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No. 8 Michigan State holds off Purdue

Oct 12, 2014 - 2:25 AM West Lafayette, IN ( - Darien Harris' interception return for a touchdown with 1:22 remaining helped No. 8 Michigan State hold off Purdue's late push and record a 45-31 victory.

Connor Cook threw for 238 yards with three touchdowns and an interception on 19-of-37 passing and Nick Hill ran for two scores and 72 yards on nine carries for the Spartans (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten), who won their 11th straight game in Big Ten play.

Jeremy Langford amassed 104 yards on 13 carries, Tony Lippett had a game-high 138 yards with a touchdown on seven catches and Aaron Burbridge and Josiah Price each hauled in a TD pass in the win.

"We're playing well enough to get up by 21 points and that's the first thing you have to be able to do," Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio said. "When they come back, we somehow find a way at the end. I think that it makes us a stronger football team."

Austin Appleby completed 24 of his 37 passes for 211 yards with a touchdown and an interception for the Boilermakers (3-4, 1-2), while Akeem Hunt scored three times and rushed for 96 yards on 12 carries.

"Anytime you play a good football team, you need to keep close. I thought we fought hard and had a chance to tie it up at the end," Purdue head coach Darrell Hazell said. "When we play a good football team we have to make big plays and reduce the margin from what it was."

Danny Anthrop led Purdue receivers with 133 yards on nine catches and B.J. Knauf added a receiving score.

Purdue trailed 38-17 after three quarters, but scored the first 14 points of the fourth.

After an Appleby fumble at midfield, the Spartans worked the ball down to Purdue's 20. But Cook was intercepted by Frankie Williams, who returned it 24 yards, and Hunt broke free up the middle on 4th-and-2 and outran two defenders for a 52-yard score, making it a 38-24 game with 8:49 to play.

The Boilermakers later took over on downs at Michigan State's 30 after Lawrence Thomas was stuffed on a fake punt attempt. Gabe Holmes' 12-yard catch moved the chains before Hunt followed up Darian Hicks' defensive pass interference penalty with a 3-yard score with 6:19 left.

Michigan State's offense stalled at midfield on the ensuing drive and Purdue took over at its 5-yard line. On 4th-and-6, DeAngelo Yancey hauled in an 11- yard dart to keep the drive alive.

Appleby, however, was pressured on third down and picked off by Harris, who returned it for a 15-yard score to ensure a Michigan State victory.

Cook connected with Lippett on a perfectly placed 39-yard touchdown strike down the left sideline to cap off an 8-play, 75-yard opening drive.

Appleby completed consecutive throws to Anthrop on Purdue's first possession, including a 36-yard strike down to the Spartans' 22. Paul Griggs capped the drive with a 36-yard field goal.

Jamal Lyles and Lippett then made catches of 21 and 27 yards, respectively, to place the Spartans at the Purdue's 13. Following a defensive pass interference call at the 2-yard line, Hill scampered past the left pylon for a 14-3 lead with under four minutes to play in the first.

After Cook ran 13 yards to the Boilermakers' 34 on Michigan State's next series, Langford shrugged off a defender and burst down the sideline for a 31- yard pickup before Price caught Cook's lob in the back of the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown and a 21-3 score early in the second.

Keyante Green's 36-yard run and Anthrop's 13-yard catch set up Hunt's 3-yard rushing score on Purdue's next drive. Michael Geiger added a 42-yard field goal for Michigan State, but Purdue made it a one-score game heading into halftime.

Appleby had four straight completions, two of which went to Anthrop for a total of 41 yards, and Knauf caught a short pass and took it nine yards to the end zone for a 24-17 game.

Midway through the third quarter, Burbridge made a leaping 13-yard catch in the back of the end zone on third-and-goal, getting one foot inbounds to cap a 13-play, 77-yard drive for Michigan State.

On the Spartans' next drive, Hill exploded through the right side for a 37- yard dash and scored from four yards out two plays later for a 38-17 advantage.

Game Notes

Michigan State has won six straight games against Purdue, tying the school record ... Lippett had four catches for 95 yards in the first quarter ... It was the first meeting between the two teams in Ross-Ade Stadium since Nov. 14, 2009 ... Michigan State outgained Purdue, 532-340.