T.J. Duckett ran for four touchdowns as No. 15 Michigan State sent No. 13 Penn State to its third straight loss with a 35-28 Big Ten Conference victory today.
It marked the first time the Nittany Lions (9-3, 5-3) lost three straight since 1988 and the first time since 1914 that it lost its final three regular season games. The Spartans (9-2, 6-2) won despite squandering a 21-point lead in the second half.
Duckett, who was recruited as a linebacker but increasingly used as a clutch-situation runner, sparked Michigan State with 159 yards on 22 carries. He scored the winning touchdown with less than three minutes to play by charging up the middle on an 11-yard run.
Penn State trailed 28-7 at the half but dominated the third quarter, scoring 10 points to draw within 28-17.
Eddie Drummond caught a 23-yard scoring pass from Kevin Thompson to cap a 16-play, 86-yard scoring drive. Travis Forney kicked a 21-yard field goal.
The Nittany Lions tied the score in the fourth quarter as Drummond caught a 12-yard touchdown pass and Forney kicked a 30-yard field goal. The field goal was set up by a 45-yard pass play from Thompson to tight end Tony Stewart. However, Duckett responded with his fourth touchdown to secure the win.
Michigan State jumped to a quick lead early thanks to a flashy 51-yard kickoff return by Herb Haygood on the game's opening play. After two pass completions, Duckett charged up the middle for 20 yards and a touchdown.
Later in the quarter, Gari Scott grabbed a Penn State punt and sprinted up the middle for a 64-yard touchdown dash. With it, he went over 1,000 yards in career punt returns.