Heyward helps No. 11 Michigan State beat Utah State 38-31
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Connor Heyward scored his second touchdown with 2 minutes left to put No. 11 Michigan State ahead and the Spartans held on to beat Utah State 38-31 on Friday night.
The Spartans trailed until the second quarter, built a 13-point lead late in the third and fell behind late in the opener for both teams.
Darwin Thompson put the Aggies ahead with a 1-yard run, his second go-ahead score of the game, with 5:05 remaining. Their defense couldn’t make one more stop to beat the highest-ranked team in school history, surpassing the victory over No. 18 BYU in 2014.
Utah State did have one more chance to send the game to overtime — or possibly pull off the upset — but Joe Bachie tipped and intercepted a pass at midfield with 1:15 remaining.
Michigan State’s Brian Lewerke was 23 of 33 for 287 yards with two TDs, an interception and a fumble.
Jordan Love completed 29 of 44 passes for 319 yards with two interceptions.
Heyward scored on a 13-yard run in the fourth quarter and a 17-yard run in the third. He is the son of the late Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, an NFL running back from 1988-1998. The sophomore ran for 436 yards and did not score last season.
Utah State: Matt Wells helped the Aggies earn a bowl bid last year for the sixth time and in seven seasons and they seem to have a shot at playing in the postseason again. Their no-huddle, hurry-up offense is going to be a problem for some teams. On defense, they can pressure quarterbacks and make plays in the secondary.
Michigan State: Mark Dantonio will have plenty of teachable moments to show the Spartans on film. They were able to overcome a sloppy performance against a Mountain West Conference program, but may not be as fortunate against Big Ten competition.
The Spartans could slip due to the lackluster performance, especially if teams just ahead and behind them in the poll open with a win.
Utah State: Host New Mexico State on Sept. 8.
Michigan State: At Arizona State on Sept. 8.
More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25