LINCOLN, Neb. -- That fantastic finish against Wisconsin sure seems like a long time ago to Michigan State.
The ninth-ranked Spartans had a chance to build an almost insurmountable lead in the Big Ten Legends Division on Saturday against No. 13 Nebraska, but the Spartans' road demons cropped up again in a 24-3 loss.
"What a difference a week makes," Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said.
The Spartans were held to 187 total yards and quarterback Kirk Cousins couldn't get anything going in the passing game against Nebraska's swarming defense.
After throwing for 290 yards and three TDs at home in last week's crazy 37-31 win over Wisconsin last week, Cousins missed on 12 of his first 16 passes and finished 11 of 27 for 86 yards. He was sacked for times.
Cousins was intercepted on the Spartans' first possession, was nearly picked off three other times and often threw into double coverage.
"We're a much better team than we showed today and we still have a lot of things in front of us to accomplish," Cousins said. "It's important to push on and understand that so much of what happens to us this season is not what happened to us but how we respond. It's important that we respond the right way."
The Cornhuskers (7-1, 3-1) moved into a tie with Michigan State (6-2, 3-1) and Michigan for the Big Ten Legends Division lead. The Huskers own the tiebreaker with Michigan State and are yet to play Michigan and Iowa.
Michigan State running back Le'Veon Bell said he and his teammates won't use the emotional hangover of last week's win as an excuse.
"I don't think that affected us today," he said. "We just didn't execute the way we should have today. Especially in an environment like that, playing on the road, you've got to execute a lot better than we did today."
The road hasn't been kind to the Spartans. They were hammered at Iowa a year ago for their only Big Ten loss. This year they were drilled, 31-13, at Notre Dame and scraped by in a 10-7 win at Ohio State.