Paterno watches from press box as Penn St beats Michigan StNov 18, 2006 - 8:52 PM STATE COLLEGE, Pennsylvania (Ticker) -- Joe Paterno returned to a surprisingly close call.
With its Hall of Fame coach watching from the press box, Penn State closed its regular season with a hard-fought 17-13 victory over Michigan State in a Big Ten Conference matchup.
The 79-year-old Paterno missed last week's home win against Temple after breaking his shinbone and tearing two knee ligaments in his left knee on November 4 at Wisconsin. Doctors have told Paterno he must stay off his feet for at least a month.
The Nittany Lions (8-4, 5-3 Big Ten) gave their coach plenty of reason as they struggled against a struggling Spartans (4-8, 1-7) team that was playing its final game under coach John L. Smith.
Paterno did not see his team take its first lead until Anthony Morelli threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Norwood with 4:47 left in the third quarter for a 14-13 advantage.
Kevin Kelly provided the final advantage with a 45-yard field goal with 4:28 remaining.
Starting in place of Drew Stanton (concussion), Brian Hoyer completed 30-of-61 passes for 291 yards and a touchdown for Michigan State, which closed its season with a four-game losing streak.
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