Spartans rally from halftime deficit, escape Bloomington with 31-27 victory over Indiana
Senior offensive guard Chris McDonald and sophomore offensive guard Connor Kruse chant the MSU fight song after the game Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Ind. Despite trailing to Indiana at half-time, the Spartans were able to earn the 31-27 victory. Adam Toolin/The State News
Bloomington, Ind. — The MSU football team (4-2 overall, 1-1 Big Ten) is starting to grow accustomed to second half comebacks.
For the fifth time in six games, the Spartans rallied from a halftime deficit, this time trailing Indiana (2-3, 0-2) 27-14 after two quarters, before outscoring the Hoosiers by 17 points in the second half to knock off Indiana 31-27.
Junior quarterback Andrew Maxwell led the surge with the best game of his young career, completing 24-of-40 passes for a career-high 290 yards and two touchdowns.
Maxwell’s favorite target was freshman receiver Aaron Burbridge, who had a breakout performance in his first career start, with eight catches for 134 yards, becoming the first MSU freshman to total more than 100 receiving yards in a game since 2004.
But it was the man Burbridge replaced in the starting lineup, junior Bennie Fowler, that made the game’s most critical play.
Fowler made a man miss on a 36-yard touchdown pass that gave MSU a 31-27 lead with 6:35 to go in the game that would not be relinquished.
Junior running back Le’Veon Bell helped the Spartans put the game away, rushing for 121 yards and two touchdowns, Bell’s third game with more than 100 rushing yards this season.