The Michigan State Spartans got a huge 38-17 win on the road this past Saturday against the Miami Hurricanes, despite concerns about the late summer heat and humidity in Florida, and redshirt sophomore quarterback Payton Thorne was a big reason for that. It is thus no surprise to see Thorne was named Co-Offensive Player of the Week by the Big Ten.
Thorne finished the game at Miami with 261 passing yards after completing 18-of-31 passes and tossing four touchdowns. He became just the second Spartan quarterback in school history to throw for four touchdowns in back-to-back games, the other being Connor Cook.
Thorne completed a seven-yard screen pass to Kenneth Walker III in the second quarter for his first touchdown throw of the game. He later found Jalen Nailor on an 11-yard throw in the third quarter, and then hit Jayden Reed in the end zone on a 10-yard pass on third-and-seven early in the fourth quarter. His final touchdown throw of the game came late in the fourth quarter on a 39-yard pass to Nailor to push MSU’s lead out to 31-17 at that point.
Thorne finished the game with a net of just four rushing yards (as sacks count against his rushing total), but had a 22-yard scramble and converted a fourth-and-one on a quarterback sneak as well.
Overall on the season, Thorne has completed 62 percent of his passes (48-for-77) for 726 yards, which puts him at sixth in the league in passing yards per game (242.0). He also ranks first in the conference in passing efficiency (180.1) and touchdown passes (nine).
Thorne is the second player to earn the Offensive Player of the Week honors from the Big Ten office after Kenneth Walker III was recognized in Week One after the opening game at Northwestern.
No. 20/21 Michigan State (3-0, 1-0 Big Ten) gets a visit from the Nebraska Cornhuskers (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten) Saturday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. in Spartan Stadium. The game will be televised on FS1 and can be streamed on the FOX Sports app.
For Michigan State fans on Facebook, be sure to vote for Thorne in this week’s Manning Award Stars of the Week by “Liking” Thorne’s photo.