EAST LANSING - Drew Stanton threw for 224 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 58
yards as Michigan State (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten) overcame a close call from
the Idaho Vandals (0-1, 0-0 WAC), beating them 27-17.
The contest was close throughout, Jehuu Caulcrick’s two-yard touchdown
run early in the fourth quarter put MSU up 24-7 but Idaho answered back
to make it 24-17.
After a failed series by the Vandals, Drew Stanton led a time-consuming
drive down the field, ending with a 23-yard field goal by freshman
kicker Brett Swenson with under a minute remaining.
Swenson made his Spartan debut and greeted the Spartan faithful by
making a 35-yard field goal in the second quarter. Overall, Swenson was 2-3
in field goals attempts, missing a 50-yard attempt, and was perfect in
extra point conversions.
Spartans led 17-3 at halftime and seemed well on their way to yet
another season-opening victory, but Dennis Erickson’s Vandals came out in
the second half and shut down the Spartan offense while scoring a
touchdown of their own on a 1-yard rush from Jayson Bird.
The game was never out of reach for the Vandals, who stopped the
Spartans on a fourth down attempt in the fourth quarter to take over on
The Spartans spread the ball around well, with 176 yards on the ground
and 224 in the air. Javon Ringer rushed for 70 yards and Caulcrick for 48
yards and each had a touchdown on the day.
Defensively, the Spartans sacked Vandals quarterback Steve Wichman three
times totaling 17 yards lost and Co-captain David Herron Jr. grabbed an
interception for the MSU defense.
In a game where both head coaches have a history of coaching together,
their first ever matchup against each other turned out to be a very
competitive game, proving that John L. Smith and Dennis Erickson know each
other’s coaching styles pretty well.
MSU is now 1-0 on the early season and hosts Eastern Michigan next
Saturday, while the Vandals travel to Washington State next week. Dennis
Erickson coached the Cougars before taking an NFL job with the San Francisco 49ers.