EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — LJ Scott ran for 147 yards and a touchdown to lead No. 22 Michigan State to a snowy 17-7 victory over Maryland on Saturday night.
The Spartans (8-3, 6-2 Big Ten, No. 17 CFP) rushed for 271 yards, and that was about the only way they could move the ball in yet another Michigan State game affected by the elements. Quarterback Brian Lewerke was 2 of 14 for 20 yards, and one of his completions was a shovel pass late in the third quarter.
Maryland (4-7, 2-6) wasn’t much better through the air until the fourth quarter. Max Bortenschlager finished 13 of 25 for 121 yards.
Michigan State won in torrential conditions at Michigan on Oct. 7, then won at Minnesota the following week following a lightning delay. The Spartans beat Penn State on Nov. 4 in a game interrupted for over three hours by a weather delay.
It was raining before the game, and by halftime, the teams had to deal with snow in addition to consistently windy conditions.
“We scratch and claw for wins. That’s all I can tell you,” Spartans coach Mark Dantonio said.
Scott gave Michigan State a 7-0 lead with a 2-yard run in the first quarter, and Lewerke scored on a 25-yard run in the second.
Michigan State’s Matt Coghlin missed a field goal in the third quarter, but a penalty for running into the kicker gave him another chance, and he converted from 27 yards. That became crucial when Maryland’s Lorenzo Harrison scored on a 4-yard run in the fourth and the Terps drove back into the red zone in the final minutes — but a missed field goal helped the Spartans close out the game.
Maryland: The Terps have gone through significant injury problems at quarterback. Bortenschlager, who missed last week’s loss to Michigan with an apparent head injury, was back, but the conditions made his job difficult. Maryland had a hard time stopping Michigan State’s running game early, and this was not a good night to be trying to mount a rally.
“We have to take advantage of opportunities when they are there. We didn’t,” coach DJ Durkin said. “Once again we started off slow, got ourselves behind and with the conditions they were, even harder to move the ball and score a lot of points.”
Michigan State: The Spartans rebounded nicely from a 48-3 loss at Ohio State last weekend, and the running game delivered on a day when it was sorely needed.
Maryland: The Terps can no longer reach .500, but they’ll try to finish on a positive note when they host Penn State next weekend.
Michigan State: The Spartans close the regular season at Rutgers.
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