Michigan State's last-second field goal sinks Penn State's playoff hopes

Posted November 05, 2017

No. 7 Penn State was leading No. 24 Michigan State, 14-7.

Big Ten football was thrown into absolute chaos Saturday for several reasons, one of them being No. 24 Michigan State upsetting No. 7 Penn State - handing the Nittany Lions their second consecutive loss of the season - with a near-perfect last-second field goal. No team that needs help from other teams to get in the College Football Playoff is promised anything. The Nittany Lions get the win, and in spectacular fashion - they've got a point to prove after all. That would make for a delay of almost three hours.

Before last weekend, there were three teams still undefeated in Big Ten conference play in the East division alone: Michigan State, Ohio State, and Penn State.

Michigan State took its first lead of the game midway through the third quarter after driving 91 yards in 10 plays.

Seventh-rated Penn State entered the game as a 9-point favorite after its first loss of the season, 39-38 at Ohio State a week ago. After forcing an MSU punt, Trace McSorley found DeAndre Thompkins behind the defense for a 70-yard score, putting PSU back in front, 24-21.

The offenses were moving easily suddenly, but teams traded interceptions on the next two possessions. Ultimately, not even Mother Nature could save the Nittany Lions from the tail end of a three-game East Division maelstrom. It was fourth-and-three from the MSU 31, and PSU made a decision to go for it instead of kicking a long field goal in the sloppy conditions.

Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke had no problems navigating the weather. However, Michigan State was awarded an automatic first down because of an ill-advised roughing the passer penalty on Allen, who hit Lewerke low and late.