Recap: No. 18 MSU downs Tulsa, 28-7, in season-opener
Connor Heyward gave Michigan State a 7-0 lead on its first drive of the game, and the Spartans' defense took it from there.
Michigan State held Tulsa to -73 rushing yards and sacked Golden Hurricanes quarterback Zach Smith six times, scoring on a safety and fumble recovery as the Spartans advanced to a 28-7 season-opening win on Friday night at Spartan Stadium.
MSU - Brian Lewerke: 21/37, 192 yds., TD
Tulsa - Zach Smith: 16/27, 153 yds., TD, INT
MSU - Connor Heyward: 15 atts., 43 yds.
Tulsa - Shamari Brooks: 6 atts., 0 yds.
MSU - Darrell Stewart Jr.: 6 recs., 56 yds.
Tulsa - Keylon Stokes: 6 recs., 54 yds.
Michigan State runs out clock late in game
Michigan State is called for a false start. It'll be first-and-15 from the 32.
Cameron Heyward is stopped for a gain of 1 on first down. He gets out of bounds after a gain of 5 on second down. Matt Dotson can't haul in a pass on third down.
Keylon Stokes is downed inside his own 10-yard-line on the punt return.
Michigan State 28, Tulsa 7 (4:34 4th)
Zach Smith scrambles from a closing pocket and picks up 3 yards on first down. His throw wobbles its way to the turf, far from any Golden Hurricane, on second down. Smith barely avoids another safety, getting sacked at the 1-yard-line, on the next play.
Thomas Bennett's punt is returned to the 45-yard-line.
Michigan State 28, Tulsa 7 (3:57 4th)
La'Darius Jefferson picks up 5 yards on first down. He loses 3 yards on second down.
The Spartans run out the clock.
FINAL: Michigan State 28, Tulsa 7
Michigan State defense hosting sack party on Smith
Zach Smith is, unsurprisingly, sacked on first down. His second-down pass is incomplete. Sam Crawford hauls in a 7-yard completion on third down, which is not enough and will lead to yet another Thomas Bennett punt.
Jalen Nailor waves for a fair catch at the 37.
Michigan State 28, Tulsa 7 (6:02 4th)
Michigan State drive stalls in Tulsa territory
After penalties on Jalen Nailor's return and before the Spartans' first snap, Michigan State will take over at the 18.
Elijah Collins is dropped for a loss of 3 yards on first down. Brian Lewerke completes a throw to Darrell Stewart on the next play for a gain of 8 and then goes back to Stewart on third down for a gain of 30.
Collins reaches the Tulsa 44-yard-line with a 3-yard run on first down. Stewart's throw to Stewart on second down is dropped. Nailor catches a pass over the middle that would be enough to move the chains, if not for a holding penalty. Lewerke is dropped after a gain of only 1 on the next play.
Michigan State 28, Tulsa 7 (7:35 4th)
Tulsa surpasses -60 rushing yards on night
Tulsa takes over at the 21.
Sam Crawford catches a 2-yard pass on first down. Keylon Stokes hauls in a reception over the middle for a gain of 12 that'll give Tulsa a first down at the 35-yard-line.
Corey Taylor is dropped for no gain on first down. Zach Smith throws it out of bounds on second down. Smith is sacked by Antjuan Simmons on third down to end the drive.
Michigan State 28, Tulsa 7 (11:17 4th)
Michigan State and Tulsa go three-and-out in back-to-back drives
Tulsa will take over its next drive from the 30.
Zach Smith is sacked for losses of 8 on first and second down. He's hit behind the line of scrimmage but falls forward for a gain of 2 on third down.
END 3RD: Michigan State 28, Tulsa 7
Thomas Bennett's punt goes out of bounds at the Michigan State 40.
Michigan State 28, Tulsa 7 (14:53 4th)
The two yards gained by Elijah Collins on first down are quickly lost by a reception for negative yards by Jalen Nailor on the next play. Brian Lewerke's third-down pass is incomplete.
Jake Hartbarger's punt is returned to the Tulsa 21 by Keylon Stokes.
Michigan State 28, Tulsa 7 (13:30 4th)
Long Michigan State drive leads to first points of half
Michigan State takes over inside its own 10-yard-line for the second drive in a row. La'Darius Jefferson picks up a yard on first down and 2 yards on second down. Brian Lewerke hits Matt Seybert for a gain of 7 on third down to move the chains.
