|3||Final Stats | Photo Gallery
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- David Cobb recorded his sixth 100-yard rushing game of the season, but Michigan State's Jeremy Langford ran for 134 yards and a touchdown as No. 11 Michigan State wrapped up an unbeaten regular season in Big Ten play with a 14-3 victory over Minnesota on Saturday.
The Gophers finished the regular season 8-4 (4-4 in the Big Ten), earning at least eight wins for the first time since going 10-3 in 2003.
The Spartans took the lead right away Saturday on Langford's 15-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, which capped a seven-play, 80-yard drive.
Cobb ran for 101 yards, not a bad day against a Michigan State (11-1, 8-0) team ranked No. 1 in the nation in total defense.
The Gopher defense held Michigan State well below its scoring average of 30.8 points per game, and stopped the Spartans on all eight of their third down attempts.
But Minnesota was held without an offensive touchdown for the second straight game after losing 20-7 to Wisconsin last weekend. Michigan State held an opponent without a touchdown for the fifth time in the last six games.
The Spartans' top-ranked defense forced three turnovers and kept the Golden Gophers out of the end zone.
Nelson attempted only seven passes in the first half, and two of them were picked off by Michigan State's Trae Waynes, but the Spartans struggled to extend the lead.
Chris Hawthorne's 21-yard field goal made it 7-3, and the Spartans missed a chance to score at the end of the half when Connor Cook was intercepted at the Minnesota 24 by Derrick Wells in the final seconds.
Michigan State went 75 yards in eight plays to start the third quarter and led 14-3 after Cook's 12-yard scoring pass to Josiah Price.
Minnesota had a chance to get back in the game in the fourth when backup quarterback Leidner directed a drive deep into Michigan State territory. But Leidner was sacked and fumbled, and the Spartans recovered at their own 14 with 4:45 to play.
Cook went 10 of 20 for 143 yards with an interception.
The Spartans finished a perfect Big Ten regular season for only the third time. They also did it in 1965 and 1966, when they only had to play seven conference games. Michigan State will face Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game next weekend.
Five Gophers on Senior Bowl Watch List
Seniors Mitch Leidner, Jack Lynn, Jalen Myrick, Jonah Pirsig and Damarius Travis are the Maroon and Gold representatives on the watch list.
Player Profile: Damarius Travis
From the outside view the Gophers secondary may look like it needs a complete rehaul after having two players in Briean Boddy-Calhoun and Eric Murray go to the NFL. That is not the case.
Sunday Night Overtime With Coach Claeys Began Aug. 21
Sunday Night Overtime With Coach Claeys will originate from the Gophers’ locker room at TCF Bank Stadium and will be streamed using Facebook Live.