Nebraska's Turnovers Hand Michigan State the Legends Division Driver's Seat

Andrew CoppensContributor INovember 16, 2013

LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 16: Quarterback Connor Cook #18 of the Michigan State Spartans scans the field during their game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on November 16, 2013 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images

Michigan State went into Lincoln, won 41-28 and all but wrapped up the Legends Division least that is how the record books will see this game.

The real story of this game, though? Well, that was all about Nebraska and how it literally handed the keys to Indianapolis and the Big Ten Championship game over to the Spartans. 

Nebraska turned the ball over not once, not twice, but four times on the day and Michigan State capitalized on all four of the turnovers.

It's hard to win games when you turn the ball over inside your own territory all four times, as well. 

One would assume that it meant Michigan State's defense created a ton of pressure and played extremely well. That wasn't the case on Saturday, as Tommy Armstrong and Co. handed the ball to the Spartans in nearly every case.

Three of the four were unforced errors, but credit Michigan State for being able to capitalize on those short fields and come away with a commanding lead in the Legends Division. 

The Spartans turned those four turnovers into 24 of the 41 Michigan State points on the day.

Michigan State managed to win this game despite being out-rushed (168-182) and out-passed (193-210) by the host Huskers. 

Those numbers would've looked even worse if it weren't for two long scores through the air (27 yards out) and on the ground (37 yards out) in the fourth quarter. 

Spartans quarterback Connor Cook went just 15-of-31 passing for 193 yards, but managed a touchdown and no interceptions in the win. His touchdown came at the most opportune of times, too. 

Cook threw the game-winning touchdown to Keith Mumphery from 27 yards out early in the fourth quarter. 

Michigan State's lead running back, Jeremy Langford, had himself a good day in the touchdown department—scoring three of his team's touchdowns. However, it also took him 32 carries to get his 151 yards on the ground. 

Despite all that should've gone against the Spartans, they found another way to defy the odds, moving themselves to 9-1 and 6-0 in Big Ten play. 

Come next weekend, games like the one on Saturday will be what Michigan State can hang its hat on should it make the trip to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship game a reality. 

*Andy Coppens is Bleacher Report's lead writer for the Big Ten. You can follow him on Twitter: @ andycoppens