You like offense? This game’s for you. Oh, you like defense? Yeah, it’s got a little of that too.
In a game that, unlike others, has thus far lived up to its pre-kickoff hype, No. 5 Michigan State used a late defensive stand and a pair of Connor Cook touchdown passes to take a 14-7 lead on seventh-ranked Oregon into the halftime locker room. MSU entered the game as anywhere from a three- to a four-point favorite, and both teams showed exactly why.
The Ducks’ opening possession was very Sparty-like, marching 75 yards in a methodical 13 plays to take a 7-0 lead. The ensuing possession was very Duck-like for Sparty as MSU traversed its 75 yards in a mere three plays to knot the score at seven-all. That would prove to be the end of the scoring until early in the second quarter when Cook hit Aaron Burbridge from 17 yards out for a 14-7 lead.
The Ducks had a chance to tie the game in the middle of the second quarter, but Royce Freeman was stopped for no gain on back-to-back runs from the one-yard line to give the ball back to the Spartans. And, no, I have no idea why the Ducks didn’t spread the Spartans out there.
Vernon Adams threw a pair of picks, one that set up the Spartans’ second touchdown. Cook’s lone interception late in the second thwarted a drive that could’ve led to at least a field goal attempt.
The two teams were fairly well-matched statistically, with the Ducks owning a slight 199-183 in total yards. Adams threw for 173 yards, while MSU’s Madre Landon led all rushers with 78 yards on just eight carries.