Connor Heyward scored his second touchdown with 2 minutes left to put No. 11 Michigan State ahead and the Spartans held on to beat Utah State 38-31 on Friday night in East Lansing, Michigan.
The Spartans trailed until the second quarter, built a 13-point lead late in the third and fell behind late in the opener for both teams.
Darwin Thompson put the Aggies ahead with a 1-yard run, his second go-ahead score of the game, with 5:05 remaining. Their defense couldn’t make one more stop to beat the highest-ranked team in school history, surpassing the victory over No. 18 BYU in 2014.
Utah State did have one more chance to send the game to overtime – or possibly pull off the upset – but Joe Bachie tipped and intercepted a pass at midfield with 1:15 remaining.
Michigan State’s Brian Lewerke was 23 of 33 for 287 yards with two TDs, an interception and a fumble.
Jordan Love completed 29 of 44 passes for 319 yards with two interceptions.
Heyward scored on a 13-yard run in the fourth quarter and a 17-yard run in the third. He is the son of the late Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, an NFL running back from 1988-1998. The sophomore ran for 436 yards and did not score last season.
No. 4 Wisconsin 34, Western Kentucky 3: Jonathan Taylor had two long touchdown runs, Alex Hornibrook threw for 257 yards and two scores and the Badgers beat the Hilltoppers to open the season in Madison, Wisconsin.
A young defense working in seven new starters forced two turnovers inside Wisconsin’s 5. A.J. Taylor paced the short-handed receiving corps with five catches for 85 yards, while Garrett Groshek turned a screen pass into a 43-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter for a 31-point lead.
The Badgers finished with a flurry, scoring on five of six drives after punting on three of their first four possessions. Jonathan Taylor finished with 145 yards on 18 carries.
Drew Eckels was 15 of 26 for 167 yards in his first career start for the Hilltoppers.
No. 13 Stanford 31, San Diego State 10: JJ Arcega-Whiteside caught three TD passes from K.J. Costello to overcome a slow night by Heisman Trophy runner-up Bryce Love and the Cardinal beat the Aztecs in Stanford, California.
Love was held to 29 yards on 18 carries as the Aztecs focused their defense on stopping the man who led all Power 5 backs with 2,118 yards rushing last season.
After a slow start in the opener for both teams, the Cardinal made San Diego State pay for that decision. Costello connected with Arcega-Whiteside on a 38-yard score in the second quarter and then on plays from 19 and 80 yards in the third quarter as the Aztecs defensive backs struggled to contend with Stanford’s big receiver. Arcega-Whiteside finished with six catches for 226 yards.
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