The No. 8 Michigan State Spartans got down big against the No. 6 Michigan Wolverines but Mel Tucker’s group kept battling and relied on Heisman Trophy candidate Kenneth Walker to claw them back in what was eventually a 37-33 victory for the Spartans over the Wolverines. With the win, Michigan State remains undefeated on the season and now has a clear path to Indianapolis and beyond.
Walker finished the game with 195 rushing yards and five touchdowns, bringing the Spartans back from a 30-14 deficit early in the third quarter. Michigan State quarterback Payton Thorne had one of his worst games of the season but it didn’t matter with Walker’s heroics. Walker is now one of the favorites for the Heisman Trophy, finishing the game at +500 to win the award.
Michigan QB Cade McNamara had a big game himself with 383 yards and two touchdowns but threw what would be the game-sealing interception on the final drive to give the Spartans the win. Blake Corum and Hassan Haskins, Michigan’s dynamic duo in the backfield, was shut down by Michigan State’s defense. The backs combined for 104 yards on 27 carries.
The win puts the Spartans squarely in the driver’s seat in the Big Ten East division. Michigan State will still have to go through Penn State and Ohio State but the resume is looking good for Mel Tucker’s group. Michigan State will be in the conversation when the initial College Football rankings are revealed Tuesday.