NCAAF Game Recap - Tulsa at Michigan State
Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:00 PM EDT

GATec
14
Clem
52
F
Duke
3
Ala
42
F
UGA
30
Vand
6
F
Hou
31
Okla
49
F
FlAtl
21
OHSt
45
F
GaSo
3
LSU
55
F
MidTN
21
Mich
40
F
ND
35
Lou
17
F
LaTec
14
Tex
45
F
Oreg
21
Aub
27
F
TxSt
7
TxAM
41
F
EWa
14
Wash
47
F
Utah
30
BYU
12
F
Idaho
7
PSU
79
F
FlaAM
0
UCF
62
F
Tuls
7
MSU
28
F
Wisc
49
SoFL
0
F
MiaOH
14
Iowa
38
F
NoIa
26
IASt
29
F(2OT)
Syr
24
Lib
0
F
NMSt
7
WaSt
58
F
SoAl
21
Neb
35
F
NW
7
Stan
17
F
Alb
21
C Mi
38
F
UCLA
14
Cin
24
F
RMor
10
Buff
38
F
Wagn
21
UConn
24
F
Mor
3
BGSU
46
F
C Ark
35
W Ky
28
F
GWebb
28
Char
49
F
AlaSt
19
UAB
24
F
FLInt
14
Tul
42
F
SDSU
21
Minn
28
F
NoCol
18
SJSU
35
F
Kent
7
AzSt
30
F
Rice
7
Army
14
F
UMass
21
Rut
48
F
UtSt
35
Wake
38
F
Purd
31
Nev
34
F
ColSt
31
Colo
52
F
OkSt
52
OreSt
36
F
Miss
10
Mem
15
F
MisSt
38
ULLaf
28
F
InSt
17
Kans
24
F
Akr
3
Ill
42
F
ECU
6
NCSt
34
F
How
0
MD
79
F
Toled
24
KY
38
F
Ind
34
Ball
24
F
Boise
36
FlaSt
31
F
JMU
13
WVU
20
F
URI
20
Ohio
41
F
Buck
12
Temp
56
F
HolyC
7
Navy
45
F
Colg
7
AF
48
F
GASt
38
Tenn
30
F
SCar
20
UNC
24
F
E Mi
30
CoCar
23
F
ETenn
7
App
42
F
MonSt
10
TxTch
45
F
PorSt
13
Ark
20
F
VaTec
28
BC
35
F
SamHu
31
NM
39
F
(N/A)
7
UTSA
35
F
Camp
14
Troy
43
F
UCDav
13
Cal
27
F
VMI
17
Marsh
56
F
IllSt
10
NIU
24
F
Monm
13
WestMI
48
F
AlcSt
10
SMiss
38
F
Nich
14
K St
49
F
SFA
17
Bayl
56
F
SMU
37
ArkSt
30
F
Norf
21
OD
24
F
Mizzu
31
Wyo
37
F
Abil
31
NorTx
51
F
UVA
30
Pitt
14
F
Gram
9
ULMon
31
F
HBU
34
UTEP
36
F
ArkPB
7
TCU
39
F
Web
0
SDSU
6
F
SoUt
23
UNLV
56
F
Fres
23
USC
31
F

Aug 30, 2019, 7:00 PM EDT

Final

1

2

3

4

T

Tulsa (0-1)

0

7

0

0

7

(18) Michigan State (1-0)

7

18

3

0

28

No. 18 Michigan State shuts down Tulsa in 28-7 win
Sat Aug 31, 2019 12:15 AM

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Raequan Williams knocked the ball out, and Kenny Willekes recovered it in the end zone.

When Michigan State's defensive linemen are playing like this, the Spartans' offense has plenty of margin for error.

Willekes recovered two fumbles, including one for a touchdown, and No. 18 Michigan State manhandled Tulsa 28-7 on Friday night. Willekes, back on the field after breaking his leg in last season's Redbox Bowl, was part of a swarming Michigan State defense that held the Golden Hurricane to minus-73 yards rushing.

The touchdown by Willekes came after he and Williams sacked Zach Smith near the goal line. The ball came free, and Willekes came up with it to put Michigan State up 22-0.

"Thank you Raequan for my first touchdown," Willekes said. "It speaks to how, I think, the chemistry on our defense, how much work we put in this offseason - you see how dominant we are when we play together, we all do our job."

The Spartans (1-0) still had their problems offensively, but that made little difference on this night.

Tulsa (0-1) botched two shotgun snaps in the second quarter - part of the reason its rushing total ended up so far below zero. One of those loose balls went out of the end zone for a safety.

"This may be the best defensive line we faced as a whole since I've been here," said Philip Montgomery, now in his fifth season as Tulsa's coach. "We've played some very good teams obviously. This group that we faced tonight, there's guys that everybody across the board is a big deal player."

The big question coming into this game was how Michigan State's offense would look after the Spartans scored only 32 points over the final four games of 2018. Coach Mark Dantonio shuffled roles around among his offensive assistants, making Brad Salem the offensive coordinator.

"Obviously, our defense played outstanding," Dantonio said. "I thought our offense went down the field the first series, and then stalled out after that. Too many missed opportunities."

Michigan State got the ball first and capped a penalty-aided drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Brian Lewerke to Connor Heyward. Then the defense - which was No. 1 in the nation against the run last season - took over.

