Fans quickly became restless, as the Gophers went up-and-down the field, while the Spartans’ offense looked listless in falling behind 17-0 at halftime. Boos rained down throughout the half, as Minnesota outgained MSU, 310-45, with 19 first downs to three in the Big Ten opener for both teams.
MSU quarterback Payton Thorne, who said this week “it’s not time to freak out,” coming off a 39-28 beatdown in Washington, threw an interception on fourth-and-5 and overthrew receiver Jayden Reed deep on a potential touchdown. Thorne was 6-for-10 for 35 yards in the half.
INSIDE THE GAME:Michigan State chopped by Minnesota in embarrassing 34-7 loss
On defense, the Spartans had no answers early for quarterback Tanner Morgan and running back Mohamed Ibrahim ran over countless defenders. Morgan was 17-for-20 for 207 yards in the first half. Defensive end Jacoby Windmon punched loose an Ibrahim fumble for the lone highlight of the half for MSU. But it squandered the momentum.
The Spartans then came out of the second half and quickly drove inside the 10-yard line, only for Thorne to fumble on a run, recovered by Minnesota. The Gophers drove 90 yards for a touchdown. Thorne on the next possession was intercepted on a screen pass, leading to another Minnesota touchdown and 31-0 lead. Fans had seen enough and thousands emptied out by the start of the fourth quarter.
A sampling of reaction, with jokes coming for coach Mel Tucker, who said this week, “Right now, I’m a horseshit football coach. Honestly, that’s how I think about it. So we gotta get better.”
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