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Great Scott: MSU runs over Minnesota, hangs on for 30-27 win

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Michigan State didn't let the thrill of beating Michigan last week deter the momentum.

Coach Mark Dantonio and his staff weren't even worried about a letdown at Minnesota. Confidence is high, and so is the ambition.

L.J. Scott returned from an injury to carry the ball 25 times for a career-high 194 yards and two touchdowns , helping the 21st-ranked Spartans hang on for a 30-27 victory over Minnesota on a soggy Saturday night after kickoff was delayed 34 minutes by lightning strikes.

''We've always found a way to get guys going,'' said Dantonio, who gave his players a ''10 out of 10'' for their approach. ''We've always found a way to get guys coming to every football game ready to play.''

Madre London pitched in 74 yards rushing and a score, Matt Coghlin made three field goals and the Spartans (5-1, 3-0 Big Ten) followed their win over the rival Wolverines with a solid performance fueled by their offensive line and the smooth running of Scott on toss sweep after toss sweep. Quarterback Brian Lewerke had been the leading rusher in four of the first five games, so the surge by the tailbacks was a welcomed development.

''You've got to give them credit,'' Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck said. ''That's what they do well.''

Demry Croft relieved a struggling Conor Rhoda at quarterback for the Gophers (3-3, 0-3) in the middle of the second quarter and connected with Tyler Johnson for three touchdown passes in the fourth. The late surge, however, wasn't enough to overcome the bruising, pulling and trapping Spartans blockers who wore down an injury-depleted Gophers defense.

''Give my credit to the o-line up front for making things happen,'' said Scott, whose only fault was a lost fumble in the fourth quarter. ''It definitely feels great to be back out there on the field with my brothers.''

Scott was only a spectator for the fun in the previous game, when the Spartans forced five turnovers to hold on through a thunderstorm for a 14-10 win at Michigan. That proved to be a beneficial experience, given the torrential rain that fell sideways in the swirling wind right before the game and during much of the first half.

The wet weather was a major factor early. Punter Jake Hartbarger dropped a high snap after a three-and-out by the Spartans on their first possession, and the Gophers jumped on the ball at the 3.

But just as they did later in the first quarter after an interception of Lewerke by Gophers safety Duke McGhee at the 34, the Spartans stiffened on defense and gave up only a field goal. The Gophers netted 1 yard on those two scoring drives.

The Spartans had 199 yards rushing, excluding the 28-yard loss Hartbarger took on the fumble, through three quarters. They held the ball for 13:28 in the third quarter, with just 1:32 of possession time for the Gophers.

''The offense really needs to work on not letting the defense bail us out a lot,'' Lewerke said. ''I think we put a little too much pressure on us by turning the ball over, but they've obviously done a great job of coming up big when we need them.''

The fourth quarter was a different story, when Croft scrambled around to keep the desperation drives going and create several highlights. Johnson finished with eight receptions for 106 yards, and Croft went 11 for 20 for 163 yards and one interception while gaining 31 yards on seven rushes.

''That was the team I couldn't wait to see. I couldn't wait,'' Fleck said. ''Running good routes. Creating good plays.''

THE TAKEAWAY

Michigan State: Having already established last week that their 3-9 record in 2016 was the aberration, not the 65 wins over the previous six years, the Spartans are aiming higher after a promising first half of the season. They'll be favored to win their next two games, before the litmus test arrives with back-to-back matchups with Penn State and Ohio State.

There's work to be done, as Lewerke will need to lead a more efficient and productive passing game, but confidence can go a long way. Lewerke finished 9 for 18 for 120 yards.

''We've got some guys doing big things,'' Dantonio said. ''We've just got to be able clean up some of the things that always come up and bite you.''

Minnesota: Croft's athleticism and creativity created a spark and some hope for the second half of the season, his three-game suspension for unspecified off-the-field issues now behind him. Fleck said he made the switch because of multiple mistakes by Rhoda, including a dropped snap and an inadvertent knee on the turf while trying to a snag a different snap. Croft had already been considered for some playing time during the week.

''With his legs, I thought we could be able to create more,'' Fleck said.

UP NEXT

Michigan State: The Spartans host Indiana, which took Michigan to overtime in a 27-20 loss on Saturday.

Minnesota: The Gophers host Illinois, which lost 35-24 to Rutgers on Saturday to fall to 2-10 in Big Ten play under coach Lovie Smith.

