Michigan State football survives late scare, handles Western Michigan

EAST LANSING – Nothing came as easy as it did a year ago for Michigan State football.

The run game without Kenneth Walker III looked pedestrian until the end.

Payton Thorne and the passing offense sputtered back and forth from struggling to sterling multiple times.

Injuries came early, often and to key players.

Yet the 14th-ranked Spartans managed to build momentum at times through the air, then found a more consistent rhythm in the run and pass game late to pull away from Western Michigan for a 35-13 victory Friday night at Spartan Stadium.

“We talked about before we even came into the game, about not flinching,” third-year MSU coach Mel Tucker said. “There’s gonna be momentum swings in the game no matter who you play. And how do you get the momentum back? You get the momentum back by executing one play at a time and just stacking plays. And that’s how you keep the momentum. What I liked was that I didn’t see frustration to the point where we couldn’t function.”

MSU hosts Akron at 4 pm on Sept. 10 (BTN).

Thorne finished 12-for-24 for 233 yards with four touchdowns to four different receivers as MSU outgained the Broncos, 430-334. Jalen Berger’s late surge gave him 120 yards on 16 carries, while Jarek Broussard added 54 yards on 10 attempts. Keon Coleman had a team-high four catches for 84 yards.

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