Recap: Michigan State comes back in fourth, beats Nebraska 23-20 in OT
College football is fun, isn't it?
Michigan State fans might not have agreed with that sentiment as the fourth quarter rolled on in East Lansing on Saturday night, but after the Spartans escaped with a 23-20 overtime win against Nebraska, they'll probably come around.
Jayden Reed housed a punt return with 3:47 to go in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 20 and Chester Kimbrough picked off Adrian Martinez in the overtime period to set the Spartans up for a next-score-wins situation as Payton Thorne and Co. took over.
Kenneth Walker's 23-yard run to open the Spartans half of overtime set the Spartans up for a 21-yard, walk-off field goal by Matt Coghlin to push Michigan State to 4-0.
► MSU - Payton Thorne: 14/23, 183 yds., TD, INT
► NU - Adrian Martinez: 24/34, INT
► MSU - Kenneth Walker III: 19 atts., 61 yds.
► NU - Rahmir Johnson: 19 atts., 76 yds.
► MSU - Tre Mosley: 6 recs., 70 yds.
► NU - Zavier Betts: 5 recs., 62 yds.
► First overtime
Michigan State has won the coin toss and elects to defend first.
Adrian Martinez completes a 2-yard pass, then a 5-yard throw to Omar Manning to bring up third-and-3: His pass is picked off Chester Kimbrough and he returns it all the way to the 22-yard-line. The Spartans will have it first-and-10 at the 25.
Kenneth Walker takes a direct snap on Michigan State's first play and runs it all the way to the 2-yard-line for a gain of 23.
He's dropped for a loss of 1 on first-and-goal, and popped for no gain on second-and-goal.
Matt Coghlin wins the game with a 21-yard field goal.
FINAL: Michigan State 23, Nebraska 20
Michigan State, Nebras
Nebraska takes over at the 21 with 3:47 left in a 20-20 game.
Adrian Martinez rushes for 5 yards on first down, Rahmir Johnson 1 yard on second down, and Martinez is also stuffed for just a yard on third down, and that'll end the drive for Nebraska.
Michigan State 20, Nebraska 20 (1:22 4th)
Michigan State takes over at the 25. Two straight incompletions bring up third-and-10, as Payton Thorne completes to Harold Joiner for a gain of 9, bringing up fourth-and-1 with 55 seconds left.
Timeout #1 Michigan State (0:55 4th)
Bryce Baringer's punt goes for a touchback.
Michigan State 20, Nebraska 20 (0:47 4th)
Nebraska takes over at the 20.
The Huskers try a couple plays to move the ball downfield, but wave the white flag and opt for overtime when Martinez is sacked on third down.
END 4TH: Michigan State 20, Nebraska 20
Reed's punt return ties game for Michigan State in fourth
Nebraska takes over at the 21, leading 20-13, with 6:13 to go in the game.
Adrian Martinez rushes for 5 yards, hands to Rahmir Johnson for 1, then keeps up the middle for a 1-yard QB keeper.
Daniel Cerni's punt is returned by Jayden Reed, who makes a few defenders miss and takes it 63 yards to the house for a Michigan State touchdown that'll tie the game with 3:47 left in the game.
Folks, buckle your seatbelts. We've got a heck of a finish on the way.
Michigan State 20, Nebraska 20 (3:47 4th)
Michigan State continues to struggle on offense, gives ball back in fourth
Michigan State's offense takes the field at the 25. The Spartans have just run nine plays this entire half.
Payton Thorne throws incomplete on first down, incomplete on second down, and is sacked for a loss of 7 on third down. This second half has been a nightmare for Michigan State.
Thankfully, for them, they've got Bryce Baringer. He punts it from the Spartan goal line to Nebraska's 21.
Nebraska 20, Michigan State 13 (6:13 4th)
Nebraska takes 20-13 lead in fourth quarter
Nebraska takes over at the 20 in a 13-13 game with 12:34 to go.
Adrian Martinez throws complete to Brody Belt on first down for a gain of 15.
He then hits Mikai Gbayor for a pickup of 12 to the Nebraska 47, where the Huskers will have first-and-10.
Rahmir Johnson rushes for 4, then 4 again, then is stuffed for a loss of 1 by Jacob Slade. Caleb Tannor rushes for 6 yards to move the chains and bring up first-and-10 at the Michigan State 30.
Martinez comes up firing on the next play, hitting Sevion Morrison for a gain of 14. The Huskers are rolling.
