Spartans jump out to early lead; hold off FSU for 17-10 win On an ever important Saturday of college football action the Michigan State Spartans and Florida State Seminoles took to the gridiron for a top-25 match-up in Spartan Stadium. Michigan State came out to a blazing start in the first quarter before the FSU defense stepped up and the Noles closed the gap late. The Spartans jumped out to an early 14-0 first quarter lead off of two touchdown passes by Kirk Cousins. Cousins connected with BJ Cunningham on MSU’s opening drive of the game for a 48-yard score, and then with former QB Keith Nichol on a bubble screen from 7 yards out to give the Spartans an early cushion. But, that was really the only offense the Spartans could muster for much of the game as drives began to stall around midfield due to the aggressive Nole defense and the conservative MSU attack. With their defense holding steady, the Noles began their trek back. But, with a fourth and one inside the Spartan red zone, MSU’s defense stepped up huge and forced a turnover on downs to keep FSU off the scoreboard. Late in the half the Noles chipped in a field goal to make it 14-3 at the half, but MSU still looked in control. After a Jairus Jones interception in the third quarter, MSU threatened for the first time since the opening frame. But, the FSU defense stood tall and held the Spartans to a long field goal try. The 45-yard attempt sailed through the uprights and gave MSU a 17-3 lead. But, the Noles were nowhere near finished. On the very next drive FSU drove the length of the field and made it a game when backup QB Clint Trickett connected with Kenny Shaw for a 14–yard touchdown to make it 17-10. Those who appreciate defense got their money’s worth, as the fourth quarter was a showcase of D. Neither team was able to muster much. But a Chris Norman interception gave MSU a chance to close the door on the Seminoles late. Sadly, MSU missed a 44-yard field goal leaving the door wide open for FSU late. But, the Michigan State defense stayed strong and forced a quick three-and-out tand Florida State elected to kick it away with 3 timeouts still. MSU then pounded it on the ground to burn the clock, knowing that one first down meant the game was over. And on the second play of the drive, LeVeon Bell broke off a big run up the middle. Bell was in the clear but played it safe and protected the ball before taking a dive after about twenty yards. The Spartans took knees and ran the rest of the clock to thwart the FSU comeback attempt and earn a 17-10 victory. “I commend the FSU coach for getting his defense together after that first quarter. We got somewhat conservative but their D wreaked havoc for the rest of the game. We’re lucky we held on, a couple of breaks went our way and our defense played well and that was the difference.” The Spartan coach said following the win. The win improves MSU to 3-1 on the year after a season-opening loss. Next week the Spartans host rival Penn State for their fourth home game of the young season before hitting the road for much of the second half.