Thursday, December 14, 2017
Sports

Sparty boots Buckeyes

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The last place Michael Geiger, all 5 feet 8 and 185 pounds of him, wanted to end up was at the bottom of a pile of Michigan State players.

The junior kicker booted through a 41-yard field goal as time expired, then sprinted away from a swarm of celebrating Spartans after No. 9 Michigan State upset No. 2 Ohio State 17-14 Saturday to snap the Buckeyes' 23-game winning streak.

Geiger remembered what happened the last time Michigan State won a huge game on the final play of regulation.

"I didn't want to pull a Jalen Watts-Jackson," Geiger said, referring to his teammate who ended up with a broken hip after returning a botched punt for a touchdown to beat Michigan in October. "I was trying to stay on my feet as long as possible."

Playing without injured star quarterback Connor Cook on a rainy and windy day at Ohio Stadium, the Spartans took control of the Big Ten East, barged into the thick of the College Football Playoff hunt and likely ended Ohio State's chances to repeat as national champions.

Michigan State — used to feeling overlooked in favor of Michigan — exploited the chip everyone else seemed to place on its shoulder. "We sat around all day and listened to how we were underdogs," coach Mark Dantonio said. "We know how to win."

MSU is 6-1 in its past seven games against top-10 teams.

With a victory next week at home against Penn State, the Spartans clinch a spot in the Big Ten title game. The last time Michigan State beat Ohio State was the 2013 Big Ten championship game and that broke a 24-game winning streak by the Buckeyes and kept them out of the BCS title game. This time they put Ohio State's playoff hopes in critical condition and left behind a team in Columbus that seems to have been playoff or bust.

After the game junior tailback Ezekiel Elliott questioned the play-calling and said this would be his last home game as a Buckeye. Coach Urban Meyer blamed himself, saying he was "not content" with the play-calling.

"I mean there's no chance of me coming back next year. I got to make the most of my time left," said Elliott, who ran 12 times for 33 yards and the game's first touchdown. He had a streak of 15 straight 100-yard rushing games snapped.

Buckeyes junior quarterback Cardale Jones also sent some tweets suggesting it was also his last home game.

Ohio State plays at Michigan next week. As far as the postseason, it's likely the best the Buckeyes can do is the Rose Bowl.

That was the furthest thing from Meyer's mind.

"Oh, boy, we've got to get a couple of first downs and start finding a way to complete a pass and beat our rival," Meyer said.

Ohio State managed just 132 yards against MSU and lost to a Big Ten team in the regular season for the first time since Meyer became coach four seasons ago.

Ohio State's only touchdowns came after Michigan State turnovers gave it a short field. Michigan State responded after each one with a 75-yard touchdown drive. Gerald Holmes reached the ball over the goal line for a 2-yard touchdown to tie it at 14 for the Spartans with 12:03 left.

No. 10 Baylor 45, No. 4 Okla. St. 35: Backup Chris Johnson passed for two touchdowns and ran for one as the visiting Bears climbed back into the College Football Playoff picture by knocking off the previously unbeaten Cowboys, who are likely out of the playoff conversation. Baylor quarterback Jarrett Stidham took several hard hits in the first half and did not play after the break. Original starter Seth Russell is out for the season after he fractured a bone in his neck last month. The Bears still gained 700 yards, and KD Cannon caught five passes for 210 yards.

NO. 6 IOWA 40, PURDUE 20: C.J. Beathard passed for three touchdowns as the host Hawkeyes wrapped up the Big Ten West and a spot in the conference title game. LeShun Daniels ran for two scores for Iowa, which plays at Nebraska next week in search of its first 12-0 regular season.

NO. 14 MICH. 28, PENN ST. 16: Jake Rudock threw for 256 yards and touchdown passes to Jake Butt and Amara Darboh for the visiting Wolverines. Sione Houma and De'Veon Smith ran for touchdowns for the Wolverines.

UCLA 17, NO. 18 UTAH 9: Josh Rosen threw for 220 yards and a touchdown as the visiting Bruins moved a game closer to the Pac-12 title game. UCLA can earn a berth in the conference title game for the first time since 2012 with a win over USC next week.

NO. 20 NorthWESTERN 13, NO. 21 WISconsin 7: Justin Jackson ran for 139 yards and a touchdown, and the visiting Wildcats used a goal-line stand to hold on. Joel Stave drove the Badgers from the 26 to the Northwestern 1, but he was forced to leave before Wisconsin's final play from scrimmage after getting hurt on a sack. Bart Houston's pass to the end zone sailed just out of reach of Tanner McEvoy on fourth and goal.

NO. 23 OREGON 48, NO. 22 USC 28: Vernon Adams threw for 407 yards and six touchdowns in the host Ducks' fifth straight victory. Oregon has not lost since Adams returned from a finger injury he sustained in the season opener.

Elsewhere

HARVARD 38, YALE 19: Scott Hosch passed for four touchdowns to lead the Crimson to a share of the Ivy League crown for a third straight year in front of 52,126 at the Yale Bowl. The Crimson split the title with Dartmouth and Penn. The same schools were part of the league's last three-way tie in 1982. In addition to league bragging rights, Harvard also won a record ninth straight time in "The Game," the most by either school.

Minn. 32, Illinois 23: Shannon Brooks rushed for 174 yards and three touchdowns, including a 75-yard score with 1:25 remaining for the host Golden Gophers.

Indiana 47, Maryland 28: Nate Sudfeld threw for 385 yards and four touchdowns as the visiting Hoosiers rallied from an early 18-point deficit for their first Big Ten win of the season.

Drake 27, Dayton 17: Conley Wilkins scored on a 60-yard run with less than two minutes left as the host Bulldogs upset the previously undefeated Flyers (10-1).

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