Live blog: MSU drops fifth straight with loss to Terps
The MSU offense picked up one first down but couldn't get anything going after that, turning the ball over on downs with just over two minutes remaining and sealing their fate tonight at Maryland.
The Terps have dropped the Spartans to 2-5 on the season with a 28-17 win under the lights.
Going forward, MSU heads into a showdown with Michigan having lost five straight.
In his first start under center, Brian Lewerke made a few plays with his feet, but he just wasn't consistent enough through the air to lead his team to victory. The freshman signal caller was 11-for-24 for 156 yards and an interception.
LJ Scott ran the ball 20 times for 128 yards and a score, but it seemed like the Spartans went away from him in the second half.
Maryland adds to lead
After MSU punted the ball back to Maryland, the Terps took advantage of a free play when the Spartans jumped offsides, as Perry Hills hit Levern Jacobs for a 34-yard gain into MSU territory. After picking up a fourth-and-short, Hills against for Jacobs, this time in the end zone for a nine-yard touchdown.
Maryland leads, 28-17, with 3:23 left to play.
Maryland takes back the lead
Ty Johnson reeled off consecutive runs of 44 and 18 yards to set up the Terps inside the Spartans 5-yard line, where Kenneth Goins plunged in for a 2-yard touchdown run to put Maryland back out in front, 21-17, with 13:49 left to play.
MSU takes first lead of the night
Brian Lewerke ran twice for 25 yards to help get the Spartans into Maryland territory, but he wasn't able to hit an open Donnie Corley on third down and MSU had to settle for a 34-yard Michael Geiger field goal, giving it its first lead of the night at 17-14 with 1:35 to play in the third quarter.
Lewerke has done a real nice job running the ball tonight. He's rushed six times for 61 yards. Through the air, he's 8-for-16 for 116 yards and a pick.
Terps flip the field
Maryland reeled off a couple of big plays after picking up a third down from the shadow of its own end zone, but after getting into Spartans territory, the Terps turned the ball over on downs after Khari Willis made a nice play to break up a pass on fourth down.
The big news here is that Maryland was able to flip the field position while going into the wind. The Spartans will be going into the wind in the fourth quarter, so it would be wise of them to find the end zone at least once before the end of the third.
Spartans fumbles away chance to take the lead
It looked like MSU was going to get off to a good start on both sides of the ball to start the second half. But with the way this season has gone, we should have known better.
The Spartans got the ball near midfield and Brian Lewerke reeled off an 18-yard gain to set MSU up inside the Maryland 20. On third down, Lewerke found Monty Madaris inside the 5, but Madaris fumbled the ball while fighting for extra yardage. Maryland recovered and will take over deep in its own territory.
Terps meet Mr. McDowell
The Spartans defense got off the field by forcing Maryland to go three-and-out, ending the half's opening drive with a sack from Malik McDowell, the first sack of the night for MSU.
MSU makes questionable fake field goal call
Maryland decided not to sit on the ball despite going into the wind and having less than 40 seconds on the clock.
Well, that almost backfired on head coach D.J. Durkin.
Lorenzo Harrison fumbled the ball away and MSU took over at midfield. It was able to get down inside the Maryland 30 with one second on the clock and lined up for a field goal. In an interesting move, however, Mark Dantonio tried to fake the field goal by running with Michael Geiger, who went nowhere.
At the half, it's 14-14.
MSU piled up 159 yards on the ground in the first half, compared to 106 for the Terps.
Lewerke was 7-for-12 for 106 yards and an interception in his first start for the Spartans.
MSU gets in the end zone just before the half
Gerald Holmes carried the ball eight times for 50 yards, punctuating his impressive drive with a one-yard touchdown run to tie things up in Maryland, 14-14, just before the half.
Brian Lewerke hooked up with RJ Shelton for a 16-yard gain to get the Spartans down to the Maryland 25 to set up five consecutive carries for Holmes.
Maryland strikes back
Perry Hills hit D.J. Moore to get Maryland out near midfield and three plays later he found Moore again for a 41-yard score to give Maryland a 14-7 lead with 5:41 to play until halftime.
It took the Terps just six plays to go 90 yards on the Spartans defense.
Scott takes it to house
After the Spartans came out of the television timeout and got a delay of game, it appeared that things just weren’t going to go there way on another possession.
Tyler Lewerke had other plans, finding Jamal Lyles for 24 yards and R.J. Shelton for 15 yards before LJ Scott reeled off a 48-yard touchdown run.
With 9:41 to play in the first half, Maryland’s lead has been cut to 8-7.
Scott has carried the ball 11 times for 89 yards and a score.
MSU forced to punt in Terps territory
The Spartans again got into Maryland territory thanks to a big kickoff return from R.J. Shelton to the Terps 45, but once again, they came up empty.
MSU worked the ball down to the 28 and appeared to pick up a first down on a fourth-and-three, but it came back thanks to offensive pass interference.
Going into a strong wind, the Spartans were forced to go for it on fourth and short instead of trying a field goal. After the penalty, Mark Dantonio decided it best to punt.
Maryland takes early lead following Bullough ejection
Riley Bullough was called for targeting, his third personal foul in just over 10 minutes of game time, and he was ejected from the game.
Maryland was able to take advantage.
Lorenzo Harrison capped a nine-play, 84-yard drive with an eight-yard touchdown run. The Terps then used a bit of trickeration on the extra point to run it in for two and go up 8-0 with 2:51 to play in the first quarter.
Lewerke picked off
The Spartans were able to get back to midfield thanks to the hard work of LJ Scott on the ground, but Brian Lewerke was intercepted on a deep ball attempt to freshman receiver Donnie Corley.
MSU really has things going on the ground. Scott has carried the ball nine times for 38 yards. The passing game continues to be a mess, however.
Spartans able to get off the field
Senior quarterback Perry Hills got the call to start for a reeling Maryland squad. He led his team to two first downs before the MSU defense stiffened and forced a punt.
The Terps just missed on a double pass early in the possession, as D.J. Moore overthrew a wide open man down the field for what should have been a Maryland touchdown in the early going.
Strong start falls flat
LJ Scott and Brian Lewerke led the MSU charge on the ground to get into MSU territory, but the Spartans were turned away at the Maryland 39 when Scott was taken down for a six yard loss on third-and-two.
MSU looks to get off the snide
The Spartans have lost four games in a row and will kickoff at Maryland tonight against an equally desperate Terps team that has lost its last two after getting off to a 4-0 start.
Mark Dantonio's team really needs its struggling offense to find some good vibes going heading into next week's showdown with Michigan in East Lansing.
The Spartans are dangerously close to not getting the six wins necessary to qualify for a bowl game in 2016. A win at Maryland tonight seems like a necessity to keep MSU's season from going completely off the rails.