UNIVERSITY PARK - Following are the highlights and lowlights from Penn State's 28-22 loss to Michigan State on Saturday at Beaver Stadium:
Play of the game: There was no single game-defining play so we'll go with the most entertaining one. With 1:11 left and Penn State at the Michigan State 4, trailing 28-16, Matt McGloin was intercepted in the end zone by Spartan safety Trenton Robinson, who for some reason didn't take a knee and began a return. He was stripped by Derek Moye, who recovered at the Spartan 4. On the next play, McGloin hit Moye for a 4-yard TD.
Offensive player of the game: Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins completed 17-of-22 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns. He was not intercepted or sacked.
Mirror photos by Patrick Waksmunski
Penn State’s Derek Moye is interfered with by Michigan State cornerback Chris L. Rucker Saturday.
Defensive player of the game: Spartan cornerback Chris Rucker made five tackles, broke up three passes and forced a fumble.
Most telling statistic: The Nittany Lions, who entered the game as the least-penalized team in the nation, were flagged eight times for 67 yards.
Hidden statistic: Of Penn State's 20 first downs, only four came by rush.
Best run: Michigan State broke out a double reverse in the second quarter that Keshawn Martin broke for 35 yards, the key play on the Spartans' second touchdown drive that enabled them to take a 14-3 lead.
Best pass: Cousins threaded a 24-yard slant to B.J. Cunningham for a touchdown that extended the Spartans' lead to 21-3 late in the third quarter.
Worst pass: Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin had a couple of screens open in the flat that he left short.
Best catch: Moye went way up to snag a 29-yarder, moving the Lions to the MSU 21 late in the game.
Catch it, will ya: Though it would have been a good catch, and yes, it was cold, but Brett Brackett needed to come up with the 30-yarder in the second quarter with the Nits down 14-3. Brackett also botched a late pass in the end zone that MSU picked off. While we're at it, Silas Redd didn't field a kickoff cleanly.
Worst coverage: On second-and-4 from the PSU 8, the Lions blitzed cornerback D'Anton Lynn, and nobody rotated out to cover his vacated position. The result was an easy touchdown to Cunningham.
Hold it, won't ya: Evan Royster fumbled in the third quarter. Fortunately for Penn State, tight end Kevin Haplea alertly recovered.
Best call: Michigan State trumped its double reverse by inserting Keith Nichol at quarterback. From the PSU 35 in the fourth quarter, Nichol threw out wide to Martin, who threw back across the field to Nichol for a 13-yard gain.
Worst call: Still trying to comprehend Penn State's need to get cute on third-and-1 from the MSU 41 on the opening drive of the second half. Rather than get the first down, the Nits tried to spring Devon Smith, who was thrown for a 9-yard loss by Colin Neely, forcing a punt.
Worst penalty: The Lions offered a smorgasbord of selections in the first half. Let's go with the early delay of game on second-and-4 at the Spartan 10 from the staff with a collective thousand years of experience. It disrupted momentum and made the Nits settle for a field goal instead of a potential 7-7 tie.
Best tackle: PSU linebacker Nate Stupar stayed at home to stop a shovel pass to Cunningham short of a first down, forcing a second-quarter punt.
Best kick: Michigan State punter Aaron Bates had two over 50, but his 45-yarder in the third quarter pinned the Lions at their 15.
Worst kick: Lion freshman punter Alex Butterworth had a tough day with the wind, including a 34-yarder that was downed at the MSU 24. Not exactly a coffin corner and worse than the 23-yarder that a PSU player touched at the Spartan 15.
Best effort: Spartan tailback Edwin Baker rushed 28 times for 118 yards, many of them after first contact.
Unsung hero: Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio completed an 11-1 season - in a year in which he missed one game following a heart attack and coached three others from the press box.