Sept. 25, 2010
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Kirk Cousins threw for 290 yards and two touchdowns, and No. 25 Michigan State had no trouble winning without coach Mark Dantonio on Saturday, 45-7 over Northern Colorado.
Dantonio had a mild heart attack shortly after last weekend's win over Notre Dame. He was released from the hospital Tuesday and even visited practice Friday, but offensive coordinator Don Treadwell took over his coaching duties for this game.
The Spartans (4-0) wore the letter D on their helmets and gave their recovering coach little to worry about against the Bears (2-2) of the Football Championship Subdivision.
Dantonio's return is still uncertain, but his program is entering Big Ten play with high hopes. Michigan State hosts Wisconsin next Saturday and plays at Michigan the following weekend. The Spartans haven't started 5-0 since 1999 under Nick Saban.
Cousins was nearly flawless, going 16 of 20 before coming out before his team's first possession of the fourth quarter. His touchdown passes to Brian Linthicum and Larry Caper helped Michigan State take a 35-0 halftime lead.
Linebacker Greg Jones made the first two interceptions of his career. The All-American's first interception gave the Spartans the ball on the Northern Colorado 5-yard line, and Edwin Baker ran it in on the next play to make it 7-0.
Northern Colorado's Dylan Orms had a miserable time trying to keep his team in the game. He finished 6 of 22 for 93 yards with three interceptions before coming out late in the third quarter.
Le'Veon Bell ran for 92 yards and three touchdowns for the Spartans. His 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter made it 28-0, and Cousins then found Caper over the middle for a 16-yard touchdown with 57 seconds left in the half. Caper did well to hold onto the ball while absorbing a hit in the end zone.
The Spartans beat Notre Dame 34-31 in overtime last weekend, scoring a touchdown on a fake field goal on the final play. They needed no tricks Saturday, and backup quarterback Andrew Maxwell played extensively. He entered the game briefly toward the end of the first quarter and played the entire fourth.
Northern Colorado spoiled the shutout when Seth Lobato rolled out to his left and found Chris Morris for a 32-yard touchdown early in the fourth to make it 42-7.
The Spartans rushed for 201 yards--they've surpassed 200 every game this season. Their biggest problem was probably penalties. They were called for 11 for 121 yards.