PITTSBURGH, PA - Javon Ringer shook off an injured ankle to rush for 160 yards on just 16 carries including a 72-yard jaunt to lead Michigan State to a 38-23 road win over the Pittsburgh Panthers.
Drew Stanton also rushed for 104 yards on 13 carries, Jehuu Caulcrick chipped in 61 yards, as the Spartans rushed for an astounding 335 yards in whipping the previously unbeaten Big East opponent
Kerry Reed caught a career best seven passes for 102 yards and a touchdown while Stanton threw two touchdown passes and ran for another.
After a shaky early start that put Pitt up 10-0, MSU roared back with 38 unanswered points in a display of total domination before the Panthers scored 13 points late against the Spartans reserves, including a last gasp Tyler Palko to Derek Kinder TD as time expired.
After falling behind 10-0, Michigan State began a concerted effort to pound the ball at the undersized Panthers defense. Caulcrick, Ringer and Stanton all made plays with their feet in an 11-play, 83 yard drive culminating in Stanton's two-yard pass to tight end Kellen Davis to tie the ball game at 10-10.
The Spartans defense held the Panthers off the score board from the 14:05 minute mark of the second quarter until the Panthers tallied at the three minute mark of the fourth quarter.
Corner Demond Williams picked off a Palko pass at the MSU two-yard line to thwart a Panthers drive to preserve a 10-10 half.
On State's second possession of the second half, Caulcrick dove in from two-yards out for the go-ahead score. After a Pitt three-and-out, MSU's relentless ground attack began wearing out the smaller Pitt defense. Another 8-play, 75-yard drive put MSU up by 14, as Stanton hit paydirt from a yard out.
Stanton hit receiver Kerry Reed to put an exclamation point on his career day as a Spartans receiver. Reed's 12-yard touchdown reception put MSU up 31-10.
The Spartans turned it into a laugher when, starting at their own one-yard line, the Spartans drove 99 yards - most of it on a 71-yard blast by Ringer - and ended the drive with a one-yard dive by Caulcrick to put the Spartans up 38-10 and bring on the reserves.
The Spartans (3-0) gain a ton of momentum with a solid road performance. That should put them in good stead as they host a thoroughly exposed Notre Dame squad at 8:00pm EST in East Lansing.
At the time of this writing, Michigan led 34-14 at the half. Expect Notre Dame to give MSU all they have in an effort to protect their repuation as one of the nation's elite teams.