Oct. 21, 2006
Michigan State captured the greatest comeback in NCAA Division I-A history with its 41-38 victory over Northwestern on Saturday. Down 35 points to the Wildcats (38-3) at the 9:54 mark in the third quarter, MSU scored 38 unanswered points for the win. The previous best comebacks in NCAA Division I-A history are listed below (from the 2006 NCAA records book):
MOST POINTS OVERCOME TO WIN A GAME - (Between Division I-A Teams)
31--Maryland (42) vs. Miami (Fla.) (40), Nov. 10, 1984 (trailed 31-0 with 12:35 remaining in 3rd quarter); Ohio St. (41) vs. Minnesota (37), Oct. 28, 1989 (trailed 31-0 with 4:29 remaining in 2nd quarter)
30--California (42) vs. Oregon (41), Oct. 2, 1993 (trailed 30-0 in 2nd quarter)
Michigan State improved to 32-15 all-time against Northwestern, including a 15-10 record in games played in Evanston.
Freshman cornerback Ashton Henderson's 33-yard blocked punt return for touchdown was the eighth special teams touchdown of John L. Smith's career as Spartan head coach, including the third blocked punt.
Junior running back Jehuu Caulcrick's 18-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter was the first receiving score of his career.
Junior linebacker Kaleb Thornhill's interception in the end zone late in the third quarter was the first interception of his career.
Senior quarterback Drew Stanton's 18-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter was his first touchdown pass since the Notre Dame game, ending a three-game drought. Stanton also recorded the 18th 200-yard passing game of his career, adding to his school record. Stanton finished the game 27-for-37 passing for 294 yards and two touchdowns. The 294 yards are the most this season for Stanton and mark the eighth-best effort of his career. The two touchdown passes give Stanton 40 for his career, which is fifth best in MSU history.
Junior cornerback Travis Key's fourth-quarter interception was the first of his career.
Trailing 38-3, Michigan State closed the game by scoring 38 unanswered points. In MSU's other road win of the season, a 38-23 win at Pittsburgh, the Spartans scored 38-straight points after falling behind 10-0.
Senior wide receiver Kerry Reed recorded his second 100-yard receiving game of the season. He caught a career-best nine catches against Northwestern for 101 yards. He collected 103 yards receiving at Pittsburgh.
Freshman wide receiver T.J. Williams grabbed a season-best five catches for 57 yards. He caught a 9-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 38.
Senior wide receiver Jerramy Scott caught a season-high six passes for 73 yards. Scott moved up to sixth on the MSU career receptions list. He now has 132 career catches, just one behind Chris Baker for fifth place, and 14 behind all-time Spartan leader Andre Rison. He passed Matt Trannon (129) and Plaxico Burress (131) on Saturday.
Freshman kicker Brett Swenson kicked the game-winning field goal with 13 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Swenson also connected on a 32-yard field goal in the first quarter. Swenson is now 9-for-11 in field goals this season.