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Copyright 2017 by STATS. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 1:06
38-E.Carpenter extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
30
27
Touchdown 1:06
11-D.Croft complete to 6-T.Johnson. 6-T.Johnson runs 9 yards for a touchdown.
10
plays
73
yds
01:55
pos
30
26
Point After TD 5:20
38-E.Carpenter extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
30
20
Touchdown 5:20
11-D.Croft complete to 6-T.Johnson. 6-T.Johnson runs 17 yards for a touchdown.
9
plays
61
yds
04:47
pos
30
19
Point After TD 10:15
4-M.Coghlin extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
30
13
Touchdown 10:15
3-L.Scott runs 6 yards for a touchdown.
4
plays
45
yds
01:28
pos
29
13
Point After TD 11:55
38-E.Carpenter extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
23
13
Touchdown 11:55
11-D.Croft complete to 6-T.Johnson. 6-T.Johnson runs 28 yards for a touchdown.
2
plays
27
yds
00:50
pos
23
12
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 0:19
4-M.Coghlin 25 yards Field Goal is Good.
16
plays
78
yds
09:09
pos
23
6
Field Goal 10:50
4-M.Coghlin 35 yards Field Goal is Good.
8
plays
58
yds
04:10
pos
20
6
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 14:10
4-M.Coghlin extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
17
6
Touchdown 14:10
3-L.Scott runs 24 yards for a touchdown.
7
plays
67
yds
01:51
pos
16
6
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 2:40
38-E.Carpenter 47 yards Field Goal is Good.
3
plays
5
yds
01:10
pos
10
6
Point After TD 6:25
4-M.Coghlin extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
10
3
Touchdown 6:25
28-M.London runs 3 yards for a touchdown.
2
plays
8
yds
00:40
pos
9
3
Field Goal 7:28
4-M.Coghlin 42 yards Field Goal is Good.
8
plays
47
yds
03:06
pos
3
3
Field Goal 10:45
38-E.Carpenter 25 yards Field Goal is Good.
3
plays
-4
yds
00:59
pos
0
3
Team Stats
1st Downs 19 14
Rushing 12 4
Passing 6 10
Penalty 1 0
3rd Down Conv 4-12 5-13
4th Down Conv 1-2 1-1
Total Net Yards 365 278
Total Plays 68 59
Avg Gain 5.4 4.7
Net Yards Rushing 245 74
Rush Attempts 50 27
Avg Rush Yards 4.9 2.7
Net Yards Passing 120 204
Comp. - Att. 9-18 16-32
Yards Per Pass 6.7 6.4
Sacked - Yards Lost 0-0 2-12
Penalties - Yards 5-40 1-15
Touchdowns 3 3
Rushing TDs 3 0
Passing TDs 0 3
Other 0 0
Turnovers 3 2
Fumbles - Lost 2-2 1-1
Int. Thrown 1 1
Punts - Avg 2-36.0 5-43.2
Return Yards 140 121
Punts - Returns 1-6 0-0
Kickoffs - Returns 4-115 6-121
Int. - Returns 1-19 1-0
Kicking 6/7 5/5
Extra Points 3/3 3/3
Field Goals 3/4 2/2
Safeties 0 0
1234T
21 Michigan State 5-1 1076730
Minnesota 3-3 6002127
120 PASS YDS 204
245 RUSH YDS 74
365 TOTAL YDS 278
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
B. Lewerke 14 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
50% 120 0 1 94.9
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
60.1% 1177 9 3 131.0
B. Lewerke 9/18 120 0 1
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
L. Scott 3 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
25 194 2
SEASON ATT YDS TD
83 408 3
L. Scott 25 194 2 33
M. London 28 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
16 74 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
54 229 2
M. London 16 74 1 18
B. Lewerke 14 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
4 9 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
57 318 3
B. Lewerke 4 9 0 5
D. Stewart Jr. 25 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 0 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
15 114 0
D. Stewart Jr. 2 0 0 3
J. Hartbarger 25 P
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 -28 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 -28 0
J. Hartbarger 1 -28 0 -28
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
F. Davis III 18 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 35 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
24 300 4
F. Davis III 2 35 0 21
H. Rison 5 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 30 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
9 130 0
H. Rison 2 30 0 17
L. Scott 3 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 26 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
7 56 1
L. Scott 1 26 0 26
D. Stewart Jr. 25 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 25 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
21 237 1
D. Stewart Jr. 1 25 0 25
M. London 28 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 5 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 34 1
M. London 1 5 0 5
C. White 7 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
5 50 0
C. White 1 0 0 0
C. Lucas 40 FB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
C. Lucas 0 0 0 0
Ma. Sokol 81 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
11 121 1
Ma. Sokol 0 0 0 0
C. Heyward 11 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 -1 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 1 0
C. Heyward 1 -1 0 -1
Defense T-A SACK INT
C. Frey 23 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
C. Frey 1-0 1.0 0
K. Willekes 48 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
K. Willekes 1-0 1.0 0
K. Willis 27 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
K. Willis 0-0 0.0 1
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
