The impact player during the game was a no brainer. Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez put up 205 rushing yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns, and passed 16/36 for 160 yards with another two touchdowns. His best show of talent came with a 71 yard touchdown run in the second quarter. For most of the game, the Spartan defense did their best to keep Martinez from getting into a real groove, snatching three interceptions, two from Spartan cornerback Darqueze Dennard, and two sacks as well. They came with the blitz often but in the end it wasn’t enough.
Michigan State’s offense had its highs and lows throughout the game. Le’Veon Bell was still effective on the ground posting 188 yards on 36 carries with two touchdowns. Andrew Maxwell passed 9/27 with 123 yards and a TD pass.
The highlight of the game came from Nebraska’s final drive with 1:20 remaining in the game and down 24-21. It was 3rd and 10 on Michigan State’s 20 yard line; Dennard was called for defensive pass interference on Cornhusker Kenny Bell, thus giving Nebraska 1st and goal on the 5. Two plays later Martinez throws a fade to Jamal Turner for a touchdown with six seconds to spare. The Spartans couldn’t come back on the squib kickoff return and have fallen to a 5-5 record.
Nebraska improves to a 7-2 record, 4-1 in the Big Ten. They stay tied along with University of Michigan at the top of the Legends Division. Michigan State still has two games left against Northwestern on November 17th and a road trip to Minnesota on the 24th. A return to the Big Ten championship game is unlikely now but the Spartans can still become bowl eligible with at least one more win.
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