Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State football falls to Minnesota, loses sixth straight game

Jack Moreland
Maryland defensive back Tarheeb Still breaks up a Michigan State pass in the end zone at Spartan Stadium on Saturday, September 23, 2023.

MINNEAPOLIS – Michigan State football fell short in its third road game of the season, dropping the sixth straight game to the Minnesota Golden Gophers 27-12 on Saturday afternoon at Huntington Bank Stadium.

“We didn’t finish like we needed to. We’ll just keep talking and harping on it, and working on it,” interim head coach Harlon Barnett said. “That’s where the breakdown came in the fourth quarter. We just didn’t finish.”

The game started with two turnovers from Minnesota, after running back Sean Tyler fumbled on his first carry of the game. MSU went three-and-out on its opening drive, leading to a Jonathan Kim field goal to go up 3-0.

On the Gophers’ next drive, freshman linebacker Jordan Hall sacked and stripped redshirt junior quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis, with Avery Dunn recovering the fumble. The Spartans offense struggled to take advantage of the Gophers’ early gifts, settling for another field goal and making it 6-0.

“You definitely want to punch the ball in the end zone. With the field position we had on them, you want touchdowns,” Barnett said.

Minnesota responded late in the second quarter, with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Athan Kaliakmanis to senior wide receiver Daniel Jackson, making it 10-6 Golden Gophers.

Michigan State’s offense continued its struggles in the Twin Cities, recording 80 yards of offense in the first half.

In a game full of three-and-outs and ugly Big Ten football, Minnesota was able to prevail in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Spartans 17-6.

Redshirt sophomore running back Jordan Nubin filled in for the injured Darius Taylor, and he did just fine, running for an 18-yard touchdown to increase the Gophers’ lead to 17-6. Nubin finished his day with 204 yards on the ground.

In the fourth quarter, Katin Houser was replaced by freshman quarterback Sam Leavitt. Houser finished his day completing 55 percent of his passes, and throwing for 117 yards.

Leavitt led the Spartans down the field in his first drive, going 4-for-4 for 41 yards with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Tyrell Henry. In a promising effort, Leavitt showed poise and accuracy in his short time on the field. He finished the game going 8-for-12, 73 yards, a touchdown and interception.

On the kick off, Michigan State elected to go for an onside kick. Minnesota recovered and ended up with a short field in MSU territory.

“The point of emphasis was to finish, because you get 60 minutes in a game to play,” redshirt junior linebacker Cal Haladay said. “You can’t relax or let the game affect you. You just have to go do your job.”

Minnesota’s offense went down the field, leading to a 2-yard touchdown from Jordan Nubin, his second of the game.

On the final drive, Leavitt was intercepted by Tre’Von Jones, effectively ending the game.

Michigan State will play its final home game of the 2023 season on Saturday, Nov. 4 at noon against Nebraska. Matt Merrifield and Zac Slowik will be on the call from Spartan Stadium on impact89fm.org.

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About the Contributors
Jay DeCoster, Sports Editorial Assistant
Jay is a senior studying Mediated Communications at Michigan State. He joined Impact in September of 2021 as a volunteer. Jay is the Michigan State Football & women's soccer beat reporter for the Impact sports department. His interests include supporting his favorite Chicago sports teams, and golfing in the summer. "If you got a dream, chase it, 'cause a dream won't chase you back" - Cody Johnson
Jack Moreland, Sports Photo Editor
Jack (he/him) is a Journalism major focusing in sports reporting and media photography. Growing up in nearby Okemos, Michigan, he has been a lifelong Spartan and is proud to sport the green and white. Jack is a big Baby Keem fan and is known to post on your block with your wishlist on you.

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