Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State and Oregon battle in the 4th quarter until last minute as MSU wins 31-28

Michigan State took a huge gamble and called a blitz when Oregon was driving with under two minutes to play and all the momentum to score and take the lead, but the blitz worked, and Oregon's final drive died giving the Spartans a 31-28 win.

Oregon's Vern Adams, Jr., playing while wearing gloves, threw for 309 yards, a touchdown, but giving up two interceptions, established himself as a big play maker but it was the Michigan State defense that finally settled the question on Saturday night. Oregon trailed at halftime, 14-7 and seemed to be completely lost in the third quarter as the Spartans tacked on 10 more points to give them a 24-14 lead at the end of the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter Adams came alive when Adams hit Byron Marshall on a 25-yard strike when the Ducks were facing 4th and seven at the MSU 30. Marshall hauled the ball in at the MSU 5 and two plays later Adams slipped into the endzone from 2-yards out the cut MSU's lead to 24-21. 

On the esuring chage of possession, MSU scored again on a three-play drive culminated by a 38-yards scoring run by LJ Scott.

Oregon then had a promising drive but stalled out and Oregon turned the ball over on downs with under eight minutes left in the game. MSU could not take advantage of the Oregon's failure to score and went three and out giving the ball back to the Ducks and Adams directed a nine-play, 80 yard drive that lasted 2:49 when Adams found Marshall on a 15-yard hook up that cut MSU's lead to 31-28 following the successful point after by Aidan Schneider.

Oregon got another chance to actually take the lead after MSU failed to keep a drive alive and were forced to punt. After picking up a first down and sitting at the MSU 33, Adams spotted a wide-open Marshall streaking for the goal line, but the pass was too long. On the next play MSU gambled and blitzed Adams who was sacked at the MSU 43. Adams made an attempt to hit Bralon Addison on the 4th and play but the ball was short and the ball turned over to a relieved MSU squad with under a minute left on the clock.

Addison had shown some heroics in the third quarter when he returned 81 yards for the score.

Royce Freeman started the Oregon scoring in the first quarter when the Ducks took the initial kickoff and marched 75 yards in 13 plays to give Oregon the initial 7-0 lead following Schneider's extra point conversion.

MSU's scored on the following possession on an explosive three-play drive when Connor Cook hit Josiah Price from 12 yards out. The scoring play was set up on Madre London's 62-yard romp up the middle and down the sideline. The Spartans missed a 28-yard field goal attempt but the next time they got the ball back as a result of Adams being picked off by Montae Nicholson. Cook hit Aaron Burbridge on a 17-yarder for a score and the Spartans had a 14-7 lead at the half. 

In the third quarter Scott scored his first TD going in from 6-yards out. MSU tacked on 3-points when Michael Geiger connected from 36-yards out on a field goal.

For the game Cook had 192 yards of passing and two TDs plus giving up an interception.

London was the game leading ball carrier with 103 yards and touchdown. Freeman led the way for Oregon with 97 yards rushing and a touchdown.

Overall Oregon had 432 yards of total offense (309 passing 123 rushing) while MSU had 398 total yards (197 and 192). 

Oregon was flagged nine times losing 56 yards while MSU had two penalties for minus 15 yards.

The Ducks turned the ball over on downs three times.


•Bralon Addison’s 81-yard punt return TD tied Keenan Howry for the seventh-longest punt return in UO history. Howry’s did not result in a touchdown. It was the third career punt return TD for Addison.

•Addison set a personal best for all-purpose yards, finishing with 236 (138 rec, 98 ret). His previous high was 166 vs. Cal in 2013. The 100-yard receiving game was the third of Addison’s career.

•Vernon Adams Jr. saw his personal streak of games with multiple TD passes end at 27 consecutive games. Oregon’s QB did find the end zone on a 2-yard run for his first rushing touchdown as a Duck and passed for one more.

•Adams Jr. finished with 309 yards passing, the 21st game of his career with 300+ yards.

•Byron Marshall tied Saladin McCullough for 10th on UO’s career touchdown list. Marshall had one score, giving him 27 in three-plus seasons at Oregon.

•Marshall’s 49-yard kick return in the first quarter was a career-long.

•Charles Nelson started and saw his first action of 2015 after missing the opener.

•Nelson matched his career-high with seven receptions.

•Devon Allen was back in action for the first time since the Rose Bowl Game, when he suffered an injury on the opening kickoff return. 

•Arrion Springs finished with a career-high 13 tackles, six of which were solo. He also had multiple pass breakups (2) for the second time in as many games.

•Joe Walker (11), Tyson Coleman (8) and Christian French (7) all set career marks for tackles in a game.

•Michigan State evened the all-time series between the two schools at 3-3. The home team has won all six meetings.

•Oregon is now 7-3 vs. Top 25, 3-3 vs. Top 10 and 1-2 vs. Top 5 opponents under head coach Mark Helfrich.

•The Ducks are now 16-2 when scoring first and 1-4 when trailing at the half in the Helfrich era.

•The Ducks out-gained the Spartans 432-389.

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