Montana State no match for SpartansPublished 3:28pm Sunday, September 6, 2009
EAST LANSING – There are no looking past Montana State for the Michigan State football team on Saturday.
The Spartans were focused from beginning to end and ran away with a 44-3 victory.
“As far as how we played, when you look at the stats you can see we had almost 500 yards and they had 160, so the score can get a little lopsided when that happens,” Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said. “ I thought our guys played very well, you look at us and can say we didn’t have a lot of penalties; we didn’t have a lot of off-sides penalties especially. We ran the ball, and there weren’t any turnovers, we blocked one punt, and on special teams we executed which was a positive. We had a lot of people involved, and we played a lot of people.”
Michigan State got on the board early, scoring on a 29-yard pass from Kirk Cousins to B.J. Cunningham.
The Spartans exploded for 21 points in the second quarter on a trio of touchdown passes.
Cousins connected with Blair White for 15 yards and then Keith Nichol hooked up with Dion Sims for a 26-yard scoring strike and Brian Linthicum for a 3-yard touchdown.
Brett Swenson was good on all four extra point kicks and Michigan State went to the locker room at halftime up 28-0.
The two teams kicked three field goals between them in the third quarter.
Swenson had kicks of 45- and 37-yards to extend the MSU lead to 34-0.
Jason Cunningham’s 33-yard field goal would turn out to be the only points Montana State would score on Saturday afternoon.
Michigan State capped off a solid season opening performance with a Cousins to White 24-yard touchdown pass and a 43-yard Dan Conroy field goal.
The Spartans finished the game with 493 yards of total offense, including 318 through the air.
Montana State was limited to just 160 yards in offense by a stout MSU defense.
Cousins was 10-17 for 183 yards and three touchdowns, while Nichol was 9-of-18 for 135 yards and a pair of scoring strikes.
On the ground, Ray Caulton led the team with 71 yards on 12 touches. Larry Capers added 34 yards on seven carries.
White led the team in receiving with 162 yards on nine receptions.
Greg Jones had a big day on defense with 14 tackles, including two and a half tackles for loss. He also had 1.5 sacks.
Montana State 0 0 3 0 – 3
Michigan State 7 21 6 10 – 44
MSU – White, Blair 15 pass from Cousins (Swenson kick)
MSU – Linthicum, Brian 3 pass from Nichol (Swenson kick)
MSU – Swenson 45 field goal
MSU – Swenson 37 field goal
MONST – Jason Cunningham 33 field goal
MSU – White 24 pass from Cousins (Swenson kick)
MSU – Conroy, Dan 43 field goal