Sun Devils Strike Late, Stun Spartans 10-7
The Michigan State Spartans offense sputtered for the second time in three weeks at home, as they fell to the Arizona State Sun Devils, 10-7.
With the loss, MSU head coach Mark Dantonio will have to wait at least one more week before passing Duffy Daugherty as the all-time leader in wins at Michigan State. Dantonio is currently tied with Daugherty with 109 wins.
What seemed like an offensive breakthrough just one week ago, now appears to be nothing more than a mirage, as Michigan State managed only one offensive touchdown for the second time in three games, the lone score came on a 9-yard run by redshirt freshman tailback Elijah Collins.
The Spartans seemed to have put the game away with less than four minutes left, as senior receiver Darrell Stewart Jr. seemingly made a diving catch on a 3rd and 14 that would've given MSU a first down with less than five minutes left. The play was reviewed, and it was determined that the ball hit the ground as Stewart Jr. was falling. The Spartans punted the ball away, and ASU scored the eventual game winning touchdown with 50 seconds left.
Despite posting over 400 yards of total offense, The Spartans failed to finish several drives, settling for missed field goals and turnovers on downs in the first half, they trailed the Sun Devils 3-0 at halftime despite outgaining them by over one hundred yards.
Perhaps the biggest story of this game was the MSU kicking game. Kicker Matt Coghlin missed all three field goals he attempted, including one from 42 yards as time expired. Coghlin seemingly tied the game moments earlier, but a booth review determined that MSU had 12 players on the field during the kick. Coghlin then missed the ensuing 47 yard kick that would have tied the game.
Arizona State true freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels, making his first career road start, drove the Sun Devils' offense down the field with under four minutes left, converting a 4th-and-13 from the MSU 28 yard-line on a broken play to keep the game winning drive alive. Daniels finished 15 for 26 with 140 yards through the air, and 48 yards on the ground.
MSU quarterback Brian Lewerke finished 24 for 38, with 291 passing yards. He finished with no touchdowns and no interceptions, but he lost a fumble in Arizona State territory on MSU's second offensive possession. The fumble was the only turnover for either side in the ballgame.
With the loss, the Spartans fall to 2-1 on the season, and will travel to Evanston next week to take on Northwestern in their conference opener. The Sun Devils improve to 3-0 on the year and will host Colorado on Saturday, Sept. 21.