Wisconsin 42, Michigan State Spartans 39

12:30 AM, Dec 4, 2011   |    comments
Michigan State wide receiver Keshawn Martin has his helmet knocked off by Wisconsin's Chris Borland during MSU's loss in Indianapolis. / Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
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INDIANAPOLIS (Detroit Free Press) - Michigan State's chance to reach the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1988 wilted away late in the fourth quarter of the inaugural Big Ten championship game.

The No.11-ranked Spartans lost in a rematch with the No.15-ranked Badgers, 42-39, tonight at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Spartans had beaten Wisconsin, 37-31, in October on a Hail Mary touchdown.

Wisconsin took a 40-39 lead on Montee Ball's fourth touchdown of the game with 3:45 left. Ball's 7-yard touchdown run came after Jeff Duckworth caught a 36-yard pass to the MSU 7. The Badgers went for two and Russell Wilson connected with tight end Jacob Pedersen.

With 2:57 left, Cousins ran to his left on a third-and-8, and found Keshawn Martin downfield on the left sideline for what would have been a first down in Wisconsin territory. Martin appeared to come down inbounds with one foot and it was originally called a catch. After a review, Martin's foot was ruled to be out of bounds and the Spartans punted on fourth down.

Isaiah Lewis ran into the Wisconsin punter, negating a punt return by Keshawn Martin that would have set up a potential game-winning touchdown at the Wisconsin 3. Wisconsin instead got a first down and ran out the clock.

Dan Conroy's kicked a 25-yard field goal with 8:28 left in the game to give Michigan State a 39-34 lead.
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Spartans had taken a 36-28 lead with 1:41 left in the third quarter on a 44-yard touchdown catch by fifth-year senior wide receiver B.J. Cunningham.

It was Cunningham's third touchdown catch of the game, a single-game career high. Cunningham also broke the school's career receiving record on the catch. He came into the game needing 88 yards to pass Andre Rison.

Ball scored his third touchdown of the game on a five-yard shovel pass to pull within two points with 13:25 left in the fourth quarter and the Badgers went for the tie. Michigan State junior defensive tackle Jerel Worthy tipped Wilson's pass and it fell incomplete.

Wisconsin cut Michigan State's lead to 29-28 with 9:13 left on Wilson's 42 yard touchdown pass to Jared Abbrederis. Johnny Adams took a facemask penalty on the play, which was assessed on the ensuing kickoff.

The scored 22 straight points and led, 29-21, at halftime after trailing, 21-7.

It was similar to the Oct. 22 meeting, when the Spartans fell behind, 14-0, and then scored 23 straight points. The Spartans eventually won that game at Spartan Stadium, 37-31 on a Hail Mary touchdown pass.

The Spartans gained 208 yards, while limiting Wisconsin to minus-4 yards, in the second quarter

Bell averaged 8.4 yards a carry in the first half, gaining 84 yards on 10 carries. The Spartans went ahead 29-21 after Bell's six-yard touchdown run with 3:26 left in the second quarter.

Michigan State took a 22-21 lead in unconventional fashion with 10:21 left. Cunningham scored his second touchdown of the quarter. He took a lateral from Keith Nichol at the right sideline, then dove into the end zone. He was credited with a seven-yard touchdown catch. Brad Sonntag then ran in to score the two-point conversion.

Cunningham's first touchdown came on the first play of the second quarter, on a fourth and one. Cousins faked a handoff to Bell, then hit Cunningham wide open for a 30 yard touchdown.

For a while, it looked like Ball would stake a claim to the Heisman Trophy. He gained 105 yards on 13 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns in the first quarter.

The Badgers marched 71 yards in 4:56 on their opening drive. Ball opened the game with five straight carries before Wilson hit Nick Toon for a 22 yard gain off play action. On 3rd and goal, Wilson threw a three yard touchdown pass to Jeff Duckworth.

With that touchdown, Wilson set an NCAA record by throwing at least one touchdown pass in 37 straight games.

Michigan State answered on its opening drive, which ended with Edwin Baker's eight yard run to tie the game with 6:44 remaining in the first quarter. Bell had a couple impressive runs, a gain of 26 and a powering his way eight yards to set up a 3rd and 1 at the 11. Baker gained three for the first down, then followed up with the touchdown run.

