MSU Stifles Michigan Early; Win 26-20 in OT

The No. 22-ranked Michigan Wolverines made the short trip to East Lansing, Mich., to take on the rival Michigan State Spartans on Saturday afternoon at Spartan Stadium. Michigan rallied from two scores down in the final five minutes, but the Wolverines dropped a 26-20 OT decision to the Green and White.

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State dominated early, and then held on late as the home Spartans downed No. 22 Michigan 26-20 in overtime on Saturday afternoon at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Mich. Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier threw his third interception of the season in overtime, then Michigan State running back Larry Caper shed a slew of Michigan tacklers on the way to a 23-yard game-winning score.

"I'm proud of the guys, they kept battling for sixty minutes and then a little more into overtime. We just didn't execute. We have to do a better job as coaches, make a few more plays and not put ourselves in that situation. It's a loss," Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said.

Michigan forced overtime after rallying from 14 points down in the final quarter of play.

Forcier found wide receiver Roy Roundtree in the end zone with 2-seconds left, the first touchdown of Roundtree's collegiate career, to force overtime. The drive started back inside the Wolverines 10-yardline. Aided by a roughing the passer call on Michigan State's Chris Rucker, Michigan moved the ball into Michigan State territory with less than a minute to play. Tate used his legs to convert a pair of critical third and long situations, then he found Roundtree in the back of the end zone to knot it 20-20.

"He made a few plays at the end," Rodriguez said. "Sometimes the youth helps you, sometimes it hurts you, but I'm really proud of the way Tate battled. He made a few big plays at the end there."

On Michigan's previous possession the Wolverines scored covering 68 yards in just 44-seconds. Forcier found Stonum near midfield on the near sideline, and Stonum found a seam between the safeties to find the end zone from 60-yards out.

Michigan's first points came just minutes into the contest. Stevie Brown intercepted Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins' first pass of the game brought the ball back to the Spartans 14-yardline. The offense quickly stalled, though, and Michigan settled for a 36-yard Jason Olesnavage field goal to go up 3-0.

Michigan State answered on its ensuing possession. Despite 50-yards in penalties on the touchdown drive, the Spartans marched 80-yards on 17-plays to grab their first lead of the contest at 7-3. The drive ate 10:02 of clock time and was capped with Caper's first score of the game, 1-yard run over left tackle on 4th-and-goal at the one.

Each team also added a field goal in the second quarter to give the Spartans their 10-6 halftime lead. Olesnavage hit from 42 for the Wolverines, and Brett Swenson connected from 26-yards out for the Spartans.

Michigan State added a second field goal in the third quarter to extend their lead. Swenson hit from 24-yards out the Spartans took over deep in Michigan territory as U-M punter Zoltan Mesko misread his blockers and unsuccessfully decided to run for the first down marker as opposed to kicking the ball.

On defense the Wolverines were led by Jordan Kovacs who finished with 17 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss and a forced fumble. The Spartans, though, finished with 197 yards rushing, the third consecutive team to start approaching the 200-yard mark.

With the loss the Wolverines fall to 4-1 on the season. Next Saturday the Wolverines travel to Iowa City, Iowa to take on the 5-0 Hawkeyes in prime time.

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