Friday, December 13, 2002
Michigan State 30, No. 9 Purdue 10
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- T.J. Duckett ran for 174 yards and a touchdown as Michigan State shocked No. 9 Purdue with a 30-10 victory Saturday.
The Spartans (5-5, 2-5 Big Ten) kept their bowl-hopes alive, while the Boilermakers (7-3, 5-2) can still advance to the Rose Bowl with a victory next week at home against Indiana.
Purdue's Drew Brees was 26-of-43 for 279 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. Michigan State's Jeff Smoker completed 12 of 23 passes for 195 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Michigan State led the entire game and broke it open with two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
The Spartans must beat Penn State next week on the road to qualify for a bowl. The Boilermakers can thank Iowa for beating Northwestern, which allows them to go the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1967 if they can beat their in-state rival.
Michigan State led 15-3 at halftime, but its lead look threatened when Brees connected with Vinny Sutherland for a 68-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 15-10.
But the Boilermakers' hopes were dashed when Renaldo Hill intercepted a pass on their next possession and Michigan State went on to score consecutive touchdowns.
The Spartans took a 6-0 lead on their second possession on Smoker's 2-yard run. Duckett's 28-yard run was the key play of the 10-play, 80-yard drive. Duckett ran right and when he didn't see room to run, he reversed field and rumbled to Purdue's 16.
Purdue's Travis Dorsch made a 36-yard field goal on the ensuing possession.
David Schaefer responded with a 32-yard kick on the next drive to give Michigan State a 9-3 lead early in the second quarter.
Smoker threw a short slant to Chris Baker, who ran through Purdue's defense for an 18-yard touchdown to give Michigan State at 15-3 lead with 3:07 left in the half.
Brees appeared to be leading Purdue to a score before halftime, but Michigan State's Thomas Wright deflected a pass high in the air and DeMario Suggs intercepted it at Purdue's 37 with 1:39 left.
Michigan State took advantage of Brees' second interception by scoring a touchdown and a 2-point conversion to take a 23-10 lead early in the fourth quarter. On the touchdown, Duckett was stuffed up the middle then ran to the outside, stiff-armed a defender to the ground and reached the football across the goal line.
After Purdue went three-and-out, the Spartans drove 86 yards to take a 30-10 lead. Duckett gained 38 yards on the first three plays and on the next play his backup, Little John Flowers, scored on 48-yard run in which he lost his right cleat along the way.
On the ensuing possession, Michigan State's Thomas Wright made the third interception against Brees at the Spartans' 4 midway through the fourth quarter.
|Michigan State's T.J. Duckett sprints past the Boilermaker defense.|