MADISON, Wis. — It wouldn’t be a Michigan State and Wisconsin game if it didn’t raise your blood pressure, right?
The Michigan State Spartans (5-4, 2-3) upset the ground and pound #25 Wisconsin Badgers (6-3, 3-2) 16-13 in overtime at Camp Randall Stadium.
After the Badgers struck first in OT with a Kyle French 43 yard field goal to give the Badgers a 13-10 lead, MSU quarterback Andrew Maxwell connected with Bennie Fowler on a 12-yard touchdown pass to give the Spartans their first win in Camp Randall since 2001.
Maxwell finished the game with 216 yards and two touchdowns on 24-of-39 passing. MSU running back Le’Veon Bell outrushed Wisconsin’s dynamic duo of Montee Ball and James White, combined, as he rushed for 77 yards on 21 carries.
The MSU defense must have read my preview prior to the game because they made it a priority to shut down the Badgers rushing attack.
As a team, the Badgers rushed for a total of 19 yards. Ball, arguably the best back in the country, was held to 46 yards on 22 carries and White, arguably the best backup running back in the country, was held to 16 yards.
Spartans celebrate a victory as Bennie Fowler scores the game-winning touchdown against the Badgers. (AP Photo/Andy Manis).
Junior linebacker Max Bullough added 9 total tackles for the Spartans, and linebacker Denicos Allen racked up eight solo tackles. Defensive end William Gholston came out of his shell and tallied 4.5 tackles for a loss.
Gholston opened the second half with an excruciating hit on Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave causing him to leave the game and not return with a left shoulder injury.
The Gholston sack set the tone for the Spartans for the rest of the game as they didn’t allow a second half touchdown for the sixth time this season.
The Spartans defense is going to be the key in getting MSU into bowl season. The Spartans are one win away from being bowl eligible, and adding their second win against a top 25 team this season will help those chances immensely once they reach the required wins.
After an awful offensive performance against the Spartans, the Badgers don’t play again until Nov. 10 when they take on Indiana at Memorial Stadium.
Michigan State welcomes the Nebraska Cornhuskers to Spartan Stadium next Saturday in a game that could potentially mimic today’s result.