No. 10 Michigan State has done everything short of dropping on its knees and begging No. 19 Nebraska to give them a game in a mistake-filled first half. The Spartans turned the ball over at their 30, their own 41, and their own 24, and the Huskers turned those gifts into exactly zero points. Nebraska hasn’t dented the scoreboard at all, as the Spartans lead 17-0 at the half.
The first turnover came on a Connor Cook pass intercepted by all-everything defensive end Randy Gregory on the second play of the game. Taking over at the 30, Nebraska lost a yard on its three plays, punted from the Michigan State 31 and netted a grand total of 11 yards after the punt sailed into the end zone. That is dangerous levels of B1G, Mr. Pelini.
The next two turnovers came in near succession, as Jeremy Langford coughed the pigskin up at the Michigan State 41, Nebraska moved the ball to the 30, but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty forced them to punt from the Spartans’ 45, which Michigan State return man Macgarrett Kings, Jr., then gave right back to Nebraska at the 24.
Nebraska responded with its third turnover by giving away a turnover of its own, as Ameer Abdullah lost the ball at the Michigan State seven and Shilique Calhoun rushed it 38 yards to the 45.
Langford has beaten Abdullah in a battle of talented running backs this far; Abdullah has totaled only 21 yards on 13 rushes with one catch for 10 yards, while Langford has accumulated
Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong, Jr., hasn’t played well enough to beat Michigan State on the road either, completing 9-of-16 passes for 72 yards and an interception. Cook has connected on only seven of his 19 passes, but for 172 yards and 55-yard touchdown to go with the interception.
Now down three scores with 30 minutes to play, Nebraska will have to fight through Michigan State’s boa constrictor defense to come away with a win. Good luck with that.
Nebraska will receive the ball to start the second half.