7 hours later, Spartans win on final play
By NOAH TRISTER
AP Sports Writer
EAST LANSING — Michael Geiger had the windmill. Now Matt Coghlin has the slide.
On a long, wet, wacky day at Spartan Stadium, Coghlin’s celebration sure felt appropriate.
Coghlin kicked a 34-yard field goal as time expired — some seven hours after the game began — and No. 24 Michigan State upset No. 7 Penn State 27-24 on Saturday night in a game that was delayed nearly 3 1/2 hours by severe weather in the second quarter. After making his winning kick, Coghlin ran back down the field and slid across it on his stomach while his teammates joined him in celebration.
“I wasn’t really thinking about the celebration,” Coghlin said. “Kind of running away — because I don’t want to get trampled. Just dove on the ground. I don’t know why.”
Two years ago, Geiger kicked a field goal to beat Ohio State and took off running, making a windmill motion with his arm. That gesture became one of the highlights of Michigan State’s run to a Big Ten title in 2015. This year’s Spartans (7-2, 5-1, No. 24 CFP) now have a chance to add an improbable championship of their own. They play at Ohio State next week, with the teams tied atop their division.
“We’ve put ourselves in position to at least be called a contender — and that’s what we want to do,” Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said.
Trace McSorley threw for 381 yards and three touchdowns for Penn State, but star Saquon Barkley was held in check. He had 0 yards rushing in the first half and finished with only 63. McSorley was intercepted three times.
Brian Lewerke threw for 400 yards and two touchdowns for the Spartans.