For the eighth time this season, Michigan State’s defense held its opponent to less than 20 points scored, as the Spartans beat the Wisconsin Badgers 16-13 at Camp Randall on Saturday.
Andrew Maxwell completed 24 of 39 passing attempts for 216 yards and two touchdowns. This may have been his best performance of the season. Although he was shaky for most of the game, he was able to put together a tremendous comeback and connected on several tough throws for first downs.
Running back Le’Veon Bell was pretty much held at bay all day. He carried the ball 21 times for 77 yards, with his longest carry going for nine yards. Keith Mumphery reeled in five catches for 63 yards, and Bennie Fowler grabbed six receptions for 48 yards and a touchdown. As a group, the offense hauled in 24 receptions.
Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave left the game with what appeared to be a shoulder injury early in the game and was replaced by Danny O’Brien. O’Brien had a tough time completing passes and staying alive, as the Spartans knew he was a career game manager throughout the past three seasons. O’Brien completed five passes for 44 yards.
Tailback Montee Ball was stopped dead in his tracks all day by the vaunted Michigan State defense. Ball carried the rock 22 times for 46 yards, and his teammate James White carried the ball seven times for 16 yards. Receiver Jacob Pedersen nabbed three receptions for 65 yards and a score; however, star wide out Jared Abbrederis was also unable to perform mightily. He only grabbed four receptions for 48 yards.
The star of the game was punter Mike Sadler, who downed three punts inside Wisconsin’s 20-yard line and averaged 38.7 yards per punt.
Michigan State (5-4, 2-3 Big Ten) was not expected to win this game at all. The Spartans will host Nebraska at Spartan Stadium next weekend.
Wisconsin (6-3, 3-2 Big Ten) will travel to Indiana to play at Memorial Stadium on Nov. 10.