Michigan State and Minnesota football meet on Saturday, October 14, 2017. Find the score and live updates below.
Michigan State is ranked No. 21 in the AP Poll. The Spartans are 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the Big Ten after beating Iowa and then-No. 7 Michigan, 14-10, in a road upset.
The Gophers are 3-2 overall but 0-2 in the Big Ten. Minnesota has lost to Maryland and Purdue to start the Big Ten season.
Michigan State-Minnesota football score, live updates
Final score: Michigan State 30, Minnesota 27.
Michigan State 30, Minnesota 27 (Q4, 1:06): A 9-yard pass from Demry Croft to Tyler Johnson cuts the lead to three, but Michigan State recovers the onside kick to end it.
Michigan State 30, Minnesota 20 (Q4, 5:20): Minnesota wouldn’t go away. The Gophers marched down the field for a touchdown, showing that this Michigan State defense isn’t in fact invincible.
Michigan State 30, Minnesota 13 (Q4, 10:15): What a response. Connor Heyward returned the kickoff into Minnesota territory and LJ Scott redeemed himself with a few tough runs and a touchdown. He finished the drive at 165 yards, his career high.
Michigan State 23, Minnesota 13 (Q4, 11:55): LJ Scott’s big day went south in a hurry when he had the ball punched out of his grasp. Minnesota took advantage of a short field and got on the board via a 28-yard touchdown grab from Tyler Johnson. Just what the doctor ordered for the home team.
Michigan State 23, Minnesota 6 (Q3, 0:15): Michigan State’s drive finished after 9:13 came off the clock, but the Spartans couldn’t get into the end zone. They had an opportunity when Minnesota forgot about Darrell Stewart out wide, but Cole Chewins jumped early. The Spartans had to settle for yet another field goal.
Michigan State 20, Minnesota 6 (Q3, 2:37): The Spartans did exactly what they needed to by salting away the clock with a long drive of primarily runs. They had struggled to find this kind of second-half success in their previous two games.
Michigan State 20, Minnesota 6 (Q3, 9:28): Michigan State has proven its defense is solid, but Minnesota gave the Spartans yet another weak offense to face. The Gophers could not get much going out of the break and had to punt once again.
Michigan State 20, Minnesota 6 (Q3, 10:45): LJ Scott started the third quarter by imposing his will on Minnesota. He passed 100 yards and then proceeded to pass Brian Lewerke as Michigan State’s leading rusher as well. Another drive stalled, though, and the Spartans had to settle for another field goal.
Michigan State 17, Minnesota 6 (Q2, 0:00): Michigan State ended the half with a few missed opportunities to score after entering Minnesota territory. An 11-point lead seemed fair, but the Spartans would have hoped to be up by a wider margin.
Michigan State had its first two turnovers of Big Ten play, but it also forced two turnovers from Minnesota. LJ Scott went into the locker room with 87 rushing yards on 12 carries. That marked the highest rushing total from a Michigan State player this season.
Michigan State 17, Minnesota 6 (Q2, 3:01): Maybe these teams should have just stopped passing at this point. Minnesota put in Demry Croft, who got off to a hot start but threw an awful ball that got picked off by Khari Willis. It may have been caught in the wind.
Michigan State 17, Minnesota 6 (Q2, 6:38): Michigan State ran the ball on third-and-7 then punted from Minnesota’s 42-yard line. The football gods must have wanted to punish the Spartans for that, as true freshman Dominique Long got flagged trying to catch the punt and getting in the return man’s way.
Michigan State 17, Minnesota 6 (Q2, 10:34): Michigan State started deep in its own territory after forcing a punt which Connor Heyward chose to field inside the 5-yard line.
Michigan State 17, Minnesota 6 (Q2, 14:10): Michigan State couldn’t get its passing game going, but no matter: LJ Scott had no trouble running right through the weak Minnesota defense. A 24-yard touchdown game him 77 yards on the game, well on the way to becoming the Spartans’ first 100-yard rusher of the year.
Michigan State 10, Minnesota 6 (Q1, 0:00): Michigan State looked clearly the better team after one quarter, but the Spartans could not built a significant lead. Thirteen of the 16 points scored by both teams came off of turnovers.
Michigan State 10, Minnesota 6 (Q1, 2:40): Minnesota put more points on the board after Brian Lewerke threw an interception. Duke McGhee made a good play, but Lewerke should have spotted him, and Matt Sokol should’ve done better to beat him to the ball.
Michigan State 10, Minnesota 3 (Q1, 6:25): Former walk-on Kenny Willekes continued his strong start to the season by hopping on a fumble, and Madre London put the Spartans ahead a few plays later. Who has the hot hand in Dantonio’s mind?
— Michigan St. on BTN (@MichiganStOnBTN) October 15, 2017
Michigan State 3, Minnesota 3 (Q1, 7:22): Michigan State got its running game going with the return of LJ Scott to the field. The junior broke off a pair of long runs, but eventually Michigan State’s drive stalled. Matt Coghlin nailed a field goal from 42 yards out.
