YSU 0 6 0 0 6
MICHST 0 14 7 7 28
Date of game: 9/2/2011

Recap: Michigan State vs. Youngstown St

East Lansing, MI (Sports Network) - Kirk Cousins passed for 222 yards and a touchdown, helping 17th-ranked Michigan State pull away from Youngstown State for a 28-6 victory in its season-opener.

Cousins completed 18-of-22 passes and Le'Veon Bell ran for two touchdowns for the Spartans (1-0), who went 11-2 last season, winning a share of the Big Ten title before losing to Alabama in the Capital One Bowl.

Edwin Baker totaled 91 rushing yards on 15 carries, while Larry Caper ran for a score. B.J. Cunningham caught nine passes for 130 yards, including an 18- yard scoring strike from Cousins.

Kurt Hess passed for 126 yards on 17-of-35 completions, with one touchdown and one interception, for the Penguins (0-1), who compete in the FCS and were 3-8 last season.

"We probably only had six points because we made one too many mistakes on those drives," said Hess. "We can't let those drives stall, and we can't afford that against a team like this."

Youngstown State stayed close during the first half, which included a scoreless first quarter.

The Spartans, though, cracked the scoreboard shortly into the second quarter. They started driving at their own 20-yard line late in the first quarter and marched down the field thanks to a mix of running and passing.

Baker ran for 21 yards to bring the ball to the YSU 12, and after he was dropped for a four-yard loss, Cousins found Cunningham for a 10-yard gain. On the next play -- third down -- Caper ran the ball off the right edge and into the corner of the end zone.

Youngstown State was forced to punt on its next possession, but a fumble by Keshawn Martin gave the ball back to the Penguins at their own 38.

They made their way down the field, benefiting from pass interference and offside penalties on MSU, before capping the nine-play drive with Hess' 10- yard TD pass to Jelani Berassa.

The Spartans blocked the extra point to stay in front, and got the points back on their next drive. It was a quick four-play series, fueled by Cousins' 55- yard pass to Cunningham and capped by Bell's three-yard scoring run.

After YSU's David Brown missed a 39-yard field goal, Michigan State went into the break with a 14-6 advantage.

"The first game there is a lot of excitement but you've got to still execute. Sometimes the excitement and the jitters can turn into a lack of execution and I think you saw that at times," Cousins said. "Ultimately I think time of possession was one of the factors. I think we only ran 20-22 plays in the first half, which just isn't a lot of plays."

The Spartans' lead grew thanks to their defense, which forced the Penguins to punt on their only two possessions of the third quarter. Their offense tacked on more points with 4:52 left in the period, when Cousins threaded a pass between two defenders in the end zone to get the ball to Cunningham.

Michigan State missed out on a chance for more points about 6 1/2 minutes into the fourth quarter, when Dan Conroy missed a 27-yard field goal. But Isaiah Lewis intercepted Hess on the first play of YSU's next drive, giving the Spartans the ball at the Penguins' 17.

Bell ran for a score from three yards out on 2nd-and-goal, completing the scoring.

Game Notes

Arthur Ray Jr., four years removed from a cancer diagnosis, started at guard for MSU...Cunningham's nine receptions pulled him into a tie for the school record. He currently has 148 during his career, a total also posted by Matt Trannon from 2003-06...The Spartans wore No. 95 decals on their helmets in honor of former MSU All-American Charles "Bubba" Smith, who passed away August 3...The meeting was the first between the programs...Youngstown State held the ball more (31:09), but was out-gained 396-254.

Arizona primed for upset win over UCLA

A pair of Top 25 teams square off at the Rose Bowl on Saturday when UCLA hosts Arizona. The host Bruins have beaten the Wildcats the last two years, but can they make it three in a row?

NASCAR News
The Inside Line: Newman a big surprise in the Chase

Ryan Newman is making a Cinderella run in this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, hoping to become one of the four drivers contending for the title in the Nov. 16 season finale at Homestead.

RG3 likely to start Sunday

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III will likely start Sunday's game against Minnesota after taking a majority of the first-team reps in practice on Thursday.

Kashing in: Kemba gets extension from Hornets

The Charlotte Hornets signed guard Kemba Walker to a multi-year contract extension on Thursday, a day after he lifted his team to a season-opening win.

Featured Partners
www.eastridgeretirementcenter.com
The newly modeled East Ridge Residence is a must see with its spacious comfortable apartments. Plus, 3 delicious meals daily, geriatric physician, home healthcare services and fun festive activities. Schedule your visit today!
www.ameripriseadvisors.com/james.m.scotchie
Together we can make a confident retirement possible. Simply click to get started with your private wealth advisor. Talk to Jimmy Scotchie, Certified Financial Planner.
www.comcast.com/cable-internet-packages.html
Get started at $79.99 a month for 12 months. Plus, get a $75 VISA® Prepaid card.
 
Supermarket Guru
From The Archives
Scenic City Roots
Through Irish Eyes
Brand News
Prime Mashup
What's Trending
Megan Wise Goes Outside
Stay Connected with WDEF News 12
 
Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.