Post-Game Notes: Northwestern
Kirk Cousins completes a career-high 29 passes in victory over Wildcats.
Oct. 23, 2010
Down 17-0, Michigan State rallied to defeat Northwestern for the third straight year, 35-27...the 17-point comeback equals the largest comeback of the Dantonio era...MSU was also down 17 points, 24-7, in the third quarter of the 2007 Penn State game at Spartan Stadium before rallying for a 35-31 victory...it's the largest comeback on the road for MSU since 2006, when the Spartans rallied from an NCAA Division I-A record 35 points down (38-3) to defeat Northwestern, 41-38.
MSU is 8-0 for only the fifth time in school history (1951, 1952, 1965, 1966, 2010)...MSU also went an undefeated 7-0 during the 1913 season...MSU finished the 1951 and 1952 seasons a perfect 9-0...MSU went 10-1 in 1965, losing in the Rose Bowl to UCLA, and 9-0-1 in 1966, tying Notre Dame in the last game of the season.
MSU is off to its first 4-0 start in the Big Ten since 2003, when it also started 4-0.
Kirk Cousins recorded his third career 300-yard passing game, tossing for a season-high 331 yards...his career high is 353 yards against Western Michigan last season...the 331 passing yards are the second-most ever by a Spartan QB against Northwestern (Dave Yarema, 352 passing yards in 1986)...Cousins also recorded career highs in pass attempts (43) and pass completions (29) and tied his career high with three TDs...he hit Mark Dell twice in the end zone and B.J. Cunningham for the game-winning with 2:00 left in the game...Cousins has now thrown for a TD pass in 15 consecutive games (school record: 16 by Drew Stanton)...he has also thrown for more than 200 yards in his last six games...Cousins was 7-for-8 for 98 yards on MSU's game-winning TD drive, which covered 88 yards on 11 plays in 5:18.
Aaron Bates completed a 23-yard pass to Bennie Fowler on a fake punt in the fourth quarter as MSU faced a fourth-and-11 from its 36-yard line...Bates is now 3-for-3 passing in his career...the next play, Kirk Cousins hit Mark Dell on a 13-yard TD reception to cut the Northwestern lead to 24-21.
Bennie Fowler rushed for his first career touchdown, a 22-yard run at the 11:56 mark in the third quarter, to cut the Northwestern lead to 17-14...Fowler also had two receptions for 29 yards, including a 23-yard catch from Bates on the fake punt in the fourth quarter.
Mark Dell tied his career high with nine catches for 107 yards...it marks his third career 100-yard receiving game...Dell's two TD catches (7 and 13 yards) mark a career high.
B.J. Cunningham recorded career highs in receptions (eight) and receiving yards (113)...his acrobatic catch in the end zone at the 2:00 mark put MSU ahead, 28-27...Cunningham now has 122 career receptions, moving him into 10th place all-time at MSU.
MSU had two 100-yard receivers (Cunningham 8-113; Dell 9-107) in the same game for the first time since the 2007 home finale vs. Penn State.
Dan Conroy's streak of 14 consecutive field goals was snapped as he missed a 38-yarder wide right in the second quarter...Conroy's streak was the second longest in MSU history (15 by Brett Swenson in 2008).
The Spartans recorded eight sacks, the most in the Dantonio era.
Tyler Hoover tied his career high with nine tackles and recorded a career high two sacks while also forcing a fumble...the fumble arrived at the Spartan 2-yard line and prevented Northwestern from scoring a touchdown...Hoover also had nine tackles in last week's win against Illinois.
Greg Jones had nine tackles and moved into third all-time at MSU with 428 career tackles.
Eric Gordon recorded his second career interception and first since the 2007 Champs Sports Bowl as he picked off Dan Persa's pass with 44 seconds remaining in the game.
In his first career start, junior Johnathan Strayhorn recorded three tackles and two sacks (9 yards)....he had a 2-yard sack in the first quarter and a 7-yard sack in the third quarter.
Johnny Adams recorded a career-best seven tackles at Northwestern, including one for a 2-yard loss, forced a fumble and recovered another.