The Michigan State Spartans‘ winning effort yesterday over the Nebraska Cornhuskers has put them on the threshold of a Legends division title and trip to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship game.
While the Spartans’ defense allowed the offense to be out-gained by the Cornhuskers, they forced five Nebraska turnovers and contributed to a 17-minute time of possession advantage for Michigan State. Spartans running back Jeremy Langford‘s efforts made the defensive performance good enough to win.
Langford rushed for 151 yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries, accounting for almost all of Michigan State’s 168 rushing yards. Quarterback Connor Cook provided enough of a passing attack to keep the Cornhuskers’ defense honest, going 15-of-31 for 193 yards and a touchdown.
The Spartans now 9-1 overall, 6-0 in the Big Ten, and are firmly in the driver’s seat in the Big Ten Legends division. All Michigan State needs is a win in its final two games (at Northwestern, vs. Minnesota) or a Minnesota loss on Saturday vs. Wisconsin to officially clinch.
There, Michigan State would be seeking its first outright Big Ten championship and trip to the Rose Bowl since 1987. Yesterday’s win was big for other scenarios as well, however. If the Spartans should lose the Big Ten Championship game, winning this game helps their case for a possible BCS at-large bid.
Michigan State’s destiny is still in their own hands because of yesterday’s win. If they win their next three games, they will be headed to the Rose Bowl. If they can execute a little better than they did in Nebraska yesterday, Pasadena is a real possibility.