EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Katin Houser and Sam Leavitt each threw touchdown passes and Noah Kim kicked two field goals to help Michigan State snap a six-game losing streak with a 20-17 victory over Nebraska on Saturday afternoon.
It is the Spartans’ first win under interim coach Harlon Barnett, who took over when Mel Tucker was fired Sept. 27. Michigan State (3-6, 1-5 Big Ten) had dropped seven straight conference games since beating Rutgers Nov. 12, 2023.
After neither team took control in the first half, Kim’s 51-yard field goal with 5:11 left in third quarter broke a 10-10 tie and Leavitt pushed the lead to 20-10 with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Montorie Foster Jr. with 12:13 remaining in the game.
Nebraska (5-4, 3-3) cut the deficit to 20-17 on Emmett Johnson’s four-yard touchdown run with 3:35 left. The Huskers regained possession with under a minute remaining but were unable to move the ball.
Khary Crump started at cornerback for Michigan State in his first game after his suspension for the stadium tunnel fight at Michigan last year. The Big Ten suspended Crump for eight games after he swung his helmet at a Michigan player in the tunnel. He was one of seven Michigan State players charged in a skirmish that followed a loss at Michigan Stadium on Oct. 29.
Nebraska: The Huskers struggled in pass defense against Michigan State’s receiving corps that was missing starters Tre Mosley and Maliq Carr. They allowed 232 yards through the air, including six passes of more than 15 yards. Nebraska will need to show improvement next week against Maryland’s explosive passing offense.
Michigan State: The Spartans played their best defense of the year, registering 12 tackles for a loss and forcing three turnovers. The Huskers crossed midfield just once in the second half.
Nebraska: Hosts Maryland on Nov. 11.
Michigan State: At No. 3 Ohio State on Nov. 11.