No. 16 Spartans Fall To Northwestern In 3OT Thriller, 39-31
Lewerke passes for school-record 445 yards, throwing four TDs.
EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) -- Brian Lewerke threw for a school-record 445 yards in No. 16 Michigan State's loss at Northwestern, 39-31 in a 3OT thriller on Saturday.
Clayton Thorson threw a 22-yard touchdown to Flynn Nagel in the third overtime, and on the ensuing MSU possession, Nate Hall intercepted Lewerke in the end zone to end the game.
The Wildcats had a third down at the 22 when Thorson hit Nagel on a slant for the go-ahead TD.
Cameron Green caught the two-point conversion to make it an eight-point game, and two big plays by the Wildcats' defense preserved the victory.
That set off a wild celebration, with the sideline emptying and fans pouring out of the stands. The win was the third straight for the Wildcats (5-3, 3-2 Big Ten) and their second in overtime in as many weeks.
Michigan State (6-2, 4-1) came up short after winning four in a row.
Thorson threw for 356 yards and two touchdowns. Jackson had 41 yards rushing and 51 receiving. But the star running back threw for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter on his first career pass.
Nagel added 87 yards receiving, and Cameron Green had 76 yards and a TD catch.
Lewerke threw for 445 yards and four touchdowns. Cody White had 165 yards receiving and two TDs. But instead of heading into next week's home game against No. 2 Penn State unbeaten with a perfect conference record, the Spartans came up short facing a resurgent team.
After Michigan State deferred to start the first OT, Thorson threw a 14-yard touchdown to Green.
Lewerke then hit Felton Davis with a 6-yarder to tie it and gave the Spartans a 31-24 lead with an 11-yarder to White. But Jackson tied it again with a 3-yard run for his 38th career touchdown, tying Damien Anderson's program record.
Jackson also gave Northwestern a 17-10 lead early in the fourth. He took a handoff from Thorson and threw a wobbly 12-yard touchdown to Bennett Skowronek in the back of the end zone.
Michigan State's Matt Coghlin hit the right upright attempting a 32-yard field goal with about six minutes left in regulation. But the Spartans got another chance.
Lewerke scrambled for 5 yards on a fourth-and-4 from the 30 and threw a 13-yard touchdown to Felton Davis III in the left corner of the end zone to tie it with 25 seconds left in regulation.
Michigan State: The Spartans could have really made things interesting in the Big Ten with back-to-back games against No. 2 Penn State and No. 6 Ohio State coming up.
Northwestern: The Wildcats squeezed out another tight win and once again seem to be hitting their stride after a slow start.
Michigan State: Hosts Penn State on Nov. 4.
Northwestern: Visit Nebraska on Nov. 4.