Cody White hauls in a 9-yard reception on first down. Connor Heyward makes a few nice moves to get through the middle on second down and pick up a new set of downs with a gain of 7.
Jefferson catches a pass over the middle, bobbles it, and then scoots up the left sideline before going out of bounds at the Michigan State 44 for a gain of 13.
Heyward goes down at midfield after a gain of 6 on first down and moves the sticks with a 4-yard run on second down.
Lewerke's first-down pass intended for Darrell Stewart falls incomplete. Heyward picks up 3 yards on second down. Lewerke's throw on third down falls incomplete, but a pass interference penalty will make it first-and-10 for Michigan State at the 35.
Michigan State catches a holding penalty on the next play. Lewerke hits Matt Dotson for a gain of 9 yards on first down and finds him again on second down for a gain of 8 to move the chains.
Elijah Collins rushes for 9 yards on first down. Heyward is brought down for a loss of 1 on second down. Collins hits a hole and reaches the end zone on third down, but the play is called back for offensive holding. Third-and-12 now coming up. Lewerke throws over the head of White.
Matt Coghlin converts on a 40-yard field goal.
Michigan State 28, Tulsa 7 (2:20 3rd)
Offenses trading three-and-outs
Keylon Stokes hauls in an 8-yard reception on first down. Corey Taylor is just short of the line to gain on second down and dropped for a loss of 2 on third down. Jalen Nailor calls for a fair catch on the ensuing punt at his own 6-yard-line.
Michigan State 25, Tulsa 7 (9:43 3rd)
Spartans backed up against own end zone, forced to punt
Michigan State takes over at the 8-yard-line.
The Spartans are called for a holding penalty on first down, making it first-and-14 from the 4. Connor Heyward is dropped while trying to bounce it to the left side for a gain of 1 on first down. He gets it again on second down for another gain of 1. Brian Lewerke's third-down pass falls incomplete.
Jake Hartbarger's punt is fielded by Keylon Stokes and returned to the Tulsa 37.
Michigan State 25, Tulsa 7 (11:45 3rd)
Michigan State defense forces three-and-out to start second half
Cole Hahn's kickoff goes out of bounds at the Tulsa 35.
Mike Panasiuk drops Shamari Brooks for a loss of 6 yards on first down. Zach Smith's second-down pass to Josh Johnson is dropped. Tulsa's quarterback tries to scramble for the first down but is wrapped up after a gain of only 8.
Cody White breaks free on a punt return, but it'll come back for an illegal block.
Michigan State 25, Tulsa 7 (13:36 3rd)
MSU - Brian Lewerke: 13/23, 109 yds., TD
Tulsa - Zach Smith: 12/19,125 yds., TD, INT
MSU - Brian Lewerke: 6 atts., 33 yds.
Tulsa - Shamari Brooks: 5 atts., 6 yds.
MSU - La'Darius Jefferson: 2 recs., 29 yds.
Tulsa - Sam Crawford Jr.: 3 recs., 41 yds., TD
Tulsa gets on scoreboard before end of first half
Keylon Stokes fumbles on the return after being hit by Michigan State kicker Cole Hahn. Tulsa recovers, though, and will take over at the 15.
Zach Smith misses the mark on a first-down passing attempt. He gives to Corey Taylor up the middle on second down for a gain of 2. Smith can't find a receiver on third down, but Tulsa benefits from a roughing-the-passer foul on Kenny Willekes.
It'll be first-and-10 at the 32.
Smith fires to Sam Crawford Jr. for a gain of 3 yards on the next play. Smith's second-down throw falls incomplete. He throws deep on third down to Keenen Johnson for a completion of 35 yards at the Spartan 35.
Smith throws his next pass out of bounds. He goes to Crawford in the end zone for a Tulsa touchdown.
Michigan State 25, Tulsa 7 (0:36 2nd)
Michigan State has 36 seconds on the clock as it lines up at its own 25. La'Darius Jefferson is stopped for a gain of 2 on the last play of the half.
END HALF: Michigan State 25, Tulsa
Smith interception leads to another Michigan State field goal
Keylon Stokes returns Cole Hahn's kick to the 29.
