The Michigan State Spartans were able a capture another winning season today in the Bronx. It was a back-and-forth battle with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, but the Spartans went up for good. Brian Lewerke connected with Cody White for a 10-yard touchdown pass with 10:11 left in the third quarter. While there was still plenty of game left to play, Michigan State was able to hang on despite some miscues.
Two fumbles and a missed field goal by the Spartans gave Wake Forest several opportunities to regain the lead. The Demon Deacons were unable to capitalize on the mistakes though. Michigan State’s stout defense had a lot to do with that. Quarterback Jamie Newman had a good day rushing for Wake Forest, his passing game was subpar despite throwing for three touchdowns. He completed just 44 percent of his passes and threw a pick-six in the first quarter to defensive tackle Mike Panasiuk. The lack of offense from Wake Forest allowed the Spartans to dominate the time of possession, with the Michigan State offense on the field for over 35 minutes in the game.
Lewerke looked like an All-American quarterback in the bowl game. He went 26-of-37, for 320 yards and a touchdown through the air. He was crisp on his passes in the second half and kept drives alive at crucial points in the game. Redshirt freshman Elijah Collins led the rushing attack for the Spartans with 96 yards on 21 carries. Lewerke added 46 yards on the ground, including a rushing touchdown. Cody White led the team with eight receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown. Matt Coghlin went 2-of-3 on field goals.
Wake Forest looked very strong early on with their fast-tempo offense, but they fell short in the second half. Newman finished the day 12-of-27, for 175 yards, three touchdowns, and 87 rushing yards. Cade Carney added 63 yards on the ground. Donavon Greene, Kendall Hinton, and Jack Freudenthal caught the touchdown passes, but just had seven receptions between the three of them.
The win for the Spartans gives a little meaning to what was a disappointing college football season. They matched their 2018 season record at 7-6 and avoided their first losing season since 2016. Today’s win gives Michigan State a positive note to start the 2020 season on. The Demon Deacons finished the season 8-5 and the loss today snaps a three-bowl winning streak.