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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.
Gopher Football Weekly Debuts August 28
Gopher Football Weekly with P.J. Fleck will debut at 7 p.m. on Mon., Aug. 28 and will then air on Tuesday throughout the season.
Football Announces Game Day Themes
Earlier this week the University of Minnesota showcases a commitment to improving game day by announcing new fan experiences. Each game will also have a highlighted theme.
The P.J. Fleck Show To Air On FOX 9
The University of Minnesota will team up with FOX 9 to produce “The P.J. Fleck Show,” which will air at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays during the season.