Michigan State Cruises Past Jacksonville State, 45-7
The No. 8 team in the country looked the part Friday night as Michigan State opened its season with a thorough domination of visiting Jacksonville State, 45-7.
Connor Cook and Tony Lippett set the tone early. The potent Michigan State duo connected for two quick, long scores: One for 64 yards and another for 71. It helped paces the Spartans to a 38-0 halftime lead.
On Cook's first long touchdown to Lippett, the junior quarterback took what appeared to be a painful hit to the lower legs that cost Jacksonville State a roughing the passer penalty. Cook limped off the field after his left knee appeared to hyperextend.
Cook returned to the field for the next offensive series, missing no plays. Two plays later, he threw the 74-yard bomb to Lippett. He finished 12-for-13 passing for 285 yards and three touchdowns in one half of play.
For Lippett it was a career night. He finished with four grabs for 167 yards and the two scores. Previously, he had never surpassed 100 yards receiving in a game.
MSU cranked out 393 total yards in the first half. It was the first time the Spartans eclipsed 300 total yards in a half since the 2011 Big Ten title game versus Wisconsin.
Starting running back Jeremy Langford limped off the field two times in the second half and didn't return after the second instance. He appeared to be bothered by a lower leg issue. Junior receiver Macgarret Kings left the field in the fourth quarter with an apparent left lower leg injury sustained on an end-around play.