Michigan State Bust Broncos 37-24

It may not have been the decisive win many felt fifth-ranked Michigan State would enjoy leading up to their match-up with instate foe Western Michigan. But a win is a win and the Spartans opened the season with a 37-24 victory over the Broncos and busting their dream of knocking off the Spartans.

Mark Dantonio and Michigan State answered some questions about the 2015 edition of the Spartans with a 37-24 victory over Western Michigan.

With a big match-up looming against Oregon next Saturday night, Dantonio saw his team look dominating at times and shaky during stages of the contest.

Redshirt freshman running back Madre London would run for his first two career touchdowns early in the game as the Spartans got out to a 27-7 lead in the second quarter.

But P.J. Fleck was not going to allow his team to get down and give up as the Broncos clawed back to make the game interesting until redshirt freshman defensive back Vayante Copeland ended any hopes of a miracle comeback when he picked off quarterback Zach Terrell's pass in the end zone late in the fourth quarter.

The Spartans would score 30-plus points for the ninth straight game setting a school record set in 1978 and 1979 as Connor Cook looked out of sync at times in a game that saw the fifth-year senior go 15 of 31 for 256 yards and two scores.

But it was the Spartans running attack that saw London, Gerald Holmes and L.J. Scott share the load and combine for 190 yards on 35 carries with Holmes adding a touchdown to London's two scores.

Wide receiver Aaron Burbridge stepped forward with four catches for 117 yards while DeAnthony Arnett and Josiah Price each scored once.

Defensively the Spartans had several highs and lows on the night. While the touted front four didn't disappoint, breakdowns in the secondary will cause concerns leading up to next Saturday's game against the Ducks.

The defense did record seven sacks on the night to go with a total of 11 tackles for loss. Linebackers Riley Bullough and Jon Reschke led the Spartans with nine tackles each as the Broncos ended the game with only 18 total yards rushing.

The return game will need some work as MSU gave up two big returns to Darius Phillips including a 100-yard return for a touchdown. But punter Jake Hartbarger looked solid ending with an average of 47.2 yards on four punts. Michael Geiger had only one field goal attempt and was good from 21-yards.

Freshmen Scott, Andrew Dowell, Brian Lewerke, Josh Butler, Khari Willis and David Dowell all dressed for the season opener while linebacker Drake Martinez did not dress.

Spartan Digest will have more on the Spartans win coming soon.


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