Michigan State Stuns Trace McSorley, Penn State in 21-17 Big Ten Upset

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 13, 2018

STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 13:  Brian Lewerke #14 of the Michigan State Spartans passes against the Penn State Nittany Lions on October 13, 2018 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Michigan State Spartans upset the No. 8 Penn State Nittany Lions 21-17 on Saturday at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania.

Brian Lewerke hit Felton Davis III on a 25-yard touchdown pass with 19 seconds remaining for the game-winning score.

Lewerke finished 24-of-52 for 259 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Penn State's defeat comes two weeks after a 27-26 loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes. Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin received criticism for his play call on a pivotal fourth down late in that game. Falling to the Spartans will put more heat on Franklin.

In particular, many will second-guess Franklin's offensive game plan.

Penn State finished with 397 total yards. More than a third of that number came on a pair of Miles Sanders runs in the first half that totaled 126 yards. Sanders had just 16 rushing yards in the final two quarters.

The Spartans defense deserves credit for holding Penn State to three points in the second half and effectively taking Sanders out of the game.

Trace McSorley struggled as well, throwing for 192 yards and one touchdown. It's the third time the senior quarterback has failed to throw for at least 200 yards. To put that into perspective, McSorley had fewer than 200 passing yards just twice in 2017.

The result almost certainly ends Penn State's quest for a College Football Playoff berth. Winning the Big Ten likely wouldn't be enough for a two-loss Nittany Lions team to climb into the semifinals.

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