Morrison rushes for 8, then 5, and it'l be first-and-goal at the 3.
Martinez keeps and rushes it in from 3 yards out to give Nebraska the lead.
Nebraska 20, Michigan State 13 (7:29 4th)
Michigan State punts after interception
Nebraska takes over at the 31 in a 13-13 game with 57 seconds left in the third quarter.
Rahmir Johnson rushes up the middle for a gain of 2 and Adrian Martinez picks up the first down with a 14-yard throw to Austin Allen.
Martinez misses a receiver down the sideline to close the third quarter.
END 3RD: Michigan State 13, Nebraska 13
Johnson opens the quarter with a 5-yard run, but Martinez throws an interception to Jeff Pietrowski on third down, and it'll be Michigan State's ball at the Nebraska 45.
Michigan State 13, Nebraska 13 (14:17 4th)
Michigan State's first play of the drive is a 5-yard quarterback keeper; the second play is a disaster that loses 6 yards. The third is an incomplete pass that's initially ruled complete, but is overturned after review. It's fourth-and-11.
Bryce Baringer's punt goes for a touchback.
Michigan State 13, Nebraska 13 (12:34 4th)
Michigan State's offense continues to sputter in second half
Michigan State takes over at its own 9 in a 13-13 game with 2:14 left in the third quarter.
Jayden Reed rushes for 2 on first down, Tre Mosley hauls in a 3-yard reception on second down.
Payton Thorne's third-down pass to Simeon Barrow is broken up, and Michigan State's offense is a mess at the moment.
Michigan State 13, Nebraska 13 (0:57 3rd)
Nebraska punts from MSU territory with chance to take first lead of game
Nebraska takes over at its own 12 with a chance to take its first lead of the game.
Rahmir Johnson rushes for 3 on first down. Adrian Martinez fires a strike to Levin Falck on second down, a gain of 22 that'll put the Huskers at their own 37.
Martinez then completes a pass that loses a yard and misses his second-down pass up the middle. Samori Toure gets open on third down and hauls in an 11-yard reception to bring up first-and-10 at the Nebraska 47.
Johnson pushes forward for 3 yards, then Martinez hits Austin Allen for a pickup of 4. Martinez picks up the first down with his feet, reaching the Michigan State 39 for a gain of 7.
Johnson is stuffed for no gain, Martinez is sacked for a loss of 3, and Travis Vokolek can't haul in the third-down throw. Michigan State will get it back in a 13-13 game.
Daniel Cerni's punt goes out of bounds at the 9.
Michigan State 13, Nebraska 13 (2:14 3rd)
Michigan State goes three-and-out in first drive of half
Michigan State will take over at the 25 after the Nebraska field goal.
Kenneth Walker gets it three straight times, and he only gets 8. Michigan State goes three-and-out.
Michigan State 13, Nebraska 13 (7:19 3rd)
Nebraska ties game with field goal to open second half
Nebraska will get the first drive of the second half, taking over at the 30.
Adrian Martinez misfires on first down, runs for 4 on second down, then completes a 10-yard pass to Samori Toure on third down to move the chains, first-and-10 at the 44 of Nebraska.
Martinez can't connect with his receiver on first down, but completes a 9-yard pass on second down and scrambles for a 7-yard pickup that'll move the chains on third down.
It's first-and-10 at the Michigan State 40: Rahmir Johnson is stuffed for a gain of 1 on first down, followed by a 6-yard completion on second down. Johnson moves the chains yet again with a 4-yard run.
Martinez hands off for 2 yards then throws incomplete on second down, as Sevion Morrison drops the third-down pass out of the backfield.
Connor Culp puts home a 28-yard field goal to tie the game.
Michigan State 13, Nebraska 13 (9:10 3rd)
First half leaders
► MSU - Payton Thorne: 12/15, 171 yds., TD, INT
► NU - Adrian Martinez: 7/10, 73 yds.
► MSU - Kenneth Walker III: 12 atts., 37 yds.
► NU - Adrian Martinez: 9 atts., 49 yds., TD
► MSU - Tre Mosley: 5 recs., 67 yds.
► NU - Zavier Betts: 5 recs., 62 yds.
Nebraska gives Michigan State chance at field goal before halftime
Nebraska gets it with 1:03 left in the half, starting at its own 25.
Adrian Martinez steps up in the pocket and fires a dart to Zavier Betts on first down for a gain of 18, then goes right back to him for a gain of 5. Martinez is then sacked for a loss of 5 by Jacob Slade, bringing up third-and-10.