Shamari Brooks goes up the middle for a gain of 1 on first down. Zach Smith throws an interception to Antjuan Simmons on second down. Michigan State will take over at the Tulsa 30.
Michigan State 22, Tulsa 0 (4:02 2nd)
Elijah Collins gains 2 yards on first down. Brian Lewerke hits Darrell Stewart for a gain of 2 yards on second down and then misses Laress Nelson to his right on third down.
Matt Coghlin's 44-yard try is good.
Michigan State 25, Tulsa 0 (2:32 2nd)
Michigan State defense finishes what offense couldn't
Tulsa takes over at its own 9.
Shamari Brooks is dropped for a loss of 3 on first down. Zach Smith is stripped of the ball inside of his own end zone, a fumble recovered by Kenny Willekes for a Michigan State touchdown.
Michigan State 22, Tulsa 0 (5:02 2nd)
Spartan drive falters inside 10-yard-line
Michigan State will take over at its 47 thanks to a 30-yard return on the kickoff by Jalen Nailor.
Connor Heyward rushes for a gain of 5 yards on first down. Brian Lewerke makes it third-and-inches with a 5-yard run on second down. Heyward moves the chains with a 2-yard run.
Laress Nelson hauls in a 25-yard reception on first down to move Michigan State just into the red zone at Tulsa's 18.
Lewerke kicks it to Heyward on first down for a gain of 4 and then scrambles for a gain of 1 on second down. Lewerke's pass to Matt Dotson on third down falls incomplete. For the second time this game, Tulsa stops the Spartans on fourth-and-1. Michigan State will give it up on downs.
Michigan State 15, Tulsa 0 (5:19 2nd)
Safety gives Michigan State 15-0 lead in second quarter
Tulsa takes over at the 24-yard-line to start the drive.
Corey Taylor is dropped by Joe Panasiuk for a loss of 4 on first down. Zach Smith suffers from another high snap on second down, with this one going all the way through the end zone for a safety. Two points for the home team.
Michigan State 15, Tulsa 0 (9:09 2nd)
Another Coghlin field goal extends Spartan lead to 13
Michigan State is called for a false start. Marcus Seybert hauls in a 6-yard reception on first down. Brian Lewerke sails a second-down throw over Jalen Nailor's head. He escapes from a closing pocket and picks up the first down with a 20-yard scramble on third-and-10.
The Spartans are called for holding on first down, making it first-and-20. Darrell Stewart catches a 2-yard pass on the next play. Cody White drops a wide-open pass from Lewerke on second down and Lewerke's third down attempt falls incomplete.
Matt Coghlin's 47-yard field goal try is off the uprights and in.
Michigan State 13, Tulsa 0 (9:59 2nd)
Willekes recovers botched snap in Tulsa territory
Cole Hahn's kick goes for a touchback. Tulsa will start from the 25.
The delayed handoff goes to Shamari Brooks, who is quickly wrapped up by Kenny Willekes for a loss of 1 on first down. Joe Bachie brings down Keylon Stokes on second down after a gain of 12 that'll give the Golden Hurricanes a new set of downs at the 36.
Timeout #1 Michigan State (13:12 2nd)
Brooks goes for 5 yards on first down. Stokes catches a 9-yard pass from Smith to give Tulsa a new set of downs at midfield.
Tulsa's first-down snap goes over Smith's head and is recovered by Willekes at the Tulsa 36.
Michigan State 10, Tulsa 0 (12:06 2nd)
After blocked punt, Spartans quickly forced into field goal
Brian Lewerke's first-down pass falls incomplete. Cody White goes for a run of 4 yards on second down. Lewerke misses White on third down, and Matt Coghlin will be out to try a 38-yard field goal.
The kick is good.
Michigan State 10, Tulsa 0 (14:03 2nd)
Michigan State keeping Tulsa off scoreboard through first
Zach Smith hits Keylon Stokes on first down for a gain of 6. A false start before the next snap makes it second-and-9 from the Tulsa 21. Sam Crawford Jr. hauls in a pass that picks up 10 yards and gives Tulsa a first down.
Corey Taylor III runs it for 2 yards on first down and no gain on second down. A third-down passing attempt is voided by fouls on both teams. They will run an un-timed down to end the quarter. Smith's pass misses the mark on third down.
END 1ST: Michigan State 7, Tulsa 0
The ensuing Tulsa punt is blocked and recovered by Michigan State's Dominique Long at the Tulsa 24.
