Michigan State’s Mike Panasiuk rumbles for touchdown, ‘tips cap’ to Yankees in celebration
Panasiuk recorded an interception in the first quarter against Wake Forest and returned it 14 yards for the score. His brother, Mike, had tipped the Jamie Newman pass which led to the interception.
He then celebrated in the back of the end zone, took off his helmet and “tipped his cap,” in apparent homage to the Yankees — who hosted the bowl game.
He subsequently drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty over the celebration. He wrote on Twitter he would take 15 yards “for The Great Bambino any day.”
It was his final college football game, his first-ever touchdown and his second career interception.
“Shoutout to Mike,” Panasiuk’s teammate Kenny Willekes said after the game. “That’s pretty damn cool to score a touchdown at Yankee Stadium.”
Spartans coach Mike Dantonio added: “Great play by him, a very alert play by him.”
Ironically, Wake Forest had their own Yankee-esque performance coming from their punter. Dom Maggio had six punts for a 46.8 average on the day. He is also a senior who is finishing his career No. 4 all-time in NCAA punt yards with 12,703 and No. 8 all-time in total punts with 291.
Michigan State held onto the win thanks to 320 passing yards and a passing touchdown from quarterback Brian Lewerke. He also had a rushing touchdown.
The Spartans won the game 27-21 to finish the season with a 7-6 record. Wake Forest finished the season with an 8-5 record.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.