GAMEDAY College Football

Michigan State 31, Rutgers 13

(AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

By TOM CANAVAN
AP Sports Writer

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Jalen Nailor caught touchdown passes of 63, 63 and 65 yards from Payton Thorne and No. 11 Michigan State used its big-play offense to remain unbeaten with a 31-13 victory over Rutgers.

Kenneth Walker, who came into the game leading all Football Bowl Subdivision players in rushing, ran for 233 yards, including a school-record 94-yard touchdown. It was the longest offensive play in Michigan State history.

Michigan State (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) is off to its best start since it won its first eight games in 2015, when it reached the College Football Playoff.

Rutgers (3-3) lost its third straight, all against ranked opponents. The Scarlet Knights fell to No. 9 Michigan two weeks ago and No. 7 Ohio State last week.

Nailor finished with five catches for a career-best 221 yards, a stadium record. The old mark of 2007 was set by Larry Fitzgerald of Pittsburgh in 2003.

Thorne finished 16 of 27 for a career-best 339 yards and the three long TDs.

It was the fifth time in FBS history a team has had a 300-yard passer, a 200-yard rusher and a 200-yard receiver in the same game. Michigan finished with 588 yards of total offense to 377 for Rutgers.

The Scarlet Knights twice had the lead early. They took a 7-0 edge on a 4-yard pass from Johnny Langan to Aron Cruickshank after their defense thwarted a fake field goal attempt on the opening series.

After the first 63-yard TD to a wide-open Nailor tied the game, Val Ambrosio kicked a 26-yard field goal to put the Scarlet Knights ahead 10-7.

Michigan State needed only five plays to retake the lead, with Nailor making an over-the-shoulder catch at the Rutgers 35 and cutting across the field to score.

A turnover set up Ambroio's second short field goal and cut the lead to one, but Thorne and Nailor hooked up on a flea-flicker on the Spartans' first play of their next drive for a 21-13 lead. Thorne handed off to Walker, who pitched back to the quarterback for the long scoring pass. The three TD receptions tied a school record, last matched by Cody White against Rutgers two years ago.

Walker blew the game open midway through the third quarter with his 94-yard run. He went through a huge hole, broke a couple of tackles in front the Michigan State bench and glided to the end zone. The previous long run for the Spartans was 90 yards by Lynn Chandnois in 1949 against Arizona.


Scoring Summary
First Quarter MSURut
Rut TD 6:51 Aron Cruickshank 4 yard TD pass from Johnny Langan (Valentino Ambrosio Extra Point) 0 7
MSU TD 6:05 Jalen Nailor 63 yard TD pass from Payton Thorne (Matt Coghlin Extra Point) 7 7
Second Quarter MSURut
Rut FG 12:10 Valentino Ambrosio 26 yard field goal 7 10
MSU TD 10:18 Jalen Nailor 63 yard TD pass from Payton Thorne (Matt Coghlin Extra Point) 14 10
Rut FG 6:21 Valentino Ambrosio 29 yard field goal 14 13
MSU TD 6:10 Jalen Nailor 65 yard TD pass from Payton Thorne (Matt Coghlin Extra Point) 21 13
Third Quarter MSURut
MSU TD 7:13 Kenneth Walker III 94 yard TD run (Matt Coghlin Extra Point) 28 13
Fourth Quarter MSURut
MSU FG 2:07 Matt Coghlin 35 yard field goal 31 13
Team Stats
  Michigan State Rutgers
First downs 22 20
  Rushing 10 6
  Passing 10 11
  Penalty 2 3
3rd Down Efficiency 4-13, 31% 5-16, 31%
4th down efficiency 0-1, 0% 0-2, 0%
Rushes-Yards 38-260 36-99
Passing Yards 339 266
Return Yards 11 75
Completions-Attempts-Int 16-27-1 22-40-0
Sacks-Yards Lost 0-0 4-39
Punts 4 7
Fumbles Lost 2-1 2-1
Penalties - Yards 9-69 7-65
Michigan State Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
P. Thorne 16 27 339 3 1
Rutgers Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
N. Vedral 16 30 208 0 0
C. Snyder 5 9 54 0 0
J. Langan 1 1 4 1 0
Michigan State Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
K. Walker III 29 233 8.0 1
H. Joiner 3 14 4.7 0
P. Thorne 1 9 9.0 0
J. Simmons 1 4 4.0 0
J. Reed 1 4 4.0 0
B. Baringer 1 -3 -3.0 0
Rutgers Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
I. Pacheco 11 36 3.3 0
A. Young 5 21 4.2 0
N. Vedral 14 20 1.4 0
K. Monangai 4 16 4.0 0
B. Sanders 1 8 8.0 0
A. Cruickshank 1 -2 -2.0 0
Michigan State Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
J. Nailor 5 221 44.2 3
T. Mosley 4 59 14.8 0
J. Reed 3 29 9.7 0
C. Heyward 3 17 5.7 0
K. Walker III 1 13 13.0 0
Rutgers Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
S. Jones 8 109 13.6 0
J. Haskins 3 52 17.3 0
A. Cruickshank 3 38 12.7 1
I. Washington 4 34 8.5 0
M. Alaimo 2 22 11.0 0
B. Sanders 1 10 10.0 0
K. Monangai 1 1 1.0 0
Michigan State Interceptions
Player Int Yards
Rutgers Interceptions
Player Int Yards
A. Clark 1 0
Michigan State Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
B. Baringer 4 179 44.8
Rutgers Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
A. Korsak 7 323 46.1
Michigan State Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
J. Reed 2 1 0.5
Rutgers Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Michigan State Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
J. Nailor 1 10 10.0
Rutgers Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
A. Cruickshank 2 44 22.0
J. Parson III 1 31 31.0
Michigan State Missed FG
Player Length
M. Coghlin 35
Rutgers Missed FG
Player Length




D1SportsNet

FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM PINTEREST TWITTER YOUTUBE