EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State’s record-setting offense didn’t score 73 points again, but it looked like it might in its final Big Ten tuneup on Saturday.
The No. 9 Spartans (3-1) settled for a 56-14 rout of Wyoming, completing their most explosive first four games in school history with a 50.3-point average.
“Very impressive start of the game by our offense,” Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said. “Really, the first six drives, every drive in the first half, resulted in a touchdown. You have 42 in the first half, tough to overcome that. Defensively, came up with three turnovers and a blocked kick, which is like a turnover, so big momentum swings in the football game.”
Jeremy Langford rushed for 137 of the Spartans’ 533 total yards, and Connor Cook was 6-for-8 through the air for 109 yards and two touchdowns, helping Michigan State score more than 50 points in back-to-back games for the first time since 1978.
“We’ve all been with each other so long, we have the timing,” Cook said of an offense that came together in October last year and helped Michigan State finish 13-1. “It shows in games.”
The Spartans have scored 174 points in three home games heading into a visit from unbeaten No. 21 Nebraska next Saturday night.
Tony Lippett had four catches for 76 yards and a touchdown, and Keith Mumphery scored on a run and a reception vs. the Cowboys (3-2).
Wyoming finished with 286 yards of offense but lost the ball on two fumbles and an interception, three mistakes too many against a team that is averaging nearly a point per minute at home.
Langford began the game with a 36-yard sweep of left end, reversing his field to travel more than 80 yards. Seven plays later, Cook bulled in from the 1 on an option keeper to open the scoring.
Cook got his arm loosened up on the Spartans’ second series, hitting Lippett for 18, 14 and a TD toss of 19 yards on a post route between three Wyoming defenders.
It was 157-2 in total offense when the Cowboys finally got a first down. They got more than that three plays later when Shaun Wick burst up the middle, eluded safety RJ Williamson and sprinted 57 yards to cut the deficit to 14-7.
Michigan State answered soon after on a 33-yard wide receiver sweep by Mumphery. And after Darien Harris recovered Colby Kirkegaard’s fumble at the Wyoming 29, Cook hit wide-open tight end Josiah Price over the middle to make it 28-7.
After Shilique Calhoun leaped to block a 42-yard field goal try, the Spartans went ahead by 28 points when Tyler O’Connor hit Mumphery on a slant for a 6-yard score. Three minutes later, Delton Williams’ 4-yard run gave the Spartans their first back-to-back 40-point games since 2007.
The Cowboys finished the first-half scoring with a 4-yard flip from Kirkegaard to J.D. Krill, capping a 75-yard drive. But it was Michigan State that had 332 yards by halftime, more than they had in three of their first four games last year.
After coming up empty on a push to the Wyoming 7 on their first series of the third quarter, the Spartans made it 49-14 on a 29-yard run by Langford and finished the scoring on O’Connor’s 12-yard scramble in the fourth quarter.
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