Sunday, April 14, 2024

Cobb bright spot in loss; has career day at U-M

RB rushes for 205 yards; had chance to win game in OT

November 1, 2004
MSU running back DeAndra Cobb scores on a 72-yard touchdown in the first quarter of the game Saturday against Michigan in Ann Arbor. The Spartans lost to the Wolverines, 45-37, in triple overtime. —

Senior running back DeAndra Cobb had a career high 205 rushing yards against Michigan, but after MSU's triple-overtime loss, he could only remember one play.

MSU was four yards away from the end zone for a dramatic win against rival U-M. On third-and-1 from the 4-yard line, Cobb took the hand off and was stopped for a 2-yard loss. Senior place-kicker Dave Rayner kicked a 23-yard field goal to tie the game at 30 and extend overtime.

"The overtime third-and-1 that I didn't convert, that's kind of wiping away everything that I did," Cobb said. "I can't pretty much remember anything but that."

It was the last of his 22 carries against the Wolverines. In the first overtime session, MSU held U-M to a field goal. The Spartans could have won the game with a touchdown. Instead, Rayner kicked the field goal and MSU eventually lost 45-37.

Although Cobb did not recognize his performance prior to his 22nd carry, his teammates did.

Cobb had touchdown runs of 72 and 64 yards.

The 72-yard touchdown run was the game's first score and kick-started MSU's offense. Then, in the fourth quarter when the offense seemed to sputter, he broke the 64-yard run to put the Spartans ahead 27-10 with 8:43 remaining in regulation.

Junior wide receiver Aaron Alexander recalled an earlier conversation with Cobb that eluded to a breakout performance.

"We talked about it yesterday, that we were going to need that out of him," Alexander said. "When we came in here and did a little walk through practice the other day, he told me his legs were feeling good and I just told him that we were going to need some of his speed.

"We were definitely going to need that on Saturday and he came out and did his thing."

Kicking woes

Sophomore punter Brandon Fields kicked only four of MSU's six punts during the game and senior place-kicker Dave Rayner missed two field goals, in what turned out to be a rough day for the MSU kickers.

Fields struggled in warm-ups and during the game. He hit punts of 24, 27, 46 and 60 yards. Rayner kicked the Spartans other two punts, but struggled with the wind on his field goal attempts.

Rayner was 3-for-3 from inside of 25 yards, but was 0-for-2 from 50-plus yards, missing from 50 and 51 yards. In his career, Rayner is 6-for-15 in his career from 50-plus yards and is now 0-for-4 this season.

What's overtime?

This was only the second time in MSU football history that they have played an overtime game. The only other time MSU played into extra time was in 1998, when they beat Indiana 38-31 in double-overtime.

MSU should have...

Won. On Saturday, MSU outrushed U-M 368 yards to 223 yards, making it only the second time in the last 35 games that the team who won the rushing battle, lost the game. The only other time that happened was in 1995, when the Spartans won 28-25 at Spartan Stadium, despite being outrushed.

Big Ten standings
School Conference Overall
Michigan 6-0 8-1
Wisconsin 5-0 8-0
Iowa 4-1 6-2
MSU 3-2 4-4
Northwestern 3-2 4-4
Minnesota 3-3 6-3
Ohio State 2-3 5-3
Purdue 2-3 5-3
Indiana 1-4 3-5
Penn State 0-5 2-6
Illinois 0-6 2-7
Source: Big Ten


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