Their decision resulted in about half the announced crowd of 65,000 fans watching the Spartans drop their seventh of eleven games to fall to 4-7 and in process be eliminated from bowl consideration following a 31-18 loss to the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
An announced crowd of 65,000 watched as MSU blocked a punt to take an early 7-0 lead, but then committed a comedy of errors from which they never recovered.
MSU, as is their 'M.O', started quickly, driving to the Minnesota 1-yard line before quarterback Drew Stanton was stuffed on fourth-and-one turning the ball over on downs. Stanton was hit so hard on the play, his helmet was bent and he was forced from the game suffering a possible concussion in the process.
Defensive tackle Cliff Ryan made the most of a bad situation, stuffing running back Amir Pennix in the end zone to give MSU a 9-0 lead.
Stanton returned for one more series, but went three-and-out and his home finale was done. Brian Hoyer finished the game going 26-of-50 for 1 TD and two interceptions.
Hoyer connected with senior Kerry Reed on a 43-yard chunk play that set MSU up deep in Minnesota territory, but facing a 3rd-and-2 at the Gophers 3, Hoyer was picked off in the end zone and it was all Minnesota from there.
Bryan Cupito led a 10-play, 80-yard drive which culminated in Jay Thomas' 3-yard TD run. Mario Reese sacked Hoyer who fumbled and the Gophers Steve Davis returned it 48 yards for to put Minnesota up 14-9. A 33-yard Brett Swenson field goal got MSU to within two points.
Cupito connected on back-to-back TD passes to Ernie Wheelwright (37yards) and Logan Payne (41 yards) to give Minnesota a 31-9 lead before Hoyer finally hit Matt Trannon on a 26-yarder after the game was out of reach.
MSU (4-7) will now mercifully end its season in State College in the annual Land Grant Trophy game against Penn State.