COLLEGE FOOTBALL : BIG TEN ROUNDUP : Michigan State Stuns No. 7 Michigan, 28-25
Michigan’s defense, giving up 15.4 points per game, had been the team’s strength all season. Yet on Saturday the Wolverines simply couldn’t stop Tony Banks.
Banks passed for a career-high 318 yards and a 25-yard touchdown to Nigea Carter with 1:24 remaining, lifting Michigan State to a 28-25 upset of No. 7 Michigan at East Lansing, Mich.
Twice in the fourth quarter, Michigan, 7-2 overall and 3-2 in the Big Ten, battled back to go in front. And each time, Banks led the Spartans (5-3-1, 3-2-1) on drives to regain the lead.
“I don’t think we had the kind of pressure we needed,” Michigan Coach Lloyd Carr said. “They had two opportunities and couldn’t do it. That’s the biggest disappointment of the day.”
Michigan went ahead, 25-21, with 3:38 remaining when Brian Griese, who was 16 for 26 for 140 yards with no interceptions, tossed a 22-yard touchdown pass to Mercury Hayes. But Banks, who was 26 for 34 without an interception, answered by completing eight of 10 passes for 94 yards on the winning drive. Two of the 88-yard drive’s 11 plays could have gone either way. The biggest was a completion to Derrick Mason on fourth and 11 at the Spartan 32.
Mason appeared to catch the ball and go out of bounds short of the first down. But when the officials spotted the ball, it was a first down by inches.
“An inch or two the other way and the game is over,” Carr said.
A short time later, on second and eight at the Michigan 47, Banks threw a pass that Michigan cornerback Charles Woodson tipped but couldn’t catch. The ball fell into Mason’s hands for a 22-yard gain to the Michigan 25. On the next snap, Banks found Carter all alone behind Clarence Thompson for the score.
“I’ve got to give credit to my receivers,” Banks said. “If Mason doesn’t make that play, we don’t get another chance.”
Tshimanga Biakabutuka rushed 37 times for 191 yards and a touchdown for Michigan.
Illinois 26, Iowa 7--Johnny Johnson came off the bench to spark the Illini offense, and the defense intercepted five passes--four in the fourth quarter--at Iowa City.
Illinois (4-4, 2-2), the worst rushing team in the Big Ten with a 94-yard per game average, ground out 244 yards against the Hawkeyes (5-3, 2-3), who lost their third in a row.
Robert Holcombe rushed for 102 yards for Illinois, which snapped a two-game losing streak.
The Illini held Iowa, the league’s third-best rushing team, to only 20 yards on the ground.
Purdue 38, Wisconsin 27--Mike Alstott and Edwin Watson both rushed for career highs and scored twice to lead the Boilermakers at West Lafayette, Ind.
Alstott closed in on Purdue’s career-rushing record with 204 yards in a career-high 36 carries. The senior fullback, who lined up at tailback with 6-foot-2, 350-pound Damon Lewis on several key plays, scored on runs of 40 and two yards and increased his career total on the ground to 3,281 yards.
Watson had Purdue’s longest touchdown run since 1984 when he went 63 yards in the first quarter. He finished with 194 yards.
The second quarter was only 10 seconds old when the Boilermakers (3-4-1, 1-3-1) opened a 20-7 lead on Alstott’s 40-yard run.
The Badgers (3-4-1, 2-3) battled back to lead, 21-20, with 11:20 remaining in the third quarter, despite losing quarterback Darrell Bevell because of a sprained ankle in the first half.