BY MICHAEL LEESE
MICHIGAN STATE USED a smothering, dominant defense and got 120 yards rushing from Jeremy Langford to blast Michigan 29-6. The Spartans appear on their way to their second Legends Division title in three seasons. Quarterback Connor Cook seems to have awakened a Spartan offense that was dormant earlier in the season. He threw for a touchdown and ran for another, but this game belonged to the Spartan defense. State solidified its place among the nation’s best, with an overwhelming performance on a rainy afternoon at Spartan Stadium. Shilique Calhoun and Ed Davis had 2½ sacks each, and Denicos Allen added two more in the rout.
“We’re going to bully people, that’s the game of football,” Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi said. “They’ve got a good football team, but we’ve got a great football team.”
The Spartans held the Wolverines to minus 48 yards rushing. The win was the fifth for the Spartans in the last six meetings with the Wolverines.
IN THE BIG 10……..Ron Kellogg hit Jordan Westerkamp with a 49-yard Hail Mary as time expired to give Nebraska a dramatic 27-24 win over Northwestern. Nebraska moved to 6-2 on the season, and kept the Cornhuskers in the Legends Division race. Minnesota continued their inspired play against Indiana. The Golden Gophers jumped out to a commanding 35-13 third quarter lead, only to see the Hoosiers roar back and take a 39-35 lead. Philip Nelson then connected with Maxx Williams on a 50-yard scoring toss to regain the lead at 42-39 with three minutes left. Indiana drove deep into Gopher territory before fumbling the ball in the final minute. The W moved the Gophers to a surprising 7-2 on the season! Wisconsin got a big road over rival Iowa, 28-9.
FLORIDA STATE moved to a perfect 8-0 and jumped back to No. 2 in the BCS standings with a crushing victory over previously unbeaten Miami. The Seminoles won 41-14, and could well meet the Hurricanes again in the ACC Championship game. Georgia Tech got bowl eligible with a 21-10 win over the Pitt Panthers. Boston College stunned Virginia Tech behind a huge game from tailback Andre Williams, and an opportunistic defense. Williams rushed for 166 yards and two touchdowns as the Eagles moved to 4-4 on the season with the 32-27 win. The Hokies have now dropped two in a row and must travel to Miami this week.
COWBOYS MAKE CASE……..Oklahoma State moved to 4-1 in the Big 12 with an impressive 52-34 win over Texas Tech. The Cowboys have now settled on quarterback Clint Chelf to run the offense, and boy he has delivered! Chelf threw for two scores and added another two on the ground to lead the Cowboy assault. The loss was the second in a row for the Red Raiders. The Cowboys figure to be a BIG player down the stretch in Big 12 play, as the Pokes close the season with Texas, Baylor and Oklahoma! TCU saw their bowl hopes placed on life support, following a 30-27 home loss to West Virginia. The loss dropped the Horned Frogs to 3-6 on the season, while the Mountaineers moved to 4-5, giving them hope for a bowl game.
PAC-12 STILL JUMBLED……..Taylor Kelly tossed five touchdown passes to lead Arizona State to a huge 55-21 victory over Washington State. Kelly completed passes to eight different receivers, while four caught touchdown passes. The Sun Devils moved to 4-1 in conference, and control their own destiny in the PAC 12 South. USC unleashed a pounding running game to win at Oregon State, 31-14. Silas Redd and Javorius Allen combined for 273 yards rushing, with Allen finding the endzone three times. The Trojans are playing inspired football under interim head coach Ed Oregeron and are now 6-3 on the season. Rich Rodriguez and the Arizona Wildcats are now bowl eligible for the second straight season, as the Wildcats did not feed the Cal Bears, 33-28.
MIZZOU BOUNCES BACK IN SEC PLAY……Maty Mauk tossed three touchdown passes and ran for 114 yards, to lead the Tigers past Tennessee 31-3. The win keeps Missouri on top in the SEC East. The Tigers defense forced three crucial turnovers in the game, setting the stage for victory. South Carolina dominated Mississippi State 34-16. In Jacksonville, Georgia got back on the wagon, welcoming Todd Gurley back from injury, as he rushed for 100 yards and a score, and added three receptions for 87 yards and another TD. The 23-20 win over Florida moved the Bulldogs to 5-3 on the season. Auburn continued its impressive run through the SEC with a big win at Arkansas 35-17. The Tigers moved to 4-1 in the SEC West and can be a major player on the national scene and the BCS. The Tigers close the season with a road game at Tennessee and home games with Georgia and Alabama!