Spartans roll behind Cook's big first half

Junior quarterback throws just one incompletion, three touchdowns in the first half in rout of Jacksonville State on Friday night.

Michigan State entered Friday night as a top-10 team and came out and played like it in a 45-7 win against Jacksonville State.

The win came behind a dominant first half from Connor Cook, who threw for 285 yards and three touchdowns on 12 of 13 passing. He did not throw an incompletion until his final pass with 5:24 remaining in the first half. His first two scores went to Lippett, one for 64 yards and the other for 71.

It looked scary early for Cook, who was helped off the field after the first pass to Lippett after a Jacksonville State defender hit his left knee. The pass was complete after Cook rolled right away from pressure, threw it up to Lippett who made the catch and scampered the rest of the way for a 64-yard score with a dive to the pylon.

Next possession after Cook came back in, he tossed it up to a wide-open Lippett who ran it in for a 71-yard touchdown.

After a 23-yard pass play for Jacksonville State on which he had a touchdown saving tackle, senior safety Kurtis Drummond picked off Eli Jenkins.

The drive did not result in points as Michael Geiger missed a 41-yard field goal after missing only one all of last season as a true freshman.

The Spartans kept rolling when Cook hit A.J. Troup on a fade for a 17-yard touchdown on his first career reception. Troup missed the 2013 season recovering from his third ACL injury.

Darian Hicks got his first career interception on a long throw down the sideline, giving MSU the ball back at its 30-yard line with 2:03 to go in the first. Eight plays later, Nick Hill gave the Spartans a 28-0 lead with a 17-yard touchdown scamper, breaking multiple tackles and spinning away from a defender.

Hill came back with his second touchdown run of the game with an 8-yard run concluding with a dive to give MSU a 35-0 lead with 5:01 to go in the first half. Hill had two career touchdowns coming into the game.

After the Spartans stalled on their first drive of the second half with Tyler O’Connor under center, Jacksonville State drove down the field for a touchdown with Minnesota transfer Max Shortell at quarterback. Shortell hit junior receiver Markis Merrill for a 9-yard score to make it a 38-7 game.

On his third drive, O’Connor led the Spartans downfield on a 10-play scoring drive that he finished with a 3-yard touchdown run to put Michigan State up 45-7.

Damion Terry also saw time at quarterback for Michigan State in the fourth quarter.

Nick Tompkins had his first career interception midway through the fourth quarter, giving the Spartans three in the game. The former running back moved to cornerback during preseason camp.

Macgarrett Kings left the game with an injury in the fourth quarter and Jeremy Langford was limited after leaving early.


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