Michigan State 7, Tulsa 0 (14:54 2nd)
Michigan State's offense stumbling late in first quarter
Brian Lewerke hits Cody White on first down for a 9-yard completion that'll make it second-and-1 from the Michigan State 48. Connor Heyward rushes for 6 on second down to give the Spartans a first down in Tulsa territory.
Lewerke's next first-down throw to White falls incomplete. Darrell Stewart Jr. rushes for a gain of 1 on second down. Lewerke is sacked on third down by Trevis Gipson for a loss of 8. Jake Hartbarger's punt goes out of bounds at the Tulsa 20.
Michigan State 7, Tulsa 0 (1:53 1st)
Tulsa goes three-and-out after stop in own territory
Zach Smith misfires on first down but finds Josh Johnson on the next play for a gain of 6. Johnson catches a pass in the right flat on second down and is immediately dropped by a Spartan defender for no gain.
Thomas Bennett's punt goes out of bounds at the Michigan State 39.
Michigan State 7, Tulsa 0 (4:50 1st)
Spartans turn ball over on downs in Tulsa territory
Brian Lewerke reaches the Michigan State 40 with a 5-yard run on first down. Jalen Nailor picks up 3 more yards on second down and La'Darius Jefferson moves the chains with a 3-yard run on third down.
Jefferson then catches a pass from Lewerke on the next play and evades a handful of defenders on his way to an 18-yard gain that'll give the Spartans a first down at the Tulsa 36. A certain former Michigan State running back would be proud...
Lewerke's first-down pass is batted down. Jefferson is wrapped up in the backfield for a loss of 2 yards on second down. Lewerke gets off a screen pass to Jefferson on third down, which goes for a gain of 11. Another fourth-and-1 coming up; this time Lewerke stays in the game, hands it to Connor Heyward for no gain, and Michigan State turns it over on downs.
Michigan State 7, Tulsa 0 (5:28 1st)
Michigan State defense flexes muscles on opening drive
Tulsa's Anthony Goodlow commits a personal foul penalty on the kickoff. Tulsa will start at the 12.
Zach Smith fires complete on first down to Keylon Stokes for a gain of 7. Antjuan Simmons throws Shamari Brooks to the ground on second down for a loss of 6.
Timeout #1 Tulsa (10:26 1st)
Josh Johnson hauls in a 13-yard reception on third down to give Tulsa a new set of downs at its 26.
Brooks rushes for 3 yards on first down. Smith is sacked and loses the football on second down, which is then recovered by a teammate for a loss of 5. Smith misses his receiver on third-and-12.
Jalen Nailor returns the punt 10 yards to the Michigan State 35.
Michigan State 7, Tulsa 0 (8:37 1st)
Heyward receiving touchdown gives Michigan State first lead of season
Jalen Nailor scoops a rolling kickoff and returns it to the Michigan State 27-yard-line.
Connor Heyward rushes up the middle for a gain of 2 on first down. Brian Lewerke rolls to his left on a bootleg, grabs the first down easily with a 16-yard run, and the Spartans will gain an extra 25 yards because of two Tulsa penalties on the play. First-and-10 from the Tulsa 29 coming up.
Heyward is dropped behind the line on first down for a loss of 1. Lewerke fires to Cody White on his left on second down; the pass falls incomplete. It's third-and-11. Lewerke completes a third-down pass to Matt Dotson for a gain of 10. Rocky Lombardi comes in at quarterback to run an inside-zone read, which Lombardi then tucks and picks up the first down with a gain of 2.
Lombardi stays in the game to complete a pass to Nailor on first down for a gain of 3. Lewerke comes back in the game on second-and-7, firing a pass to the end zone intended for White just a bit too high. Heyward catches a pass in the flat on third down, makes a defender miss, and scoots up the right sideline before diving for the pylon and giving Michigan State its first lead of the season.
Michigan State 7, Tulsa 0 (11:41 1st)
Michigan State opens its 2019 season on Friday night against Tulsa. You can follow the action throughout the game with live updates by Nolan Bianchi of The Detroit News.
MICHIGAN STATE VS. TULSA
Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday, Spartan Stadium, East Lansing
TV/radio: FS1/WJR 760
Records: Season opener for both teams.
Line: MSU by 23