Minnesota 3, Michigan State 0 (Q1, 11:54): No one could hold onto the ball in the early going. Michigan State punter Jake Hartbarger put the Spartans in a tough spot when he fumbled a snap, allowing Minnesota to take over at the 4-yard line. However, the Michigan State defense held and allowed just a field goal.
Michigan State 0, Minnesota 0 (Q1, 15:00): At 8:44 p.m. ET, the Spartans and Gophers finally kicked off.
Michigan State-Minnesota pregame updates
Michigan State will play in yet another rainy road atmosphere, this time at TCF Bank Stadium. The players took the field an hour and a half before kickoff.
— Spartan Football (@MSU_Football) October 14, 2017
According to Matt Charboneau of The Detroit News, true freshman Rocky Lombardi traveled for the game. He, Brian Lewerke and Messiah deWeaver were seen throwing before the game, but not backup Damion Terry.
In injury news, Chris Solari of the Detroit Free Press reported that right guard David Beedle would not play, but also that running back LJ Scott would be available after missing the Spartans’ game against Michigan with an undisclosed injury.
A lightning delay stopped the game before it started. Estimated kickoff time moved to 8:44 ET as long as no more lightning occurred.
Michigan State-Minnesota football preview, picks
Michigan State and Minnesota will meet for the 47th time in their history, with the Spartans holding a 29-17 edge in the overall series and a 12-11 advantage on the road.
Since coach Mark Dantonio’s arrival at Michigan State, the Spartans have played the Gophers only five times and have won the last four. Michigan State will face Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck for the third time in five years, having beaten him in 2013 and 2015 when he coached Western Michigan.
The series has been marked by lengthy winning streaks. From 1958-70, Minnesota won all seven meetings, though the two teams did not meet during either of Michigan State’s legendary 1965 and 1966 seasons. Michigan State beat the Gophers 17 straight times from 1977-97.
When Michigan State and Minnesota last met for a 14-3 Spartans win in 2013, no players on the current Michigan State roster participated. All Spartans who see the field against Minnesota will be doing so for the first time.
Minnesota last beat Michigan State in 2009, Dantonio’s third year at the helm and the first meeting between the two teams at TCF Bank Stadium. The 42-34 finish marked the third-highest combined scoring output in the history of the series. Michigan State’s Keshawn Martin produced 284 all-purpose yards, with 176 coming via kick returns.
Who will be a big performer on offense or special teams this time around? It remains to be seen, as Michigan State struggled in both phases against Michigan last weekend. Only its defense really excelled.
The Spartans would surely love to see a strong performance on the ground. They don’t yet have a 100-yard rusher on the year, and quarterback Brian Lewerke has a convincing lead over any of the running backs in yards on the ground this season.
The return of LJ Scott would be a welcome sign for Michigan State, which played without its junior running back against Michigan. Dantonio said that he was “nicked up” and that he could have played, but the Spartans didn’t want to risk further injury. If Scott doesn’t play, Michigan State will still have a pair of experienced tailbacks in Gerald Holmes and Madre London. The latter rushed for 59 yards and caught a 16-yard touchdown grab against Michigan.
So much, though, depends on the offensive line. The Spartans start a true freshman at right guard in Kevin Jarvis and a redshirt freshman at right tackle in Luke Campbell, with true freshman RT Jordan Reid coming off the bench. As these young linemen continue to settle in, the Spartans’ ground game should gradually improve.
On the other side of the ball, Michigan State’s pass rush has hit its stride. Its 13 sacks through five games have already surpassed the 2016 total and gotten back to the defense that made it so successful over the past decade. Against Michigan, the Spartans took down quarterback John O’Korn four times, with former walk-on Kenny Willekes doing so twice. And when pressured, O’Korn’s scrambling led to his many mistakes, including three interceptions.
Now Michigan State will face off against Minnesota, which has allowed only one sack through five games. QB Conor Rhoda has already been turnover-prone, and if Michigan State can collapse the pocket like it did last weekend, it will make his night game a nightmare.
And when pressure doesn’t lead to sacks, defensive backs reap the benefits. Forcing Rhoda to rush throws will allow David Dowell, Josiah Scott and Co. an opportunity to make game-changing plays on the ball.
Michigan State should win this game, but it could come down to discipline. The Spartans have been penalized 20 times for 146 yards in the last two games alone. Penalties kill drives, and Michigan State needs to put points on the board. The Spartans have won two straight games with fewer than 20 points scored, but they can’t continue to put that type of pressure on their defense.
Michigan State-Minnesota football TV channel, time, live stream
Michigan State and Minnesota are playing on the Big Ten Network.
Kickoff time: 8 p.m. ET
Date: Saturday, October 14, 2017
Location: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
TV channel: Big Ten Network. You can find the Big Ten Network on your TV here.
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