Michigan State started out with possession of the ball and was able to get things rolling, quickly getting the ball into Maryland territory. However, on 3rd and 2 from the Terps 32 yard line, Michigan State pitched the ball to LJ Scott who was tackled by Maryland CB Alvin Hill for a loss of 6 yards, which forced the Spartans into a punt.
The Terps first possession started off very interesting. After picking up a quick first down due to a 15 yard personal foul penalty on MSU, Maryland tried a trick play as quarterback Perry Hills pitched it out to wide receiver D.J Moore, who then threw it down field to a wide-open Lorenzo Harrison. However, Moore missed Harrison by about 5 yards on a play that was a sure touchdown if it had been caught. The Terps first drive ended in a punt after picking up one more first down.
Maryland would then force the Spartans into a quick 3 and out before putting together a strong drive of their own. After taking possession, the Terrapins, helped by 3 penalties on the Michigan State defense, went on a 9-play 96-yard drive. Capping it off with an 8 yard TD run by Lorenzo Harrison. They then went for two and converted to make it 8-0 with 2:51 left in the 1st half. On of the penalties by Michigan State on the drive was a targeting call on linebacker Riley Bullough, resulting in his ejection.
On Michigan State’s ensuing possession, they were able to get to the Maryland 28 yard line and would go for it on a 4th and 3. They would complete a 7 yard pass, but they were called for offensive pass interference, resulting in the completion being negated and making it 4th and 18, which then led them to punt it away, ending the 1st quarter.
The Terps next drive started at their own 19-yard line and they were able to get it to the Spartans 49 yard line, before having to punt it away. Michigan State then took over with 1st and 10 at their own 15-yard line and got to work.
After a 3 yard run by LJ Scott, quarterback Brian Lewerke completed back-to-back passes, finding tight end Jamal Lyles for a 24 yarder and wide receiver R.J. Shelton for a 15 yarder to make it 1st and 10 at the Maryland 48. Then LJ Scott broke off a 48 yard TD run down the left sideline to get the Spartans on the board for the first time in the game. This made it 8-7 with the Terps on top with 9:41 left in the 1st half.
After back-to-back drives by both Maryland and Michigan State that ended in 3 and outs, the Terps got back to work. On 1st down, running back Ty Johnson broke off a 40-yard rush to put the ball at midfield. Then 3 plays later, Perry Hills found D.J. Moore wide open over the middle on a busted coverage play for a 36-yard TD reception. Terps kicker Adam Greene missed the extra point, making it 14-7 Maryland with 5:41 left in the 1st half.
The Spartans answered right back with a 10 play 74 yard drive that took 4:58 off the clock. Michigan State was able to punch it into the end zone on a 1-yard rush by running back Gerald Holmes to tie the game up at 14 with just 38 seconds left in the half.
Maryland tried to put something together before the half, but after a 27 yard run by Lorenzo Harrison, he fumbled at the end of the run and the Spartans recovered with 14 seconds left. The Spartans were able to get the ball to the Maryland 28 yard line with just 4 seconds left in the half. They then lined up for a field goal attempt, but on the snap, they faked it and kicker Michael Geiger rushed to the right side of the field and was met by a cavalry of Terrapins as the clock hit triple zeros, ending the first half.