NOTEBOOK: Spartans lost defensive tackle Kevin Pickelman to a sprained knee in the second quarter....Martin had a career-high nine catches for 115 yards.
INDIANAPOLIS - Michigan State's chance to reach the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1988 wilted away late in the fourth quarter of the inaugural Big Ten championship game.

The No.11-ranked Spartans lost in a rematch with the No.15-ranked Badgers, 42-39, at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Spartans had beaten Wisconsin, 37-31, in October on a Hail Mary touchdown.

Wisconsin took a 40-39 lead on Montee Ball's fourth touchdown of the game with 3:45 left. Ball's 7-yard touchdown run came after Jeff Duckworth caught a 36-yard pass to the MSU 7. The Badgers went for two and Russell Wilson connected with tight end Jacob Pedersen.

With 2:57 left, Cousins ran to his left on a third-and-8, and found Keshawn Martin downfield on the left sideline for what would have been a first down in Wisconsin territory. Martin appeared to come down inbounds with one foot and it was originally called a catch. After a review, Martin's foot was ruled to be out of bounds and the Spartans punted on fourth down.

Isaiah Lewis ran into the Wisconsin punter, negating a punt return by Keshawn Martin that would have set up a potential game-winning touchdown at the Wisconsin 3. Wisconsin instead got a first down and ran out the clock.

Dan Conroy's kicked a 25-yard field goal with 8:28 left in the game to give Michigan State a 39-34 lead.
The

Spartans had taken a 36-28 lead with 1:41 left in the third quarter on a 44-yard touchdown catch by fifth-year senior wide receiver B.J. Cunningham.

It was Cunningham's third touchdown catch of the game, a single-game career high. Cunningham also broke the school's career receiving record on the catch. He came into the game needing 88 yards to pass Andre Rison.

Ball scored his third touchdown of the game on a five-yard shovel pass to pull within two points with 13:25 left in the fourth quarter and the Badgers went for the tie. Michigan State junior defensive tackle Jerel Worthy tipped Wilson's pass and it fell incomplete.

Wisconsin cut Michigan State's lead to 29-28 with 9:13 left on Wilson's 42 yard touchdown pass to Jared Abbrederis. Johnny Adams took a facemask penalty on the play, which was assessed on the ensuing kickoff.

The scored 22 straight points and led, 29-21, at halftime after trailing, 21-7.

It was similar to the Oct. 22 meeting, when the Spartans fell behind, 14-0, and then scored 23 straight points. The Spartans eventually won that game at Spartan Stadium, 37-31 on a Hail Mary touchdown pass.

The Spartans gained 208 yards, while limiting Wisconsin to minus-4 yards, in the second quarter

Bell averaged 8.4 yards a carry in the first half, gaining 84 yards on 10 carries. The Spartans went ahead 29-21 after Bell's six-yard touchdown run with 3:26 left in the second quarter.

Michigan State took a 22-21 lead in unconventional fashion with 10:21 left. Cunningham scored his second touchdown of the quarter. He took a lateral from Keith Nichol at the right sideline, then dove into the end zone. He was credited with a seven-yard touchdown catch. Brad Sonntag then ran in to score the two-point conversion.

Cunningham's first touchdown came on the first play of the second quarter, on a fourth and one. Cousins faked a handoff to Bell, then hit Cunningham wide open for a 30 yard touchdown.

For a while, it looked like Ball would stake a claim to the Heisman Trophy. He gained 105 yards on 13 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns in the first quarter.

The Badgers marched 71 yards in 4:56 on their opening drive. Ball opened the game with five straight carries before Wilson hit Nick Toon for a 22 yard gain off play action. On 3rd and goal, Wilson threw a three yard touchdown pass to Jeff Duckworth.

With that touchdown, Wilson set an NCAA record by throwing at least one touchdown pass in 37 straight games.

Michigan State answered on its opening drive, which ended with Edwin Baker's eight yard run to tie the game with 6:44 remaining in the first quarter. Bell had a couple impressive runs, a gain of 26 and a powering his way eight yards to set up a 3rd and 1 at the 11. Baker gained three for the first down, then followed up with the touchdown run.

NOTEBOOK: Spartans lost defensive tackle Kevin Pickelman to a sprained knee in the second quarter....Martin had a career-high nine catches for XXX yards.

Contact George Sipple: 313-223-4796 or gsipple@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @freepspartans.

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