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SportNo. 18 Michigan State shuts down Tulsa, 28-7

06:05  31 august  2019
06:05  31 august  2019 Source:   ap.org

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When Michigan State 's defensive linemen are playing like this, the Spartans' offense has plenty of margin for error. Willekes recovered two fumbles, including one for a touchdown, and No . 18 Michigan State manhandled Tulsa 28 - 7 on Friday night.

When Michigan State 's defensive linemen are playing like this, the Spartans' offense has plenty of margin for error. Willekes recovered two fumbles, including one for a touchdown, and No . 18 Michigan State manhandled Tulsa 28 - 7 on Friday night. Willekes, back on the field after breaking his leg in last

No. 18 Michigan State shuts down Tulsa, 28-7
No. 18 Michigan State shuts down Tulsa, 28-7
No. 18 Michigan State shuts down Tulsa, 28-7
No. 18 Michigan State shuts down Tulsa, 28-7
No. 18 Michigan State shuts down Tulsa, 28-7
No. 18 Michigan State shuts down Tulsa, 28-7

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Kenny Willekes recovered two fumbles, including one in the end zone for a touchdown, and No. 18 Michigan State manhandled Tulsa 28-7 on Friday night.

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Michigan State 's Kenny Willekes, bottom right, sacks Tulsa quarterback Zach Smith (11), causing a fumble, as Tulsa 's Shamari Brooks (3) (AP) — Kenny Willekes recovered two fumbles, including one in the end zone for a touchdown, and No . 18 Michigan State manhandled Tulsa 28 - 7 on Friday night.

Michigan State ’s Kenny Willekes, bottom right, sacks Tulsa quarterback Zach Smith (11), causing a fumble, as Tulsa ’s Shamari Brooks (3) and Denzel Carter, left rear Willekes recovered two fumbles, including one for a touchdown, and No . 18 Michigan State manhandled Tulsa 28 - 7 on Friday night.

Willekes, back on the field after breaking his leg in last season's Redbox Bowl, was part of a swarming Michigan State defense that held the Golden Hurricane to minus-73 yards rushing. The Spartans (1-0) still had their problems offensively, but that made little difference on this night.

BOX SCORE: NO. 18 MICHIGAN STATE 28, TULSA 7

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Tulsa (0-1) botched two shotgun snaps in the second quarter - part of the reason its rushing total ended up so far below zero. One of those loose balls went out of the end zone for a safety.

The touchdown by Willekes came after he and Raequan Williams sacked Zach Smith near the goal line. The ball came free, and Willekes came up with it to put Michigan State up 22-0.

The big question coming into this game was how Michigan State's offense would look after the Spartans scored only 32 points over the final four games of 2018. Coach Mark Dantonio shuffled roles around among his offensive assistants, making Brad Salem the offensive coordinator.

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Michigan State ’s Kenny Willekes, bottom right, sacks Tulsa quarterback Zach Smith (11), causing a fumble, as Tulsa ’s Shamari Brooks (3) and Denzel Carter, left rear Willekes recovered two fumbles, including one for a touchdown, and No . 18 Michigan State manhandled Tulsa 28 - 7 on Friday night.

Michigan State defense suffocates Tulsa in first half (1:11). The Spartans defense comes alive in the second quarter, as they block a punt, force a safety, score a TD off Willekes recovered two fumbles, including one for a touchdown, and No . 18 Michigan State manhandled Tulsa 28 - 7 on Friday night.

Michigan State got the ball first Friday and capped a penalty-aided drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Brian Lewerke to Connor Heyward. Then the defense - which was No. 1 in the nation against the run last season - took over.

Tulsa went with Smith, a Baylor transfer, at quarterback over returning sophomore Seth Boomer. It would have probably been a long night no matter who was in. Michigan State was up 25-0 before the Golden Hurricane scored. Smith threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Sam Crawford late in the second quarter.

The Spartans have won 21 straight home openers.

THE TAKEAWAY

Tulsa: The Golden Hurricane had trouble running and passing, and they didn't help themselves with three first-half turnovers. The final score could have been a lot worse.

Michigan State: The Spartans were never in much danger of losing this one, but in the end, they scored only one offensive touchdown. The offense failed to take full advantage of great field position in that second quarter, and there was some grumbling from fans at Spartan Stadium at various points in the night.

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Spartans QB Lewerke blasted on late hit out of bounds Tulsa needs to mind all its P's and Q's against Michigan State Friday night, but early on that strategy was thrown out the window.

Michigan State ’s Kenny Willekes, bottom right, sacks Tulsa quarterback Zach Smith (11), causing a fumble, as Tulsa ’s Shamari Brooks (3) and Denzel Carter, left rear Willekes recovered two fumbles, including one for a touchdown, and No . 18 Michigan State manhandled Tulsa 28 - 7 on Friday night.

When Michigan State ’s defensive linemen are playing like this, the Spartans’ offense has plenty of margin for error. Willekes recovered two fumbles, including one for a touchdown, and No . 18 Michigan State manhandled Tulsa 28 - 7 on Friday night. Willekes, back on the field after breaking his leg in last

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Michigan State was in the Top 25 despite all the concerns about the offense, and this comfortable win isn't likely to threaten that ranking.

UP NEXT

Tulsa visits San Jose State next Saturday night.

Michigan State hosts Western Michigan next Saturday night.

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Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister

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More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Related slideshow: Best photos of college football season (provided by imagn)

No. 18 Michigan State shuts down Tulsa, 28-7
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