Timeout #2 Nebraska (0:28 2nd)
The timeout doesn't do Nebraska any favors, just delays a sack. He loses 4 on this one by Simeon Barrow and Jacub Panasiuk.
Timeout #1 Michigan State (0:22 2nd)
William Przystup shanks the punt, and it goes just 7 yards. Scott Frost is beside himself.
Michigan State has it at the 46 of Nebraska. Thorne completes a 5-yard pass to Tre Mosley.
Timeout #2 Michigan State (0:10 2nd)
After Nebraska goes offsides, Thorne tucks and runs for a gain of 10. He's taken down hard, and they'll go to the monitor to check for targeting.
Targeting is not called, and Michigan State will take the field for a 44-yard field goal try with 3 seconds left in the half.
Timeout #3 Michigan State (0:04 2nd)
Timeout #3 Nebraska (0:03 2nd)
And it's blocked. The hold was delayed, messing up Coghlin's timing, and Nebraska is able to keep off the additional points.
END 2ND: Michigan State 13, Nebraska 10
Michigan State takes 13-10 lead before halftime
Michigan State will try to regain the lead before halftime, taking over at the 30.
Payton Thorne hits Connor Heyward for a 5-yard pickup, then hands to Jordon Simmons for a gain of 10 to the Michigan State 45.
Thorne throws to Tre Mosley, this time a gain of 9, then hands to Simmons a gain, this time a gain of 2. It's first-and-10 at the Nebraska 44.
Heyward makes a tough catch out of the backfield, straight-up runs over a would-be tackler and pounds his way to the Nebraska 10, a gain of 34.
Simmons hauls in a 6-yard pass on the next play, but before the next snap, Kevin Jarvis is flagged for a false start. Thorne's second-and-9 throw is broken up at the line of scrimmage. Nebraska brings the heat on third down and forces an incompletion.
Matt Coghlin puts home a 27-yard field goal.
Michigan State 13, Nebraska 10 (4:14 2nd)
Martinez touchdown run ties game at 10
Nebraska has it at the 25 to start the drive after the Michigan State field goal.
Adrian Martinez takes off on the first play and then pitches to Levi Falck, a gain of 13 to the Nebraska 38.
Rahmir Johnson loses a yard, but Martinez finds his man for a 17-yard completion on the next play, moving Nebraska into Spartan territory at the 39.
Johnson picks up 5 on first down, Martinez's second-down throw goes incomplete, and the Nebraska quarterback runs for only 4 on third down to bring up fourth-and-1: The option gives Nebraska a new set of downs again, as Martinez pitches to Johnson for a gain of 18 to the Michigan State 12.
Martinez keeps on first down and stretches out while diving toward the end zone for a Nebraska touchdown to tie this one up.
Michigan State 10, Nebraska 10 (4:20 2nd)
Michigan State matches Nebraska field goal, leads 10-7
Michigan State will have it at the 43 to start the drive after a great return.
Michigan State gets things moving quickly, as Payton Thorne completes a 35-yard pass to Tre Mosley for a new set of downs at the Nebraska 22.
Kenneth Walker rushes for 11, then 4, then 2, and Thorne is sacked for a loss of 3 on third-and-4.
Matt Coghlin kicks a 26-yard field goal to put the Spartans back up 7.
Michigan State 10, Nebraska 3 (8:20 2nd)
Nebraska gets on board with field goal, cuts deficit to 7-3
Nebraska will start at the 25, trailing 7-0, with 14:08 to go in the second quarter.
Adrian Martinez opens the drive with a 15-yard completion, then hands to Rahmir Johnson for a 2-yard gain to the 42. A false start makes it second-and-13.
Martinez keeps on the next play and runs all the way to Michigan State's 18-yard-line for a gain of 45. A personal foul on the Spartans at the end of the run puts them half the distance to the goal, first-and-goal at the 9.
Martinez throws complete for a yard on first down, then Nebraska takes a false start. A 3-yard run up the middle brings up third-and-goal at the 10. Martinez's throw to the end zone is nearly intercepted, but ultimately falls incomplete.
Connor Culp cuts the deficit with a field goal.
Michigan State 7, Nebraska 3 (11:22 2nd)
Michigan State breaks scoreless tie with flealicker to Reed
Michigan State will have it first-and-10 at its own 45 with a fresh set of downs to open the second quarter.
