Rutgers at Michigan State

Michigan State snaps skid with 49-0 rout of Rutgers

By NOAH TRISTER
AP Sports Writer
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) It had been nearly two months since Michigan State won a game, so coach Mark Dantonio and the Spartans were happy to celebrate this victory.

Even if this was merely a matchup to see who could climb out of last place.

Tyler O'Connor threw three touchdown passes in the first half, and Michigan State snapped its seven-game losing streak with a 49-0 rout of Rutgers on Saturday in what was a matchup of the last two teams in the Big Ten without a conference win.

''We sort of climbed out under a rock a little bit,'' Dantonio said. ''You'd have thought we won the championship in that locker room. It's been a long time.''

Now Rutgers (2-8, 0-7) is alone at the bottom of the league after the Spartans (3-7, 1-6) raced out to a 35-0 halftime lead. LJ Scott ran for 103 of his 122 yards in the first half, and Demetrious Cox returned an interception for a touchdown.

Rutgers never made it farther than the Michigan State 27-yard line - and on that drive in the second quarter, the Scarlet Knights ended up punting from the 30. The Spartans drove 92 yards the other way and took a 28-0 lead on a 4-yard touchdown pass from O'Connor to Josiah Price.

Price caught two touchdown passes, including a 2-yarder that opened the scoring in the first quarter. Cox made it 14-0 with a 30-yard interception return, and O'Connor added a 50-yard touchdown pass to Trishton Jackson later in the first.

''We got dominated from the start to the finish up front on both sides of the ball,'' Rutgers coach Chris Ash said.

THE TAKEAWAY

Rutgers: This was a matchup of two teams at the bottom of the Big Ten, but it didn't look like they were on the same level. This was an obvious setback for the Scarlet Knights, who had been more competitive lately in losses to Minnesota and Indiana.

Michigan State: There's nothing the Spartans can do now to make up for the horrendous losing streak that derailed their season, but this was about as emphatic as a victory can get. Michigan State outgained Rutgers 440-149 - and did it without injured defensive lineman Malik McDowell .

LOYAL

There were plenty of empty seats at kickoff, but the turnout ended up being fairly good considering the circumstances. Attendance was announced at 73,701, and both Dantonio and O'Connor made a point of expressing their appreciation afterward.

''The fans that supported us today - it was awesome to still see that many people pack Spartan Stadium,'' O'Connor said. ''We're playing for people like that.''

BOTH WAYS

Michigan State freshman Donnie Corley had two catches for 18 yards and also played some on defense. He made two tackles.

STRANGE PENALTY

Michigan State had a chance to substitute liberally late in the game, and that led to an unusual call in the second half. Running back Delton Williams and wide receiver Paul Andrie were in the game at the same time, but they both wear No. 22.

The Spartans were penalized 5 yards.

EXTRACURRICULARS

Ash said he was disappointed that his team lost focus at times. Quarterback Giovanni Rescigno elaborated.

''Some of the guys were jawing with their guys,'' Rescigno said. ''Coach talks to us all the time about, you've got to stay focused, stay focused on the task at hand and in what we're doing.''

UP NEXT

Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights return home to face Penn State next weekend, and they'll be heavy underdogs again.

Michigan State: The Spartans host No. 6 Ohio State. The Buckeyes will be out to avenge an upset loss to Michigan State last year that kept Ohio State out of the national title hunt.

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For more college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

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Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Scoreboard
Rutgers  (2-8)00000
Michigan State  (3-7) «211414049
Scoring Summary
MICHSTJosiah Price 2 yd pass from Tyler O'Connor (Michael Geiger kick)
MICHSTDemetrious Cox 30 yd interception return (Michael Geiger kick)
MICHSTTrishton Jackson 50 yd pass from Tyler O'Connor (Michael Geiger kick)
MICHSTJosiah Price 4 yd pass from Tyler O'Connor (Michael Geiger kick)
MICHSTLJ Scott 1 yd run (Michael Geiger kick)
MICHSTMadre London 2 yd run (Michael Geiger kick)
MICHSTMadre London 6 yd run (Michael Geiger kick)
 
Team Stats
 RUTMICHST
First Downs820
Third Down Efficiency3-127-14
Fourth Down Efficiency0-01-1
Plays-Net Yards54-14969-440
Rushes-Yds36-10950-277
Passing Yds40163
Kick Return Yds680
Punt Return Yds930
Passes6-18-212-19-0
Punts9-3435-199
Fumbles-Lost0-03-0
Penalties-Yds6-505-40
Time of Poss.24:2335:37
 
Individual Stats
RUSHING
RUT: Tylin Oden 7-40, Robert Martin 8-32, Justin Goodwin 12-30, Josh Hicks 7-3, Trey Sneed 1-3, Giovanni Rescigno 1-1
MICHST: LJ Scott 20-122, Gerald Holmes 9-52, Madre London 9-52, Tyler O'Connor 2-18, Nick Tompkins 3-16, Delton Williams 4-11, R.J. Shelton 1-3, Darrell Stewart Jr. 1-2, Damion Terry 1-1
PASSING
RUT: Giovanni Rescigno 6-16-40-2, Tylin Oden 0-2-0-0
MICHST: Tyler O'Connor 10-15-141-0, Damion Terry 1-3-17-0, Colar Kuhns 1-1-5-0
RECEIVING
RUT: Jawuan Harris 3-27, Robert Martin 1-7, John Tsimis 1-4, Matt Flanagan 1-2
MICHST: R.J. Shelton 3-32, Josiah Price 3-13, Trishton Jackson 2-67, Donnie Corley 2-18, Monty Madaris 1-28, Darrell Stewart Jr. 1-5
 
Standings
TeamStandingsConferenceOverall
Rutgers7th Big Ten East0-92-10
Michigan State6th Big Ten East1-83-9

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