7 Big Ten games among ESPNU’s top 25 of 2015
Last season was a banner one for Michigan State, but it didn’t come without its fair share of stress.
The Spartans are featured four times on ESPNU’s list of the top 25 games from 2015, including dramatic walk-off wins over Michigan and Ohio State and a controversial loss to Nebraska. The Big Ten made seven appearances on the list, with the Cornhuskers in three.
ESPNU will re-air almost all the games in the top 25 starting Monday. Roughly two games will air per day, through July 31. Several games, including the Big Ten Championship between Michigan State and Iowa, won’t be shown due to rights restrictions.
Here are the contests featuring Big Ten games that made the cut.
No. 20: Michigan 48, Indiana 41 (July 20, 10 p.m. ET)
The Wolverines stayed alive in the Big Ten East race with a double-overtime win over an Indiana team that just wouldn’t go away. Michigan had relied on its defense for much of the season to that point, but QB Jake Rudock answered the call with six touchdown passes.
No. 19: Miami 36, Nebraska 33 (July 21, 10 p.m. ET)
Nebraska scored 23 points in the fourth quarter to send this game to overtime, but threw an interception on the first play of the extra session. Miami kicked a 28-yard field goal to win.
No. 17: Nebraska 39, Michigan State 38 (July 22, 10 p.m. ET)
Nebraska drove 91 yards in the final minute to win, but the game was marred with controversy. With 17 seconds left, Brandon Reilly caught a 30-yard touchdown from Tommy Armstrong after stepping out of bounds. Officials ruled he was pushed out. The Spartans were 8-0 at the time and had their College Football Playoff hopes damaged after the loss.
No. 16: Michigan State 16, Iowa 13
The Spartans took their playoff spot back with this grind-it-out win that ended with L.J. Scott’s lunge across the goal line with 27 seconds left.
No. 13: BYU 33, Nebraska 28 (July 26, 7 p.m. ET)
Tanner Mangum, BYU’s backup QB, threw a 42-yard hail mary as time expired to give the Cougars a Week 1 win and spoil Mike Riley’s Nebraska debut.
No. 11: Michigan State 17, Ohio State 14 (July 26, 10 p.m.)
Ohio State’s offense totaled just 132 total yards, and Michigan State scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, including Michael Geiger’s 41-yard field goal as time expired, to end the Buckeyes’ perfect season.
No. 2: Michigan State 27, Michigan 23*
There’s no re-air time for this game because ESPNU is giving fans the chance to vote on which of the top 5 games was truly the best. But it’s hard to argue against this one.
Michigan led 23-21 with 10 seconds left on the clock before punter Blake O’Neill bobbled a low snap and Jalen Watts-Jackson returned it for a 38-yard touchdown as time expired to keep the Spartans perfect. It was the first time an FBS game ended on a defensive or special teams touchdown since the “Kick Six” — Auburn vs. Alabama in 2013.