For Michigan State's Jeff Smoker it was bitter sweet. Smoker was playing his last game in Spartans Stadium on Senior Day but as he predicted, he "would not go out a loser."
Penn State drew first blood on a 29-yard Robbie Gould field goal, but Michigan State scored 41 unanswered points led by Kyle Brown's 80-yard touchdown reception from Smoker. Tyrell Dortch followed with a 14-yard TD run.
The floodgates opened when Smoker connected with big tight end Eric Knott from 14 yards out to make the score 21-3 at the half.
Smoker added to his totals by hitting Gerramy Scott from 17 yards out to increase the score to 28-3. The senior quarterback got his fourth and final touchdown pass of the day when he connected with tight end Jason Randall from 5 yards out.
Strong running Jason Teague added the final score on a one-yard plunge and after MSU hit coach John L. Smith with the traditional "Gatorade" shower, Penn State scored a meaningless TD with just :11 left in the contest when backup quarterback Michael Robinson hit receiver Terrence Phillips to conlude the scoring.
The win makes MSU 8-4 and puts them in the running for several bowl games including the Sun Bowl in El Paso, TX, the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio Texas, the Music City Bowl in Memphis, TN and a longshot for the Outback Bowl in Tampa, FL.
Rumors swirled around the East Lansing campus that the Spartans were bound for George Perles' dreaded Motor City Bowl despite having an 8-4 record.
Wisconsin and Northwestern (bowl-eligible at 6-6) could also end up in that bowl. A lot depends on whether the BCS includes Ohio State as an at-large team in the BCS now that Big Ten has eight bowl eligible teams.
Michigan and Ohio State both finished 10-2, Purdue and Minnesota at 9-3, Michigan State finished 8-4, Iowa 8-3 and Wisconsin 7-4 are in progress and Northwestern finished 6-6. Penn State finished their season at 3-9 and out of bowl contention along with Indiana (2-10) and Illinois(1-11).