EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State got back on the winning track in fine fashion with a 49-0 Big Ten football triumph over Rutgers in a battle of 2-7 squads at Spartan Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
MSU entered the contest mired in a seven-game losing streak while Rutgers had suffered six straight setbacks. The two shared the Big Ten basement with 0-6 league records coming in.
Despite their string of losses, the Spartans took the field as 14-point favorites.
The teams burst right out of the locker room by trading a pair of three-and-outs — first Michigan State and then Rutgers. The Spartans got on the board midway through the opener when Tyler O’Connor hurled a 2-yard TD pass to Josiah Price for a 7-0 lead and came right back 18 seconds later with Demetrious Cox’s 30-yard interception return for a touchdown and a 14-0 bulge at the 8:03 juncture.
That was followed by a 50-yard scoring strike from O’Connor to Trishton Jackson for a 21-0 advantage with 5:22 to go in the initial period. That score held up until the first break.
The second quarter witnessed the two trading possessions until the midway point, when MSU mounted a drive that culminated with O’Connor throwing to Price for a 4-yard touchdown and a 28-0 margin with 7:07 showing on the clock. With time running out in the second stanza, L.J. Scott tallied a 1-yard touchdown run for a 35-0 edge that stood up until halftime.
The third period belonged to Michigan State’s Madre London. He opened the second-half scoring with a 2-yard touchdown run with 6:54 left in the third for a 42-0 lead and then scored his second TD on an 8-yard run to put MSU up 49-0 with 1:40 remaining in the frame.
By that time both schools were substituting freely at most positions.
The finale featured a scoreless deadlock, setting the final score at 49-0 as coach Mark Dantonio emptied the Spartans bench.
MSU improved to 3-7 overall and 1-6 in the Big Ten entering next Saturday’s final home game of the season against Ohio State.
Rutgers dipped to 2-8 overall and 0-7 in the conference. The Scarlet Knights will play host to Penn State next Saturday.