Nov. 13, 1999
• Coach Walker Postgame Audio
• Game Stats
By NANCY ARMOUR
AP Sports Writer
EVANSTON, Ill. - After controlling the game’s tempo at the outset and despite out-possessing the Spartans by nearly six minutes, Northwestern fell 34-0 to Michigan State Saturday.
Keeping MSU pinned in its own half most of the first quarter, the Wildcats allowed just 41 yards of total offense. A strong running game, meanwhile, brought NU within field-goal range twice, but the efforts ( missing 51 and 48 yards out, respectively) missed.
Using a punishing running game in the second quarter, the Spartans drove deep into NU territory, though the Wildcats nearly escaped when a pass looked like it might be picked off by Kyle Sanders in the end zone. Instead, he dropped it, and MSU kicked a field goal to get on the board.
MSU’s Amp Campbell picked off a Zak Kustok pass at the Wildcat 35 on the next NU possession, and it took just one play for Michigan State to capitalize. Drawing the defense in with a handoff, the Spartans employed the flea-flicker, and Bill Burke hit a wide-open Plaxico Burress for the first of Burress’ three touchdowns. The backbreaking play came with just 1:01 left in the half, when a Kustok fumble was picked up by T.J. Turner, who ran it in from 26 yards out to give MSU a 17-0 lead.
In the second half, Ryan Van Dyke — filling in for Burke, who was injured in the first half — found Burress for TD passes of 35 and 84 yards, while Paul Edinger split the uprights on a 42-yard field goal.
For the 10th straight game this year, redshirt sophomore running back Damien Anderson (Wilmington, Ill./Wilmington) led NU in rushing. His 78 yards put him at 1,005 on the ground for the season and made him just the seventh player in NU history to achieve the milestone. Kustok (Orland Park, Ill./Carl Sandburg) and Nick Kreinbrink (Leipsic, Ohio/Leipsic) combined to go 5-for-17 passing on the day for 41 yards, and were sacked eight times.
Senior defensive back Rashad Morton (Macedonia, Ohio/Nordonia) led the team on defense with 12 tackles. Junior linebacker Napoleon Harris (Dixmoor, Ill./Thornton) had two sacks on the day for a combined 16-yard loss.