to scramble for the first down is cut short, as he's brought down about 2 yards short of the marker.
Adam Korsak's punt is returned by Brandon Sowards near midfield, but an illegal block will move the ball back to Michigan State's 34.
Michigan State 7, Rutgers 7 (1:59 3rd)
Michigan State and Rutgers in field position battle
Rocky Lombardi's first-down throw to Connor Heyward is called back for holding. Michigan State will have it first-and-20 at the 44.
Heyward loses 3 yards on the ensuing first-down reception. Lombardi overthrows Stewart near the end zone, and Avery Young makes a play on it to make sure the play is dead. Young and Stewart continue to jaw at each other as this game goes on. Saquan Hampton drops Matt Dotson after a completion of 12 yards to prevent a first down.
William Pryzstup's punt is fair caught around the 13. A holding penalty on Rutgers will make it first-and-10 inside the 10.
Michigan State 7, Rutgers 7 (4:05 3rd)
Rutgers gives ball right back with interception on halfback pass
After the turnover, Rutgers will take over at the 33.
Isaih Pacheco attempts a halfback pass that's intercepted by Josiah Scott and returned to the Rutgers 34. All things considered, the Spartans benefited from the interception exchange.
Michigan State 7, Rutgers 7 (6:16 3rd)
Lombardi throws interception in Rutgers territory
Connor Heyward gets to the 13 with a 3-yard run on first down. He catches a pass while going to the sideline for a pickup of 5. Heyward plows ahead through the middle on third down and moves the chains with a gain of 3.
Heyward gets it again on the net play, picking up 3 more yards. Rocky Lombardi slowly rolls to his right, jukes his way out of a sack, and puts a bullet into the chest of Cody White - a dangerous pass, but a successful one, nonetheless, as the Spartans pick up a first down with a gain of 10.
Lombardi is hit as he throws and misses White on the next play. He throws a tight spiral to Cam Chambers on second down for a pickup of 13 that'll give the Spartans a first down at the 47.
Heyward loses a yard on first down. Saquan Hampton appeared to have intercepted Lombardi on second down, but it's ruled an incompletion. The officials will double check via video review.
After further review, the play is ruled an interception.
Michigan State 7, Rutgers 7 (6:27 3rd)
Michigan State forces punt on opening drive of second half
Isaih Pacheco's 19-yard return gives Rutgers starting field position at the 21.
Giovanni Rescigno runs for 7 yards on first down and picks up 2 more on second down. To everyone's surprise, somehow, he takes off again on third down and moves the chains with a 4-yard run.
Joe Bachie wraps up Raheem Blackshear for a loss of 3 yards on the next play. Rutgers runs the option on second down, but Rescigno never has the chance to pitch it, as he struggles to gain a yard. Rutgers will be backed up further after a false start. Third-and-17 coming up. Rescigno throws underneath to Blackshear, who is stopped for a gain of 5.
Brandon Sowards calls for a fair catch on the punt at Michigan State's 19. A 10-yard holding penalty will back the Spartans up inside the 10.
Michigan State 7, Rutgers 7 (10:56 3rd)
First half leaders
MSU - Rocky Lombardi: 12/24, 125 yds., TD
RU - Giovanni Rescigno: 4/9, 42 yds., TD
MSU - Connor Heyward: 10 atts., 29 yds.
RU - Giovanni Rescigno: 4 atts., 29 yds.
MSU - Darrell Stewart: 5 recs., 42 yds.
RU - Travis Vokolek: 2 recs., 31 yds., TD
Lewerke fumbles field goal try to end half
Connor Heyward rushes for a gain of 2 on first down. Rocky Lombardi throws a completion to Cody White on second down, picking up 7 yards. Lombardi picks up the first down with a 2-yard run.
Lombardi's first-down throw to White falls incomplete. He hits White on second down, voiding a pass interference call and giving the Spartans a new set of downs at the 33-yard-line.
Lombardi runs for 4 yards on first down and completes a 10-yard pass to Darrell Stewart on second down.
Timeout #1 Rutgers (1:27 1st)
Lombardi's throw on first-and-10 from the 47 is broken up. He goes to White down the left sideline on second down, and this time it's Avery Young making a nice play to bat the ball down. Lombardi escapes a sack twice, and is happy to toss the football into the middle of nowhere with more defenders in pursuit.
