Scott Reed - Spartan Digest

Michigan State keeps goals ahead of them with win over Maryland. Ohio State showdown next for Spartans.

Michigan State got off to another slow start Saturday as Maryland kept the Spartans in check early until Riley Bullough intercepted a pass and took it 44-yards for a touchdown. In the end, MSU got things going walking off the Spartan Stadium turf with a 24-7 win.

It was not a pretty first half of football as the Michigan State Spartans and Maryland Terrapins each made mistakes in front of a reported attendance of over 74,000 fans.

But the Spartans would strike first as backup quarterback Tyler O'Connor came in for a planned series leading the Spartans on a 10-play, 50 yard drive that ended when O’Connor hit MacGarrett Kings for a 10-yard touchdown strike.

O’Connor would get his share of snaps with some being planned and some not as Connor Cook would see early pressure by the Terrapins getting knocked around hard before being sat to save him for next Saturday's match-up with Ohio State.

Maryland answered on the next drive when they ran off 10-plays for 91 yards ending when Brandon Ross ran it in from one-yard out evening the score at 7-7 late in the first quarter.

The second quarter looked even worse as both teams struggled on offense until Spartans linebacker Riley Bullough picked off a pass and returned it 44-yards for the score. Michael Geiger would end the half with a 35-yard field goal putting the Spartans up 17-7 with them never looking back.

The Spartans continued to look strong after the half as the defense forced Maryland to punt on the first drive of the half and then used Michigan State football running the football during an 11-play 62 yard drive that ended with a Gerald Holmes three-yard run putting the Spartans up 24-7.

But Maryland still had some life in them and put together a drive of their own looking to close the gap but Demetrius Cooper forced a fumble and recovered ending the drive and both teams would fail to put any more points on the board during the quarter.  

Both teams struggled in the fourth quarter as the Spartans would sit Cook and use O’Connor and Damion Terry the rest of the game.  The Spartans ended any hope Maryland may of had to put more points on the board when Montae Nicholson pulled in an interception leaving the Spartans to take a knee and end the game.

The Spartans move to 9-1 on the season keeping their goals alive as they'll prepare for their big battle with Ohio State next Saturday in Columbus.

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