Tulsa went with Smith, a Baylor transfer, at quarterback over returning sophomore Seth Boomer. It would have probably been a long night no matter who was in. Michigan State was up 25-0 before the Golden Hurricane scored. Smith threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Sam Crawford late in the second quarter.

The Spartans have won 21 straight home openers.

RECORDS

Tulsa's rushing total set a school record for each team. It was the lowest rushing total for the Golden Hurricane, breaking the mark of minus-56 from the Humanitarian Bowl against Georgia Tech in 2004.

It was the lowest total allowed by the Spartans, who held Pittsburgh to minus-63 in a 1950 game.

"Our defensive line is dominant," Dantonio said. "I mean, they're good. I think they handled the line of scrimmage, and we tackled well."

FLAGS

On Michigan State's second play from scrimmage, Tulsa was called for holding and a personal foul on the same play. That set the tone for the evening. The Golden Hurricane finished with eight penalties for 80 yards, and Michigan State had 14 for 122.

THE TAKEAWAY

Tulsa: The Golden Hurricane had trouble running and passing, and they didn't help themselves with three first-half turnovers. The final score could have been a lot worse.

"They're a really good defense. We knew that coming in, and we knew we couldn't shoot ourselves in the foot," Smith said. "That's exactly what we did. We shot ourselves in the foot too many times."

Michigan State: The Spartans were never in much danger of losing this one, but in the end, they scored only one offensive touchdown. The offense failed to take full advantage of great field position in that second quarter, and there was some grumbling from fans at Spartan Stadium at various points in the night.

"The crowd reacts how they want, and you can't really control that," Lewerke said. "It's probably right for them to do so, in a sense. The offense was lacking. We've just got to be better."

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Michigan State was in the Top 25 despite all the concerns about the offense, and this comfortable win isn't likely to threaten that ranking.

UP NEXT

Tulsa visits San Jose State next Saturday night.

Michigan State hosts Western Michigan next Saturday night.

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Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister

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More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Passing

Tuls Att Cmp % TD-Pa Yds-Pa LgPa Int Rat
Z. Smith 27 16 59.3 1 153 37 1 72.0
MSU Att Cmp % TD-Pa Yds-Pa LgPa Int Rat
B. Lewerke 37 21 56.8 1 192 30 0 80.0
R. Lombardi 1 1 100.0 0 3 3 0 79.2

Rushing

Tuls Att Yds-Ru Avg LgRu TD-Ru
S. Brooks 6 0 0.0 5 0
C. Taylor II 7 -1 -0.1 2 0
MSU Att Yds-Ru Avg LgRu TD-Ru
C. Heyward 15 43 2.9 7 0
B. Lewerke 7 34 4.9 16 0

Receiving

Tuls Rec Yds-Rc Avg LgRc TD-Rc
K. Stokes 6 54 9.0 12 0
S. Crawford Jr. 5 49 9.8 28 1
MSU Rec Yds-Rc Avg LgRc TD-Rc
D. Stewart Jr. 6 56 9.3 30 0
L. Jefferson 2 29 14.5 18 0

Fumbles

Tuls F FL
J. Johnson 1 0
Z. Smith 3 1

Returning

Tuls KR Avg KRTD LgKR PR Avg TD LgPR
K. Stokes 2 24.0 0 29 4 5.5 0 11
A. Anderson 1 8.0 0 8 0 - 0 0
MSU KR Avg KRTD LgKR PR Avg TD LgPR
J. Nailor 2 25.5 0 28 2 8.5 0 10
C. White 0 - 0 0 2 6.5 0 7

Punting

Tuls Punt Yds Avg LgPu
T. Bennett 8 369 46.1 54
MSU Punt Yds Avg LgPu
J. Hartbarger 5 237 47.4 61

Takeaways

MSU Int Yds InTD
K. Willekes 0 0 0
A. Simmons 1 13 0

Team Stats Comparison

Tuls MSU
Points For 7 28
Total Yards 80 303
Rushing Yards -73 108
Passing Yards 153 195
Passing Completions / Attempts 16/27 22/38
Turnovers 3 0
Interceptions Thrown 1 0
Fumbles - Lost 6/2 0/0
First Downs 8 18
Penalties - Yards 8/80 14/122
Time Of Possession 54:54 6:06
Third Down Conversions/Attempts 2/11 6/19
Fourth Down Conversions/Attempts 0/0 1/4
Punts - Average Yards 9/41 5/47

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter Tuls MSU
MSU 3:19 TD Connor Heyward 15 yd pass from Brian Lewerke (Matt Coghlin kick) 0 7
2nd Quarter Tuls MSU
MSU 0:57 FG Matt Coghlin 38 yd FG 0 10
MSU 5:01 FG Matt Coghlin 47 yd FG 0 13
MSU 5:51 SF Team safety 0 15
MSU 10:11 TD Kenny Willekes 0 yd fumble return (Matt Coghlin kick) 0 22
MSU 12:28 FG Matt Coghlin 44 yd FG 0 25
Tuls 14:24 TD Sam Crawford Jr. 28 yd pass from Zach Smith (Jacob Rainey kick) 7 25
3rd Quarter Tuls MSU
MSU 12:40 FG Matt Coghlin 40 yd FG 7 28
4th Quarter Tuls MSU
No scores this quarter

Game Information

Stadium: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, Michigan
Attendance: 72,005
Game Time:
Weather: