Michigan State's Kenneth Walker III, right, runs for a touchdown as Michigan's Vincent Gray trails behind during the second quarter on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing.

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No. 8 Michigan State rallies for 37-33 win over No. 6 Michigan

Kenneth Walker III scored his fifth rushing touchdown to lift No. 8 Michigan State to a 37-33 victory against No. 6 Michigan in a Big Ten rivalry showdown Saturday in East Lansing.

The Spartans (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten) overcame a 16-point, second-half deficit against the Wolverines (7-1, 4-1), who led 30-14 midway through the third quarter.

Walker rushed for 197 yards on 23 carries and Payton Thorne passed for 196 yards for Michigan State. Walker’s go-ahead 23-yard score came with 5:08 remaining.

Cade McNamara passed for a career-high 383 yards and two touchdowns for Michigan. Andrel Anthony caught six passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns, including a 93-yard hookup in the first quarter.

The Wolverines led 23-14 at halftime.

They opened the scoring with McNamara’s 93-yard touchdown pass to Anthony.

A Mike Morris interception of a deflected Thorne pass led to Jake Moody’s 26-yard field goal later in the quarter.

The Spartans broke through on the first play of the second quarter on Walker’s 27-yard scoring run. Moody nailed a 38-yard field goal on Michigan’s next possession.

Michigan State took the lead with 7:16 left in the half on Walker’s 8-yard run. It was set up by Thorne’s 40-yard, fourth-down pass to Jalen Nailor.

J.J. McCarthy completed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Anthony with 3:45 left in the half to put Michigan back on top. An apparent Michigan defensive touchdown late in the half was overturned on replay when Thorne was ruled down after getting sacked. Moody kicked a 35-yard field goal in the closing seconds.

Michigan took a 30-14 lead midway through the third quarter on McNamara’s 19-yard pass to Mike Sainristil.

Jayden Reed caught a 28-yard pass on fourth down to set up Walker’s third touchdown, a 1-yard plunge. The Spartans added a two-point conversion to cut the Wolverines’ lead to eight.

Walker then exploded through the line of scrimmage for a 58-yard touchdown with 12:29 remaining. Thorne’s conversion pass to Reed tied it at 30-all.

The Wolverines regained the lead on Moody’s 36-yard field goal with 9:20 left,

Following a McCarthy fumble, Walker burst through the middle for a 23-yard score with 5:08 remaining to give the Spartans a 37-33 advantage.

Charles Brantley’s interception of a McNamara pass with one minute left sealed the Spartans’ win.

–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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