Michigan State snaps skid with 49-0 rout of Rutgers

Michigan State quarterback Tyler O'Connor (7) throws as he is tackled by Rutgers' Isaiah Wharton during the second quarter of an NCAA college footballl game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
AP

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Tyler O'Connor threw three touchdown passes in the first half, and Michigan State snapped its seven-game losing streak with a 49-0 rout of Rutgers on Saturday in what was a matchup of the last two teams in the Big Ten without a conference win.

Now Rutgers (2-8, 0-7) is alone at the bottom of the league after the Spartans (3-7, 1-6) raced out to a 35-0 halftime lead. LJ Scott ran for 103 of his 122 yards in the first half, and Demetrious Cox returned an interception for a touchdown.

Rutgers never made it farther than the Michigan State 27-yard line – and on that drive in the second quarter, the Scarlet Knights ended up punting from the 30. The Spartans drove 92 yards the other way and took a 28-0 lead on a 4-yard touchdown pass from O'Connor to Josiah Price.

Price caught two touchdown passes, including a 2-yarder that opened the scoring in the first quarter. Cox made it 14-0 with a 30-yard interception return, and O'Connor added a 50-yard touchdown pass to Trishton Jackson later in the first.

THE TAKEAWAY

Rutgers: This was a matchup of two teams at the bottom of the Big Ten, but it didn't look like they were on the same level. This was a significant setback for the Scarlet Knights, who had been more competitive lately in losses to Minnesota and Indiana.

Michigan State: There's nothing the Spartans can do now to make up for the horrendous losing streak that derailed their season, but this was about as emphatic as a victory can get. Michigan State outgained Rutgers 440-149 – and did it without injured defensive lineman Malik McDowell.

UP NEXT

Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights return home to face Penn State next weekend, and they'll be heavy underdogs again.

Michigan State: The Spartans host No. 6 Ohio State. The Buckeyes will be out to avenge an upset loss to Michigan State last year that kept Ohio State out of the national title hunt.

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