FINAL: MSU earns 9-3 record, demolishes Rutgers 40-7
From 3-9 to 9-3 — the Spartans have come a long way.
And in their revamped tour of the Big Ten, MSU put the bow on the present as Christmas season officially opens. The Spartans comfortably defeated the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 40-7.
With the win, MSU improves to 9-3, 7-2 in the Big Ten. It's a far cry from the whimper of a 1-8 conference record from last year.
After throwing for just 20 yards passing last week, quarterback Brian Lewerke came out of the gates with a bang. On the opening drive, he was a perfect 3 of 3 for 46 yards and a touchdown.
Though the game was mired with missed opportunities for MSU.
As the Spartans opened up a 13-0 lead, it could have easily been 21-0 had it not been drives stalled within the redzone.
But instead, Rutgers struck to quickly make it a one-possession game.
Quarterback Jonathan Lewis found Raheem Blackshear wide open deep after some blown coverage. And a 42-yard reception later, it was 13-7.
Another Matt Coghlin field goal later — he had four on the day — it was 16-7 by halftime.
And for the rest of the second half, the Spartans never really did look back. They allowed no points in the latter 30 minutes of the game.
There was no playing with fans' hearts this week, MSU overpowering the Scarlet Knights in a pounding.
Even fifth-year senior quarterback Damion Terry saw some action, including converting a fourth down in the redzone. The Spartans finished with 24 second-half points.
For now, the Spartans await their bowl future. Officially, they tied for second place in the Big Ten East with the 7-2 record, alongside Penn State.