MSU loses, falls to 4-6; Purdue 17-MSU 15

"It was just one of those things," said Stanton of the interception. "We've been running the play successfully, the guy getting there, and kind of sitting in the hole. I probably should have just checked the ball down, no doubt about it, and kept the clock going, chewing up the clock. I tried to make a play and the guy picked it off." -- MSU quarterback Drew Stanton.

EAST LANSING - Senior quarterback Drew Stanton threw a costly late-game interception which Purdue turned into the winning margin, as reserve kicker Casey Welch, came off the bench to boot an 18-yard field goalas Michigan State lost to Purdue 17-15 yesterday at Spartan Stadium.

Welch, a senior reserve came on with Purdue on the two-yard line of Michigan State after starter Chris Summers had missed kicks of 37 and 50 yards.

"It was just one of those things," said Stanton of the interception. "We've been running the play successfully, the guy getting there, and kind of sitting in the hole. I probably should have just checked the ball down, no doubt about it, and kept the clock going, chewing up the clock. I tried to make a play and the guy picked it off."

Stanton, who struggled through a 16-of-29 performance with 1 TD, had more success with his legs, rushing 13 times for 89 yards. But the performance likely continues the plummet in Stanton's NFL draft stock.

Coming into the season as dark-horse Heisman candidate and a consensus first round pick, Stanton now has likely fallen out of first round consideration.

The Spartans (4-6) saw their meager bowl hopes fade away with the pick that turned the game and in the process, wasted a solid effort by the Michigan State defense.

MSU's Kendell Davis Clark forced a fumble by Boilermaker running back Korey Sheets, which hit the pylon before rolling out of bounds, giving the Spartans the ball back at their 20-yard line and preserving State's tenuous one-point lead.

Stanton had hit receiver T.J. Williams in the back of the endzone for a touchdown, converting another Purdue turnover to give the Spartans advantage, but his two-point conversion try to senior Kerry Reed failed when Reed caught the ball but landed with his foot on the backline.

It looked as if Purdue was going to put the game out of reach when quarterback Curtis Painter (21-of-30, 2TDs, no interceptions) threw what appeared to be a three-yard touchdown pass but offensive interference was called and on the ensuing play, Painter was sacked by Cliff Ryan and Summers missed a 50-yard field goal attempt.

In spite of the loss, Ryan said he was proud of the defense's effort. "We were able to get to them three times, I think that limited what their offense could do. We held them to 17 points, and coming in I think they averaged nearly 30 points."

MSU hosts Minnesota next week, before finishing out the season against Penn State in State College, PA.


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