Posted November 17, 2013 on AP on Fox
Michigan State isn't ready to celebrate quite yet. The 13th-ranked Spartans locked up at least a tie for the Big Ten Legends Division title with their 41-28 win at Nebraska on Saturday. They need one more win, or one Minnesota loss, to clinch the division outright. Linebacker Max Bullough wants to leave nothing to chance, so it's full steam ahead to Northwestern. ''We'll worry about all the other implications when they come,'' Bullough said. ''We can't play our bowl game tomorrow. We can't play our bowl game next week. We can just play the next game on the schedule.'' To be denied a second appearance in the conference championship game in three years, the Spartans (9-1, 6-0) would have to lose their last two games - at Northwestern (4-6, 0-6) and at home against Minnesota (8-2, 4-2) - plus the Gophers would have to beat Wisconsin at home this week. The win over the Cornhuskers was a breakthrough. Before Saturday, Michigan State had beaten each of its Big Ten opponents at least once since 2011 except Nebraska. Coach Mark Dantonio noted that the Spartans will be in the Big Ten race on the last day of the regular season for the fourth times since 2008. ''Those are big positive steps for a program from when we came here,'' the seventh-year Spartans coach said. ''It shows we have a solid foundation, but we need to continue to coach, and play and play up and continue to climb the ladder. You want to be where we are at, at the end of the season. I think it was a statement for a lot of people, for recruits and for everybody else.'' The Spartans never trailed against the Huskers, and they turned four of Nebraska's five turnovers into points. But they did have to respond to pressure after Nebraska scored late in the third quarter to pull within 27-21. Sophomore quarterback Connor Cook took another step in his development, leading Michigan State on a 10-play, 75-yard drive that made it a 13-point game in the middle of the fourth. ''He delivered,'' Dantonio said. ''He had some big throws in the third and fourth quarters that really sort of put us over the top.'' Cook hit Tony Lippett for a 34-yard gain on a third-and-5. After the Spartans picked up a first down on a fake field goal, a 12-yard pass to Bennie Fowler on third-and-8 was called back because of an ineligible receiver downfield. But on the next play Cook threw a perfect ball to Keith Mumphrey on a post pattern for a 27-yard touchdown. ''I knew we needed a touchdown to kind of seal the deal, get us a bigger cushion as a team,'' Cook said. ''I'm calm and cool under pressure. I feel like I've been like that. I believe in myself.'' The Spartans scored touchdowns on three of their last four full series and finished with 361 yards. That total was 18 yards under their season average, but it was enough on a day Nebraska couldn't hang onto the ball. Michigan State improved to 3-1 on the road, with the only blemish a four-point loss at Notre Dame. ''We've been good on the road. We've come together,'' Dantonio said. ''That's a happy locker room, and the guys feel fulfilled a little bit. We're moving in the right direction.''
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

MSU Football: Spartans record first-ever win over Cornhuskers

EAST LANSING, Mich. — It’s taken eight games, but the Michigan State Spartans finally defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers for the first time ever on Saturday, and by doing so, they have all but guaranteed a spot in the Big Ten championship game. The Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-3, 4-2) turned the ball over five times in the 41-28 loss, which lead to 24 points for the 16th-ranked Spartans...

Spartans move to No. 1 in AP poll

Michigan State is No. 1 in The Associated Press' college basketball poll for the first time in 13 years. The Spartans moved up one spot after beating top-ranked Kentucky last week. They took the No. 1 spot by a wide margin, receiving 51 first-place votes Monday from the 65-member national media panel. This is Michigan State's first time leading the rankings since a two...

Columbia duped into shot clock violations

That college education is finally paying off. No. 2 Michigan State faced Columbia on Friday and as the game reached its closing minutes with the Spartans up by a handful, the Michigan State fan section -- or the Izzone -- took matters into its own hands. As Columbia held the ball, the fans purposefully over-counted the time left on the shot clock in order to fool the Columbia players...

Michigan State takes over as No. 1

Michigan State is No. 1 in The Associated Press' college basketball poll for the first time in 13 years. The Spartans were The AP's top-ranked team for two weeks during the 2000-01 season -- the year after coach Tom Izzo helped the program win its second national title -- and twice in the 1978-79 season when the Earvin "Magic" Johnson-led team went on to claim...

Michigan State Students Cause Confusion

Michigan State men’s basketball team needed a little extra help against Columbia, so their students delivered.  Now the real question is, why the hell did they need help against Columbia?! The number 2 team in the nation, Michigan State, once trailed Columbia by as many as seven points in the second half of the game.  The Spartan’s fans took matters into their own hands and...

Photos: Michigan State Is Bringing Out The Chrome Helmets Today, Wearing Special Pads

Michigan State is taking on Nebraska this afternoon in Lincoln, with the lead for the Big Ten’s Legends Division on the line. To get the players hyped, the equipment staff is breaking out some special gear.  The chrome helmets that made a huge splash last season are back and looking as shiny as ever — it’s hard not to love chrome: Spartans will wear chrome helmets today at...

MSU Students Punk'd Columbia into 2 Consecutive Shot Clock Violations with Faux Countdowns

Michigan State students force two consecutive Columbia shot clock violations by chanting loud, faulty countdowns.Michigan State avoided an upset with the 62-53 win.**Follow us on Twitter, Subscribe by Email, View via Our Mobile Site, or Return Home

This Week’s USA Today Coaches’ Poll Has Michigan State As New No. 1

via @BTNSean Even though the college basketball season has only just begun, we’ve already seen a number of upsets. As a result, the new USA Today Coaches’ Poll has some major shuffling including a new top-ranked team: Michigan State. The Spartans are in the pole position for the first time since 2001 after knocking off the previous No. 1, the Kentucky Wildcats. Check out the...

No. 14 Nebraska beats turnover-prone Neb.

Michigan State all but locked up a spot in the Big Ten championship game, and the 14th-ranked Spartans didn't even need their nation-leading defense at its best to do it.

Spartans survive against Portland

Michigan State uses strong second half to break away.

Appling "worth the price of admission" in win

Senior point guard keys Michigan State's 82-67 win against Portland on Monday -- despite lackluster first half for the Spartans.

AP Top 25 Poll for Week 3: Michigan State ranks No. 1 for first time in 13 years

The Associated Press has updated its AP Top 25 Poll for Week 3 of the 2013 college basketball season. Here are the rankings as of Nov. 18.

Michigan State-Northwestern Preview

Michigan State isn't ready to celebrate quite yet. The 13th-ranked Spartans locked up at least a tie for the Big Ten Legends Division title with a 41-28 win at Nebraska last Saturday. They need one more win, or one Minnesota loss, to clinch the division outright. Linebacker Max Bullough wants to leave nothing to chance, so it's full steam ahead to Saturday's visit to...

Michigan St.-Northwestern Preview

Michigan State isn't ready to celebrate quite yet. The 13th-ranked Spartans locked up at least a tie for the Big Ten Legends Division title with a 41-28 win at Nebraska last Saturday. They need one more win, or one Minnesota loss, to clinch the division outright. Linebacker Max Bullough wants to leave nothing to chance, so it's full steam ahead to Saturday's visit to...

MSU post: Tim Beck

The Nebraska OC talks about his team's performance against Michigan State and the play of his quarterback Tommy Armstrong.
Spartans News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.