November 23, 2019 / 8:24 PM / 21 days ago

Michigan St. routs Rutgers to edge closer to postseason

EditorsNote: corrects White’s first TD to 21 yards

Nov 23, 2019; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Michigan State Spartans quarterback Brian Lewerke (14) throws a pass for a touchdown against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during the first half at SHI Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Cody White caught a career-high 11 passes and scored a career-best three touchdowns to lead Michigan State to a 27-0 victory over Rutgers on Saturday in Piscataway, N.J.

The win ended a five-game skid for the Spartans (5-6, 3-5 Big Ten), who now need a victory in next week’s season-finale against Maryland to become bowl eligible.

White, a junior, gained 136 yards receiving and scored on passes of 21, 16 and 7 yards. Fifth-year senior quarterback Brian Lewerke was 21 of 30 for 239 yards and three touchdowns, while redshirt freshman Elijah Collins ran 31 times for 109 yards.

Rutgers (2-9, 0-8) gained only 140 total yards and did not pick up a first down in the first half.

Michigan State got on the board first when Lewerke hit White with a 21-yard pass in the corner of the end zone with 5:03 left in the first quarter. The Spartans added a 46-yard field goal from junior Matt Coghlin on their next drive to push the lead to 10-0 with 1:11 left in the first quarter.

Michigan State later failed to take advantage of an interception by sophomore safety Xavier Henderson, failing to pick up a first down before Coghlin’s 33-yard field-goal attempt banged off the left upright. However, the Spartans closed the half with an impressive two-minute drive, marching 77 yards on seven plays and taking a 17-0 lead on a 16-yard touchdown pass to White.

The Spartans continued to move the ball in the second half, but its first drive ended when White had a ball pulled from his hands in the end zone and intercepted by Rutgers’ redshirt freshman linebacker Deion Jennings. Michigan State later added a 37-yard field goal from Coghlin to push the lead to 20-0 with five seconds left in the third quarter.

A forced fumble and recovery by junior Josiah Scott on the next series set Michigan State up at the Rutgers 29. Four plays later, Lewerke hit White for his third touchdown catch of the game, this one for 7 yards that put Michigan State ahead 27-0 with 12:39 to play.

—Field Level Media

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