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Michigan State tops Nebraska, halts 6-game skid

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Two quarterbacks threw touchdown passes as Michigan State snapped a six-game skid, beating visiting Nebraska 20-17 in a Big Ten Conference game on Saturday afternoon in East Lansing, Mich.

The Spartans (3-6, 1-5 Big Ten) won for the first time since Sept. 9 and first time in seven tries under interim head coach Harlon Barnett, who took over after Mel Tucker was suspended and later fired amid sexual harassment allegations.

Nebraska (5-4, 3-3) was trying to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2016 but had a three-game win streak snapped. It was only the third time this season the Cornhuskers allowed more than 14 points.

Tied at 10 at the half, Michigan State took a 13-10 lead with 5:11 left in the third quarter on a 50-yard Jonathan Kim field goal. The Spartans built a 10-point advantage with 12:13 remaining on Montorie Foster Jr.’s 25-yard TD catch from Sam Leavitt.

Leavitt was 1 of 2 for 25 yards while starter Katin Houser was 13 of 20 for 165 yards and a touchdown.

A 43-yard run by Nebraska quarterback Heinrich Haarberg set up Emmett Johnson’s 4-yard TD run with 3:35 remaining, but after getting the ball back with under three minutes to go, Haarberg lost a fumble. It was his third turnover, along with two interceptions, as he threw for 129 yards on 12-of-28 passing and added a rushing TD.

MSU got a field goal on its opening drive, then later intercepted a pass at its own 4, but fell behind early in the second quarter when Haarberg scored on a 5-yard run. The Spartans retook the lead on an 11-yard TD pass from Houser to Christian Fitzpatrick with 9:14 left in the first half, a score set up by a 42-yard pass from wide receiver Alante Brown to Foster.

Foster finished with four catches for 94 yards.

Nebraska hosts Maryland next Saturday, while Michigan State visits No. 1 Ohio State.

–Field Level Media

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