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Michigan State falls 41-7 to Washington, Huskies total 713 yards on offense

Michigan State's Noah Kim slides shy of the first down to avoid a tackle during the first half against Washington at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Mich. on Sept. 16, 2023.
Michigan State's Noah Kim slides shy of the first down to avoid a tackle during the first half against Washington at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Mich. on Sept. 16, 2023. (Marvin Hall/Spartans Illustrated)

In a record setting offensive performance for an opponent, the No. 8 Washington Huskies' offense treated Michigan State's defense like a chew toy as it totaled 713 yards in a 41-7 victory.

The soon to be Big Ten foe threw for 536 yards and added another 177 on the ground, this despite totaling 110 yards from 11 penalties. The 713 total yards was the most ever by a visiting team in Spartan Stadium's 100-year history (and in any venue by the Spartan program in fact as it was a program-record yards allowed in a game), besting the previous record set in 1995 by Nebraska who totaled 666 yards in East Lansing that fall. It was perhaps perfect fate that it was also the first game that allowed alcohol sales to the general public who were forced to watch from their seats.

MSU finished with just 261 total yards with 53 on the ground and 208 through the air. Not to be outdone in sloppiness, the Spartans also were called for 11 penalties, but totaled just 83 yards.


Noah Kim finished a rough outing under center with just 136 passing yards on 12 completions out of 31 attempts. He also threw an interception in the first half. Nathan Carter led the running backs with 48 yards on 17 carries, while Christian Fitzpatrick led the receiving corps with one catch for 61 yards, 29 of them after contact.

Katin Houser came in late after a Spartan defensive interception and capped off the lone scoring play for MSU of the game with a four yard rush, leaping into the end zone for the touchdown.

Meanwhile, in his final game against MSU, Michael Penix, Jr. finished the day 27-for-35 through the air for 473 yards and four touchdowns.

First Half

Michigan State struggled starting with its first drive in this one and never figured it out from there. The Spartans finished the first half with just 10 first downs, racking up 24 rushing yards on 14 carries and going for 122 yards through the air, going 11-for-25 with an interception.

On the opening drive for MSU, Kim was sacked by by Washington's Zion Tupuola-Fetui and spent much of the game afterwards throwing off on balls. as a result of the pressure the Huskies' defense was bringing.

For UW, former Spartan Germie Bernard scored the first touchdown of the day, one of several for the visiting team. Penix performed his standard slicing up on the Spartans' secondary with UW scoring on all but two drives in the first half. The lone "bright spot" for the Spartan defense was the two third downs forced by it were zero-for-2 on conversions, forcing rare punts by the visitor. Penix finished the half 20-for-25 for 375 yards.

Washington also faked kneeling it with just :41 remaining in the first half and set to receive the ball to start the second half. The Huskies proceeded to march the ball down the field in just :35 and score to make it 35-0 at the half.

Second Half

MSU finally held the Huskies to two field goals on their first two drives of the second half with Penix eventually sitting to rest and avoid injury risk with the game clearly in hand for UW. The MSU defense forced a turnover on downs and Jaden Mangham notched his first career interception on the final two drives before time ran out on third and final by UW.

Michigan State had just two drives in each of the final two quarters, respectively. After being forced to punt on the first three, Houser helped spark the offense to a 99 yard drive from its own one-yard line for the score.

The biggest play of the day for MSU came on the seventh play of the 11-play drive when Houser connected with Fitzpatrick 32 yards downfield at the UW 42 yard line and Fitzpatrick continued for another 29 yards to the Huskies' 13-yard line. Four plays later, Houser kept it for the lone MSU touchdown. The final score for either team left the score at 41-7 UW with 5:48 still remaining in the game.

Michigan State drops to 2-1 on the season following the loss. MSU hosts Maryland next Saturday at Spartan Stadium with the game set for a 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time start. The game will also be broadcast on NBC, hopefully with a better set of announcers on the call than the set fans were subjected to against Washington.

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