Kenneth Walker rushes for 8 yards to open the drive and Payton Thorne picks up the first down with a 12-yard completion to Tre Mosley.
And Thorne isn't done: He goes over the top to Jayden Reed on a flea-flicker that leaves the Nebraska secondary toast and gives Michigan State the lead.
Michigan State 7, Nebraska 0 (14:08 2nd)
Nebraska, Michigan State punt to end of scoreless first quarter
Nebraska is pinned inside the 10, taking over at the 6 after Bryce Baringer's punt. 1:41 left in the half.
Nebraska moves the chains with a 10-yard completion and then hands to Markese Stepp for a 2-yard run on the ensuing first down. Martinez's second-down pass is disrupted and forced incomplete. Quavaris Crouch sacks Martinez on third down, a loss of 4.
William Przystup's punt is fielded by a fair catch at the Michigan State 45 to end the quarter.
END 1ST: Michigan State 0, Nebraska 0
Michigan State goes three-and-out, Baringer flips field
Michigan State takes over at its own 20 with 3:33 left in a scoreless first quarter.
Jordon Simmons rushes up the middle for a gain of 1 on first down, as Payton Thorne completes a 6-yard pass to Tre Mosley on second down. Thorne throws complete to Jayden Reed on third down, but it's for no gain.
Bryce Baringer's punt is a gorgeous one, traveling 67 yards before being downed at the 6.
Michigan State 0, Nebraska 0 (1:41 1st)
Penalties hurt Nebraska, end drive early
Nebraska takes over at the 30 after forcing the turnover on downs.
Logan Smothers — in at quarterback for Nebraska — rushes for 4 yards on first down, then completes a 4-yard pass on second down. Smothers keeps for a gain of 7 on third down to move the chains.
Rahmir Johnson rushes for 15 yards up the middle on the next play, giving Nebraska first-and-10 at the Michigan State 40.
Two false starts back it up to first-and-20 from midfield: Smothers rushes for no gain, then misses his receiver on second down. Johnson rushes for 6 yards to make up some ground before the punt.
Daniel Cerni's punt goes for a touchback.
Michigan State 0, Nebraska 0 (3:33 1st)
Michigan State turns ball over on downs in Nebraska territory
Michigan State takes over at its own 44.
Kenneth Walker rushes up the middle for a gain of 2, then loses 3. Payton Thorne throws complete to Jayden Reed, a gain of 7.
Walker loses 2 on the next play, then gains 5. Thorne is sacked on third down, but he's thrown to the turf and that'll draw unncessary roughness, extending the drive.
Thorne scrambles for a gain of 4 and a 1-yard run from Walker makes it third-and-1. The Spartans try and option play on third down, but the pitch to Walker won't get enough — and Michigan State will go for it on fourth-and-1.
Thorne's fake handoff is sniffed out by the Nebraska defense, and he's dropped for a loss of 5.
Michigan State 0, Nebraska 0 (7:08 1st)
Michigan State gets stop to open game, Martinez hurt
Nebraska takes over at the 18.
Adrian Martinez is sacked for a loss of 5, and then after a run for no gain, Martinez gains 5 but is injured on the play.
Michigan State 0, Nebraska 0 (12:05 1st)
MSU, Payton Thorne open game with interception
Michigan State takes over at the 25 to start the game.
Kenneth Walker loses 3 yards on first down, but Payton Thorne gets it back and then some with a 17-yard completion to the Michigan State 39, caught by Jayden Reed.
Walker runs for 2 and Thorne throws again, but this time it's a fly ball with nobody in the outfield except Nebraska's Marquel Dismuke. It's intercepted.
Michigan State 0, Rutgers 0 (13:26 1st)
Michigan State has spent most of its season so far on the road, winning two of its three games away from East Lansing to open the season.
It finally gets to play a big game in the friendly confines of Spartan Stadium on Saturday night, taking on Nebraska (2-2, 0-1). Kickoff is at 7.
Nebraska at No. 20 Michigan State
► Kickoff: 7 p.m. Saturday, Spartan Stadium, East Lansing
► TV/radio: FS1/760
► Records: Nebraska 2-2, 0-1 Big Ten; No. 20 Michigan State 3-0, 1-0 Big Ten
► Series: Nebraska leads, 9-2
► Outlook: Nebraska has won the last two meetings, including a 9-6 victory in 2018 in Lincoln, Nebraska.
► Line: Michigan State by 5