Game will be remembered for the lightning delay
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Following are the highlights and lowlights from Penn State’s 27-24 loss to Michigan State on Saturday at Spartan Stadium:
Situation of the game: Before the play of the game, let’s outline the situation of the game. With Michigan State facing third-and-4 from the Penn State 37 with 7:58 left in the first half, the game was suspended due to lightning. It was delayed three hours and 23 minutes — from 1:15 to 4:38 — before it resumed.
Play of the game: With the score tied at 24-24 and less than a minute left, on third-and-4 at the PSU 37, Penn State forced an incompletion, but Nit safety Marcus Allen roughed Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke. The 15-yard personal foul penalty set up the game-winning field goal.
Offensive player of the game: Lewerke completed 33-of-56 for 400 yards and two touchdowns. He was intercepted once and sacked twice. He also scrambled seven times for 25 yards.
Defensive player of the game: Michigan State safety David Dowell intercepted two passes and added four tackles.
Most telling statistic: The Spartans converted 10-of-18 third downs.
Most deceiving statistic: Penn State also threw for 400 yards (actually 401).
Hidden statistic: The teams combined for 15 penalties for 173 yards.
Best run: Saquon Barkley got loose for a 36-yarder in the third quarter.
Best pass: Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley unloaded a 70-yard bomb to DeAndre Thompkins, who beat Spartan corner Josiah Scott for a touchdown on the final play of the third quarter.
Worst pass: On first down from midfield and 8:43 left, McSorley had Saeed Blacknall open on a post but underthrew him and was intercepted by Dowell.
Best catch(es): Lion corner Amani Aruwariye did a great job to snag an interception and get his toes down with seven minutes remaining to stop an MSU drive. Hunter Risen, son of former MSU and NFL standout Andre “Bad Moon” Risen, made a once-handed 26-yard reception to the Lions’ 20 in the third quarter.
Catch it, will ya: Laundry list for PSU. Thompkins had a pass go through his hands on fourth-and-3 from the Michigan State 31 with 4:05 left. It would have been enough for a first down and, potentially, at least a go-ahead field goal attempt. There were others. DaeSean Hamilton dropped a pass over the middle in the first quarter. Barkley and Juwan Johnson dropped passes in the second quarter following the delay. Freshman corner Tariq Castro-Fields dropped an interception in the third quarter.
Hold it, won’t ya: Neither team fumbled.
Best tackle: Michigan State’s Matt Sokol made a one-on-one shoestring tackle of Barkley on a second-quarter kickoff return, pinning the Lions at their 7.
Best block: Thompkins wiped out Spartan left corner Justin Layne, springing Barkley for 36 yards in the third quarter.
Best hit: Dowell and Khari Willis combined to drill Hamilton following a 19-yard reception in the first quarter.
Best kick: Michigan State’s Matt Coghlin made a game-winning 34-yard field goal as time expired.
Worst kick: Didn’t see a bad one.
Best call: Penn State snapped the ball to Barkley in the wildcat. Barkley faked a handoff to McSorley and then threw for 20 yards to Mike Gesicki.
Worst call: Of course, game officials should practice safety first, but the delay of 3:23 seemed excessive.
Worst penalty: Allen’s roughing call, in which he hit Lewerke late and low, helped decide the game.
Best effort: Blacknall broke three tackles on his 27-yard touchdown that pushed the Lions up 14-7 late in the first quarter.
Unsung hero: Michigan State receiver Felton Davis caught 12 passes for 181 yards and one touchdown