Spartans smacked by Golden Gophers in ugly Big Ten beatdown

East Lansing – Boos filled Spartan Stadium in the first half on Saturday.

By the second half, it was mostly silent, a stunned crowd with little left to get worked up about.

The home audience that, at its peak, filled the stadium to the tune of 74,587, had mostly filed out by the time the game, mercifully, had come to an end.

By then, Minnesota had polished off Michigan State, 34-7, dominating the Spartans, who for the second straight week watched as their defense got run over and their offense was stuck in the mud.

BOX SCORE: Minnesota 34, Michigan State 7

“Not good at all,” said quarterback Payton Thorne, who threw two interceptions and lost a fumble. “After a game like this, there’s not really much to say. It feels terrible. It’s really not a good feeling.”

How could it be?

After all, Michigan State got smacked in the mouth last week at Washington but returned home determined to turn things around, unhappy with their execution on both sides of the ball.

Minnesota's Mohamed Ibrahim breaks the tackle of Michigan State's Kendall Brooks in the second quarter.

But if it’s possible, things got even worse on Saturday.

The Golden Gophers (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) jumped on the Spartans from the opening snap, piling up 508 yards, including 240 on the ground while quarterback Tanner Morgan was outstanding, going 23-for-26 for 268 yards and three touchdowns, picking up critical first downs with his feet in the first half.

The Gophers never punted while going 10-for-12 on third down, possessing the ball for 42:13. Running back Mohamed Ibrahim carried 22 times for 103 yards and added a touchdown as the Gophers were the epitome of balance, taking advantage of a Michigan State defense that was lost, once again. The Gophers had nine passing plays of 15 or more yards while adding 10 runs for 10 or more yards.

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