EAST LANSING, Michigan (Ticker) -- Jeff Smoker made a
successful return, passing for three touchdowns as Michigan
State posted a 26-21 victory over Western Michigan in John L.
Smith's debut as Spartans' coach.
Smoker, who was suspended for the final five games of last
season after admitting to a substance abuse problem, completed
21-of-34 passes for 324 yards to become Michigan State's
all-time leader in total offense.
He threw TD strikes of 50 yards to Agim Shabaj and 45 yards to
Greg Jennings to give the Spartans a 14-7 lead early in the
After Western Michigan tied it on on Phil Reed's two-yard TD run
just over a minute later, the Spartans took the lead for good
on Dave Rayner's 49-yard field goal with 8:19 left in the half.
Less than two minutes later, Smoker and Shabaji combined again
for a 21-yard TD that staked Michigan State to a 23-14 halftime
Rayner kicked a 31-yard field goal in the third quarter before
the Broncos made it close on Chad Munson's 30-yard TD to Greg
Jennings with 30 seconds to play. Jennings had 10 receptions for
Munson completed 30-of-50 passes for 333 yards, but was sacked
five times and threw two interceptions. The Broncos were held to
just six yards rushing.
Michigan State recorded its sixth straight win over Western
Michigan and increased its lead in the all-time series to 8-2.