William Pryzstup's punt bounces off Saquan Hampton and is picked up by Michigan State at the 13-yard-line.
Lombardi throws to Darrell Stewart in the end zone, and the pass is broken up. Young's coverage draws a flag, and there is some serious jawing going on between Stewart and two other Scarlet Knights. Stewart's trash talk draws an unsportsmanlike penalty, and when it's all said and done, Michigan State loses 4 yards. It'll be first-and-10 at the 17.
Lombardi completes a quick pass to Stewart on first down for a pickup of 6.
Timeout #1 Michigan State (0:41 2nd)
Lombardi tries to pick up some yards with his feet, but ends up losing a yard after getting dropped by Tyshon Fogg.
Timeout #2 Michigan State (0:35 2nd)
Rutgers responds with a timeout of its own.
Timeout #2 Rutgers (0:35 2nd)
Lombardi's third-down passing attempt to Stewart is fired right into the dirt. Matt Coghlin will be out to try a field goal.
Brian Lewerke fumbles the snap, backpedals, and throws up a prayer that's intercepted by Trevor Morris.
Rutgers will take a knee to end the half.
Michigan State 7, Rutgers 7 (End 2nd)
Rutgers pins Michigan State inside 10 again
Cole Hahn's kickof goes for a touchback.
Raheem Blackshear rushes for 2 yards on first down. Isaih Pacheco gets the carry on second down and picks up 3 to set up third-and-5. Giovanni Rescigno has four men wide, escapes the pocket and scoots up the field for a gain of 10 and a Rutgers first down at the 40.
Rescigno throws a completion to Nakia Griffin-Stewart on first down for a gain of 7. Blackshear is dropped for a loss of 1 on second down. Rescigno rolls out and throws an errant pass that's broken up by Justin Layne and will force a punt.
Adam Korsak's punt is downed at the Michigan State 7.
Michigan State 7, Rutgers 7 (4:16 2nd)
Sokol touchdown reception gets Spartans on the board
Elijah Collins gets the carry on first down, picking up 4. Rocky Lombardi is flushed from the pocket and just gets rid of it while heading toward the sideline. He completes a 7-yard pass to Darrell Stewart on third down, moving the chains for Michigan State.
Collins gets 4 yards again on a first-down carry. Rocky Lombardi's throw to Cam Chambers is over the head of his intended receiver, but draws a pass interference call, anyway. Michigan State will have a first down at the 49.
Rutgers takes an unsportsmanlike penalty after a 5-yard run by Lombardi, giving the Spartans another 15 yards. First down at the 31 coming up.
And now it'll be first-and-15 at the 36 after a false start penalty.
Connor Heyward catches a screen pass and gets up the left sideline for a gain of 18.
On the very next play, the Spartans get in the end zone with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Matt Sokol.
Michigan State 7, Rutgers 7 (7:04 2nd)
Rutgers goes three-and-out after starting with great field position
Giovanni Rescigno completes a 7-yard pass on first down to Travis Vokolek. Isaih Pacheco is dropped behind the line for a loss of 1 yard on second down. Rescigno's throw to Shameen Jones on third down falls incomplete, and Rutgers will give the ball right back.
Adam Korsak's punt is fair caught by Brandon Sowards at the 19.
Rutgers 7, Michigan State 0 (10:13 2nd)
Third-down incompletions killing Spartan drives
Connor Heyward gives the Spartans some breathing room with a 4-yard pickup on first down. Rocky Lombardi's second-down throw to Cody White falls incomplete. His throw to Darrell Stewart is tightly contested and forced to the ground, but Rutgers is called for an offsides penalty. That'll make it third-and-1. Heyward is stuffed near the line on the re-played down, and after an official measurement, the Spartans have a first down.
That's the last play of the first quarter.
Rutgers 7, Michigan 0 (End 1st)
Heyward rushes for 5 yards on. first down and moves the sticks with a 6-yard run on second down.
Lombardi takes a deep shot to Jailen Nailor on the next play; the pass lands just beyond Nailor's reach. Heyward catches a pass on second down, a 7-yard completion. Lombardi picks up the first down for Michigan State with a 6-yard completion to Laress Nelson.