M. Coghlin 4 K
IN-GAME FG XP
3/4 3/3
SEASON FG XP
5/7 17/17
M. Coghlin 3/4 42 3/3 12
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
J. Hartbarger 25 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
2 36.0 1
SEASON NO AVG IN20
33 41.5 1
J. Hartbarger 2 36.0 1 48
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
C. Heyward 11 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
3 38.3 55 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
3 38.3 55 0
C. Heyward 3 38.3 55 0
C. White 7 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 0.0 0 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 0.0 0 0
C. White 1 0.0 0 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
C. Heyward 11 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 6.0 6 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 6.0 6 0
C. Heyward 1 6.0 6 0
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
D. Croft 11 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
55% 163 3 1 163.0
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
56.3% 226 3 1 140.3
D. Croft 11/20 163 3 1
C. Rhoda 15 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
41.7% 53 0 0 78.8
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
54.1% 839 5 4 126.6
C. Rhoda 5/12 53 0 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
R. Smith 1 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
11 44 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
119 442 2
R. Smith 11 44 0 11
D. Croft 11 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
7 31 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
14 127 1
D. Croft 7 31 0 20
S. Brooks 23 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
6 7 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
71 322 5
S. Brooks 6 7 0 5
K. McCrary 22 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 2 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
27 115 3
K. McCrary 1 2 0 2
C. Rhoda 15 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 -10 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
17 18 0
C. Rhoda 2 -10 0 0
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
T. Johnson 6 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
8 106 3
SEASON REC YDS TD
25 472 6
T. Johnson 8 106 3 28
S. Brooks 23 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 49 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
5 59 0
S. Brooks 3 49 0 22
M. Williams 8 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 43 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 43 0
M. Williams 2 43 0 22
N. Wozniak 80 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 8 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 94 0
N. Wozniak 1 8 0 8
K. McCrary 22 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 5 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 5 0
K. McCrary 1 5 0 5
K. Kieft 42 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 5 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 5 0
K. Kieft 1 5 0 5
E. Carter 9 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 77 0
E. Carter 0 0 0 0
D. Hmielewski 24 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
D. Hmielewski 0 0 0 0
C. Geary 18 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
C. Geary 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
S. Richardson 96 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
S. Richardson 1-0 0.0 0
K. Martin 21 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 1 0.0
K. Martin 1-0 0.0 0
D. McGhee 8 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
D. McGhee 0-0 0.0 1
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
E. Carpenter 38 K
IN-GAME FG XP
2/2 3/3
SEASON FG XP
9/12 20/20
E. Carpenter 2/2 47 3/3 9
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
R. Santoso 18 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
5 43.2 1
SEASON NO AVG IN20
27 44.2 1
R. Santoso 5 43.2 1 68
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
S. Brooks 23 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
6 20.2 35 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
15 19.9 35 0
S. Brooks 6 20.2 35 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:12 MICHST 26 1:18 4 -23 Fumble
10:34 MICHST 29 3:06 8 47 FG
7:05 MINN 8 0:40 2 8 TD
3:55 MICHST 23 0:00 1 77 INT
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
2:26 MICHST 38 1:51 7 62 TD
10:34 MICHST 10 3:46 7 50 Punt
3:01 MICHST 36 1:53 6 16 Punt
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 MICHST 25 4:10 8 58 FG
9:28 MICHST 20 9:09 16 73 FG
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:26 MICHST 23 0:35 2 4 Fumble
11:43 MINN 45 1:28 4 45 TD
5:19 MINN 46 2:12 5 19 FG Miss
1:04 MINN 48 0:30 2 -4 Game
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:54 MINN 24 1:31 3 7 Punt
11:44 MICHST 3 0:59 3 -4 FG
7:17 MINN 15 0:08 2 -7 Fumble
6:25 MINN 25 2:22 5 22 Punt
3:50 MICHST 34 1:10 3 5 FG
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:09 MINN 2 3:24 7 48 Punt
6:38 MINN 31 3:22 6 5 INT
1:00 MINN 20 0:42 2 3 Halftime
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
10:38 MINN 27 0:59 3 5 Punt
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
0:08 MINN 32 0:00 4 16 Punt
12:45 MICHST 27 0:50 2 27 TD
10:07 MINN 39 4:47 9 61 TD
3:01 MINN 27 1:55 10 73 TD