Rapid Reaction: Michigan State, Ricky White stun the Wolverines
“Little brother” reigns supreme.
Michigan State bounced back from an embarrassing loss to Rutgers in Week 1 to stun No. 13 Michigan, 27-24, inside Michigan Stadium.
After turning the ball over 7 times against the Scarlet Knights, Michigan State didn’t record a single turnover against Don Brown’s highly-touted defense. Wide receiver Ricky White terrorized the Wolverines secondary as the freshman hauled in 8 passes for 196 yards and a touchdown.
White, who had just 1 reception for 5 yards in his collegiate career, frequently exposed Michigan’s defensive backs with big plays over the top. The 6-1 freshman had catches of 30, 31, 40 and 50 yards, including this great catch to set up the Spartans with a nail-in-the-coffin touchdown late in the 4th quarter.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) October 31, 2020
In an attempt to keep the game from getting too chippy, referees called things tight all day, greatly helping Michigan State’s wide receivers expose the physicality of the Michigan coverage that led to numerous holding and pass interference penalties.
While White had a breakout game, Jayden Reed was a virtual non-factor after catching 11 passes in Week 1. Reed was targeted 5 times but didn’t record a single catch until midway through the 4th quarter when he made a spectacular diving grab to extend the drive on 3rd down.
Spartans QB Rocky Lombardi finished 17-of-32 passing for 323 yards and 3 touchdowns in the fifth start of his career.
The star of the game was linebacker Antjuan Simmons and the Michigan State defense. While the unit only sacked Joe Milton twice, they were consistently in the backfield applying pressure and forcing 3rd-and-longs.
Simmons finished with 5 individual tackles and made one of the plays of the game late in the first half to keep the Wolverines out of the end zone with a Draymond Green-like block.
— Michigan State Football (@MSU_Football) October 31, 2020
The Spartans defensive line completely took away any threat of Michigan running the ball between the tackles and forced Josh Gattis to call numerous jet sweeps and outside runs.
For the second consecutive game, the Big Ten’s returning leading rusher Elijah Collins was all but absent as he only carried the ball once for no gain. Jordon Simmons and Connor Hayward split the bulk of Michigan State’s carries. Heyward also caught 2 touchdown passes.
Mel Tucker’s team heads to Iowa next week while the Wolverines play at Indiana.