It wasn’t easy, and it definitely wasn’t always pretty, but Michigan State got the job done and beat Western Michigan 28-14 at home.
The Week 2 win looked, in many ways, similar to the Spartans win in the season opener. The difference was their opponent. One member of the Broncos, specifically – Darius Phillips. The defensive back and kick returner was the only man to score for Western.
After a slow start for both teams, Michigan State got on the board first with a long quarterback draw from Brian Lewerke. The quarterback took the ball 61-yards, giving MSU a 7-0 lead.
Lewerke goes 61 yards on the ground to give MSU a 7-0 lead against WMU. pic.twitter.com/UmDA8BKJzy— The Only Colors (@TheOnlyColors) September 9, 2017
MSU added to its lead in the second quarter, again with Lewerke’s help. This time the quarterback found an open LJ Scott in the end zone, doubling the lead.
Michigan State went to halftime with the 14-0 lead and was playing a dominant defensive game. Freshman Josiah Scott ended Western’s best scoring opportunity, on the first drive of the game, with his first career interception.
The Broncos got on the board for the first time off of a Hunter Rison fumble on an end-around in the third quarter. Phillips, an absolute burner in open field, picked up the fumble and went 67-yards untouched.
MSU answered on the very next drive, moving 75 yards in just six plays. The big play of the drive was a 46-yard reception by Darrell Stewart Jr., coming up just short of the end zone. Lewerke finished things off a play later with a sneak for a touchdown.
The Spartans thought they put the game away early in the fourth quarter after a long touchdown drive to go up 28-7. This time it was Scott on the ground, reaching out across the goal line for the score.
LJ Scott with the reeeaaaaach at the goal line for an MSU TOUCHDOWN! 28-7 MSU. pic.twitter.com/hKeTCAwgjO— The Only Colors (@TheOnlyColors) September 9, 2017
But once again, it was Phillips to the rescue for WMU. On the kickoff following Scott’s touchdown, Phillips took it to the house.
While The Broncos offense had done nothing all game, its final drive nearly changed all that. Western was successful on three fourth down attempts, moving the ball inside the Spartans 20 with a chance to score. But on the final fourth down attempt, Michigan State held strong and got the ball back.
A short drive allowed Lewerke and the Spartans offense to run out the clock. The quarterback finished 13-21 for 161 yards, with on passing touchdown and an interception. He was at his best on the ground, rushing for 81-yards and two touchdowns. Scott added 86-yards with a rushing and receiving touchdown. Felton Davis III was the team’s leading receiver with 69 yards on four receptions.
The Spartans defense held Western Michigan to only 195 offensive yards and no points. On the year, they have only allowed three points.
Next week, MSU will have their biggest test to date when they host Notre Dame.