FINAL: MSU falls to Northwestern in third overtime, 39-31
Evanston, Ill. - The No. 16 Spartans fell to Northwestern Wildcats 39-31 in triple overtime. The loss is MSU's first in conference play and second on the season.
The Spartans got off to a hot start against the Wildcats, leading the Wildcats 10-0 for most of the first half and total offensive yards, 217 to 207.
But the Wildcats caught up late in the second half, scoring a touchdown with just under four minutes left in the first half and a field goal with four seconds left in the first half.
Northwestern and MSU would then go scoreless in the third quarter, but the Wildcats would score early in the fourth quarter. The Spartans however would score with 25 seconds left in regulation, thanks to quarterback Brian Lewerke completing a 13-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Felton Davis III.
NU would score on its first possession in the first overtime, giving the Wildcats a 24-17, But the Spartans would answer back with a six-yard TD pass from Lewerke to Davis III, to send it into double OT.
Lewerke would then find White in the endzone for a six-yard pass to take the lead, 34-27 but the Wildcats would bounce back and send it to double OT.
In double OT, the Spartans would get on the board first with a Lewerke 11-yard touchdown pass to White. NU would answer back and send it to triple overtime.
The Wildcats would beat the Spartans in triple overtime, thanks to a three-yard run by Jackson and a converted two-point conversion. Lewerke would try to answer back, but threw an interception in the end zone to secure a Wildcats lost.
MSU secondary looks uncharacteristic
While the Spartan defense let up 39 points to the Wildcats, as they let up 368 passing yards, including a 12-yard touchdown pass to Bennett Skowronek by Northwestern’s Jackson. The touchdown pass by Jackson was his first pass attempt, completion and touchdown of his career.
Wide receiver corps continue shine
White was Lewerke’s main target on Saturday afternoon, leading the Spartans in receiving yards (165) and had the first and last touchdowns of the game for MSU. The 165 receiving yards and nine receptions are both career highs for White.
Stewart Jr. would also contribute a team high 11 receptions and 98 receiving yards for MSU. The 11 receptions and 98 receiving yards were both career highs for Stewart Jr.
Davis III would also contribute to the effort, bringing in eight receptions, 95 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
MSU leans on Lewerke
MSU leaned on its sophomore quarterback, as Lewerke threw for 39 for 57 for 445 yards and four touchdowns with an interception. Lewerke also led the Spartans in the rushing game, 9 times for 30 yards.
The Spartans will look to bounce back next week against a No. 2 Penn State team who lost its who's coming off a 39-38 loss against OSU in Columbus, Ohio. Scheduled time for kickoff will most likely scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at Spartan Stadium, with an official announcement coming earlier next week.