EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Jeremy Langford and Tony Lippett celebrated senior day in style as No. 10-ranked Michigan State smashed Rutgers 45-3 on Saturday for its 40th win in four seasons and 51st in five.
Langford, who played cornerback and wide receiver before returning to running back, rushed for 126 yards and two touchdowns. That stretched his streak of 100-yard games in conference play to 15, the longest in the Football Bowl Subdivision in the last 10 years.
Lippett, another fifth-year player who switched positions multiple times, had five catches for 72 yards and his 10th score this season. He became the eighth receiver in school history to pass the 1,000-yard mark and also played well in a surprising stint at cornerback.
The Spartans (9-2, 6-1 Big Ten), No. 11 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, scored on five on their first six possessions and finished with a 520-234 edge in total offense, including 254 through the air from Connor Cook.
Both teams had a first-quarter takeaway. After Quentin Gause gave the Scarlet Knights the ball at their 21 following Cook’s fumble, Kurtis Drummond got it back for Michigan State by picking off Nova, his 12th career interception. The Spartans drove 65 yards for the game’s first score, a 30-yard catch-and-run by Lippett on a fourth-and-5 gamble.
The Spartans made it 14-0 on their third possession, taking advantage of a 10-yard punt to the Rutgers 33. Langford finished the job with an 18-yard burst up the middle, his 16th TD of the season.
After Kyle Federico was short and right on a 46-yard field goal try for the Scarlet Knights, Michigan State went 70 yards to make it 21-0. Langford found the end zone again with a sweet bounce-out move and a 38-yard sprint down the right sideline.
The Spartans went up by four scores on their next opportunity. A playground pass from a scrambling Cook to Macgarrett Kings picked up 44 yards. And Nick Hill vaulted over the goal line on his second chance from a half-yard out.
But Michigan State wasn’t done. After Riley Bullough’s diving interception at the Rutgers 48, the Spartans methodically marched toward the end zone, arriving on a 7-yard toss from Cook to R.J. Shelton for a 35-0 advantage.
Michigan State looked ready to pad that cushion early in the third quarter. Placekicker Michael Geiger raced 23 yards to the Rutgers 1 on a fake field goal. But Hill’s fumble on the next snap was recovered by Gause at the 3.
The Scarlet Knights moved 71 yards and finally got on the scoreboard with 49 seconds left in the third quarter. Federico’s 44-yard field goal hit the upright and bounced through for three points.
The Spartans answered with a 23-yard field goal from Geiger, then tacked on another seven on a 16-yard, tackle-busting sweep by Hill, another player who persevered for five years and left championship rings and great memories.
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