Nebraska edges out Spartans
Martinez leads Cornhuskers to last-second 28-24 victory
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Taylor Martinez capped a huge day by throwing a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jamal Turner with six seconds to play to lift the visiting Cornhuskers to their third straight victory.
Martinez rushed for 205 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries and drove Nebraska (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten) 80 yards in 74 seconds for the winning touchdown, connecting on a 38-yard pass to Kyler Reed on fourth-and-10 to keep the drive alive.
Martinez scored on runs of 71 and 35 yards, the latter coming with 7:02 to play, as the Cornhuskers erased a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit and improved to 7-0 all time against Michigan State (5-5, 2-4). The victory also kept Nebraska tied with Michigan atop the Legends Division.
Le’Veon Bell rushed for 188 yards and two touchdowns, including a 1-yard plunge that gave the Spartans a 24-14 lead with 14:20 to play.
Darqueze Dennard had two of Michigan State’s three interceptions of Martinez, but was whistled for a critical pass interference penalty in the end zone with 17 seconds remaining that gave the Cornhuskers a first-and-goal at the 5-yard line.
Spartans quarterback Andrew Maxwell was 9-for-27 for 123 yards and a 46-yard scoring pass to Tony Lippett while Martinez finished 16-of-36 for 160 yards with two scoring passes.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Martinez went over 8,000 yards in total offense in the game, surpassing 2001 Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch for the school’s all-time record. … Dennard had a 97-yard interception return for a touchdown called back because of a personal foul on the Spartans, whose last six conference games have been decided by a total of 17 points. … Cornhuskers RB Rex Burkhead sat out his second consecutive game and fourth overall with a knee injury. Ameer Abdullah rushed for 110 yards on 22 carries in his place.