Shootout Stymies Spartans

It took an extra session to determine the winner of Michigan State's second Big Ten match-up. After a back-and-forth shootout in regulation, where Javon Ringer looked like a Heisman candidate, Michigan State stalled in the first overtime, losing to Northwestern 47-41 and falling to 0-2 in conference.

EAST LANSING - In the end, Michigan State let one get away.

The Spartan offense did its part in a 47-41 loss to Northwestern; the defense had problems.

For the second week in a row, Javon Ringer dodged, juked and sprinted like an All-American. He rushed for three touchdowns and his 185 yards on 12 carries were good for an average of 15.4 yards a carry.

Devin Thomas also had a monster performance, and as usual it was multi-faceted for a total of 266 yards. He had five receptions for 61 yards, carried the ball six times for 52 yards and returned three kicks and two punts for a total of 153 yards.

But the production was not enough. Northwestern responded to the pressure and kept plugging away within their quick-hit spread offense. Their quarterback, C.J. Bacher, threw for an eye-popping 520 yards connecting on 38 of 48 attempts.

The big play haunted the Spartans in the second half as Bacher hit three different receivers with throws of 78, 70 and 52 yards.

After winning the coin toss in overtime, Michigan State opted to defend first. It took only three plays for Northwestern to score on a 12-yard pass form Bacher to running Back Omar Conteh.

Brian Hoyer looked like he might tie the score on the Spartan's first play of their possession. However, tight end Kellen Davis could not hold on to a Hoyer pass as he fell out of bounds near the endzone. After three more incompletions, the game was over.

The Spartans will try to regroup for a homecoming match-up with Indiana next week. Overcoming adversity, a mantra coach Mark Dantonio has repeated throughout the season, will surely be a focus.

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