(Saturday, November 1st)
Final Score: (22) Michigan State 25, Wisconsin 24
East Lansing, MI (Sports Network) - Brett Swenson nailed a 44-yard field goal with seven seconds left in the contest to give No. 22 Michigan State a hard- fought 25-24 victory over Wisconsin.
Swenson kicked four field goals for Michigan State (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten), including a career-best from 50 yards out. Javon Ringer rushed for a season- low 58 yards, but did have two touchdowns.
"It's exciting for us," said Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio. "I can't say it was a pretty game, but we just kept hanging around. I'm very, very happy for our football team, and our entire fan base and this state."
John Clay rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown for Wisconsin (4-5, 1-5), while P.J. Hill gained 106 yards on 20 carries with a score in a losing effort. Quarterback Dustin Sherer finished 14-of-28 for 149 yards and a touchdown.
With their backs against the wall, the Spartans defense held the Badgers rushing attack late in the final quarter and forced Wisconsin to punt. Michigan State re-gained possession on its own 17 with 1:19 left in the game.
Brian Hoyer opened Michigan State's final possession with a 19-yard completion to Blair White. After two incomplete passes, White and Hoyer connected on a 32-yard gain down the middle with 51 seconds left.
A four-yard completion to B.J. Cunningham gave Swenson a chance to win the game from 44 yards out with 12 seconds left.
Michigan State's kicker was perfect, putting the ball down the middle for the victory. The 25-24 lead was the Spartans first of the contest.
"I made sure I stayed relaxed and down on the ball, but I couldn't have done it without the help of everyone else," said Swenson. "We had great blocking, snaps and holds throughout the entire game and all the confidence the coaches and my teammate have in me helps too."
After Wisconsin took a 24-13 lead in the fourth quarter, it took the Spartans just 1:02 to make it 24-19 as Ringer rushed for his second touchdown, a two- yard run, with 8:13 to go. Michigan State failed on its two-point conversion attempt, as White could not hold onto a Hoyer pass in the back of the end zone.
Michigan State's defense forced Wisconsin into a three-and-out, and gained possession after a punt on the Badgers' 48 with 6:38 left in the game. Swenson turned the Spartans' defensive effort into three points as he nailed a 50-yard field goal with 5:16 to go, cutting the deficit to 24-22.
"It was a great, great job," Dantonio said about Swenson's 4-for-4 effort. "He's maybe one of the greatest kickers that's ever gone through here with the ability to focus like that and kick it up there."
Sherer and Garrett Graham hooked up on a one-yard scoring pass to give Wisconsin a 7-0 lead with 3:01 left in the first quarter. The Wisconsin quarterback's completion was his only one of the set, as the Badgers called for a run on six of the eight plays.
Swenson booted a pair of field goals (27, 21) during the second quarter to cut Wisconsin's advantage to 7-6. However, Philip Welch closed out the first half by banging in a 31-yard attempt to send the Badgers into the locker room with a four-point lead, 10-6.
The Badgers' defense was dominant in the first half. The Spartans gained just 23 yards on the ground, and Wisconsin outgained its opponent 196-126 in the first 30 minutes of action.
With 4:19 left in the third quarter, Wisconsin extended its lead to 17-6. Hill took a handoff and burst to the left and marched into the end zone from 10 yards away. The Badgers capitalized on a muffed punt, and needed five plays to go 40 yards for the score.
Michigan State came right back and scored on its next possession when Ringer squeezed his way between two Wisconsin defenders for a two-yard touchdown run. Ringer's run capped a five-play, 62-yard drive and made it a 17-13 contest with 2:59 remaining in the third frame.
Clay scampered through the right side of the Wisconsin offensive line and went 32 yards to increase Wisconsin's advantage 24-13 with 9:19 left in the final stanza. Sherer hooked up with Graham on a 28-yard pass completion during the six-play, 80-yard drive.
Ringer leads the nation with 18 rushing touchdowns this season...White had seven catches for 164 yards, while Hoyer ended 19-of-44 for 252 yards...Clay has five touchdown runs this season... The Badgers snapped a five-game string without having a 100-yard rusher...The last time Wisconsin had two players rush for 100 yards was against Bowling Green on September 4, 2005...Wisconsin will visit Indiana next Saturday, while Michigan State is scheduled to host Purdue.
11/01 20:29:39 ET