Lombardi's pass to Darrell Stewart on first down falls incomplete. Second-and-10 from the Michigan State 40 coming up. Heyward picks up a yard on second down. Lombardi has time to throw on third down, but puts the ball a tad behind Cam Chambers, allowing Damon Hayes to make a play on the throw.
William Przystup shanks the punt out-of-bounds at the Rutgers 43.
Rutgers 7, Michigan State 0 (11:32 2nd)
Spartan pass rush forces third-down incompletion
Isaih Pacheco takes the first-down carry for Rutgers, picking up 5. Giovanni Rescigno gets the first down with a nice second effort that yields 7 yards.
Rescigno's throw on first down slips out of his hands and misses the target. He completes a short pass to Pacheco on second down that's good for 4 yards, and is then forced into an incompletion after being flushed out of the pocket on third down.
Adam Korsak puts a charge into his punt, sending it 63 yards down the field and pinning Michigan State at the 6-yard-line.
Rutgers 7, Michigan 0 (0:57 1st)
Michigan State drive stalls in Rutgers territory
Connor Heyward puts together a nice return to give Michigan State starting field position at the 31-yard-line.
Rocky Lombardi completes an 11-yard pass to Darrell Stewart to start the drive.
La'Darius Jefferson rushes for 4 yards on first down. Rocky Lombardi completes an 8-yard pass to Stewart on second down to move the chains once more.
Jefferson gets 5 yards on first down and 2 yards on second down to make it third-and-3 from the Rutgers 39. Lombardi's throw on third down is nearly intercepted, and eventually falls incomplete.
William Przystup's punt goes out-of-bounds at the Rutgers 15.
Rutgers 7, Michigan State 0 (3:02 1st)
Rutgers puts first points on board with touchdown pass
Giovanni Rescigno's first-down pass to Eddie Lewis is dropped. Isaih Pacheco shakes and bakes his way to a 6-yard gain on second down. Rutgers gets backed up 5 yards after a false start penalty, making it third-and-9. Rescigno gets all 9 of those yards on the ground to move the chains for Rutgers on third down.
Mike Panasiuk comes in untouched and drops Raheem Blackshear for a loss of 4 on first down. Rescigno throws deep to Travis Vokolek over the middle, and the 6-foot-6 tight end comes down with it in the end zone for a Rutgers touchdown.
Rutgers 7, Michigan State 0 (6:15 1st)
Spartans turn it over on downs in own territory
Rocky Lombardi is stopped for no gain on first down. He hits Cody White on second down for a pickup of 12 that'll give the Spartans a new set of downs at the Michigan State 26.
Connor Heyward rushes for 7 yards on first down and gets 2 more on second down. Lombardi can't get the first down with a quarterback sneak, getting stopped for no gain. Michigan State is going for it from deep in its own territory. Heyward is stuffed at the line, tries to bounce it outside, and ends up losing yardage.
Rutgers will have it at the Michigan State 33.
Michigan State 0, Rutgers 0 (11:32 1st)
Rutgers responds with three-and-out drive of its own
Isaih Pacheco rushes for 3 yards on first down, Raheem Blackshear gets 3 more on second down and Giovanni Rescigno runs for 3 yards on third down. Rutgers will give it right back.
Adam Korsak's punt goes out-of-bounds at the Michigan State 14.
Michigan State goes three-and-out on opening drive
Michigan State will start with the ball at the 25 after a touchback.
Connor Heyward rushes for 3 yards on first down. Rocky Lombardi is dropped on second down for a loss of 4 by Willington Previlon for a loss of 4 on second down. Lombardi's pass on third down falls incomplete, and the Spartans will be forced to punt.
William Przystup's punt is returned to the Rutgers 40 by Avery Young.
Michigan State 0, Rutgers 0 (13:30 1st)
Michigan State will try to improve its bowl position as it concludes its regular season against Rutgers. You can follow the action with live updates throughout the game by Nolan Bianchi of The Detroit News.
Rutgers at Michigan State
Kickoff: 4 p.m. Saturday, Spartan Stadium, East Lansing
Records: Rutgers 1-10, 0-8; Michigan State 6-5, 4-4 Big Ten;
Line: Michigan State by 27