Michigan State running back Elijah Collins (24) celebrates a touchdown against Youngstown State during the first half at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021.

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Big plays spark Michigan State over Youngstown State

Payton Thorne threw two long scoring passes to Jayden Reed in the first half and Michigan State romped to a 42-14 victory over Youngstown State on Saturday in East Lansing, Mich.

Thorne, who completed 15 of 21 passes for 280 yards, threw four touchdown passes and ran for another.

Thorne and Reed hooked up on a 75-yard score on the first play from scrimmage, then combined on an 85-yard play early in the second quarter.

Wake Forest transfer Kenneth Walker III, who rushed for 264 yards and four touchdowns in his Spartans debut against Northwestern, carried seven times for 57 yards and a touchdown. Jordon Simmons rushed for 121 yards for the Spartans (2-0, 1-0 Big Ten).

Quarterback Demeatric Crenshaw rushed for 69 yards and a touchdown for FCS member Youngstown State (1-1).

The Spartans led 35-7 at halftime.

In Michigan State’s season opening victory, Walker scored on a 75-yard run on the first play from scrimmage. This time, the Spartans used a little trickery. Walker took a handoff, then pitched the ball back to Thorne.

Reed caught the ball at the Youngstown State 37 and cruised into the end zone.

Michigan State made it 14-0 midway through the quarter. Thorne scored on a 10-yard run after faking a handoff to Walker. That completed a six-play, 58-yard drive.

Early in the second quarter. Thorne found Reed near midfield and the wide receiver cut to his left and outran the secondary on the 85-yard score.

Thorne’s third touchdown came less than three minutes later. He hooked up with running back Elijah Collins on a 20-yard score for a 28-0 lead.

Crenshaw’s 6-yard run with 4:10 left in the half, finishing off a 75-yard drive, put the Penguins on the board.

Walker scored on a 6-yard run 17 seconds before the break.

The Penguins’ Christian Turner scored on a 26-yard run early in the second half. Thorne’s fourth touchdown was a 16-yarder to Jalen Nailor in the third quarter.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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