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College Football Season
Outback Bowl

Michigan State Michigan State (11-3) 33
Georgia Georgia (10-4) 30
3 Overtimes

Bowl Index

Game Recap

by CFP Staff
January 2, 2012

Anthony Rashad White blocked Blair Walsh's 47-yard field goal in the third overtime and Michigan State ended a 5-bowl losing streak in dramatic fashion with a 33-30 win over Georgia in the Outback Bowl.

It was one of six games on Janauary 2nd that are traditionally played on New Year's Day, but were moved to avoid Sunday's NFL schedule.

The Spartans' victory gave the Big Ten its only win of the day (1-4). Other games involving Big Ten teams on the same day saw Penn State lose to Houston, Nebraska to South Carolina, Ohio State to Florida and Wisconsin to Oregon.

Without any timeouts left, Kirk Cousins engineered an 85-yard drive that culminated with Le'Veon Bell's game-tying 1-yard run at the end of regulation. The drive completed a Michigan State comeback from a 16-0 halftime deficit. The Spartans briefly gained a 20-19 lead in the 4th, only to see Georgia jump right back on top a minute-and-half later.

The first overtime was scoreless after Cousins was intercepted and Walsh, the SEC's career scoring leader, missed a 42-yard field goal for Georgia. The teams traded field goals in the second extra period before Dan Conroy's 28-yarder in the 3rd overtime proved to be the game-winner.

Michigan State, which hadn't won a bowl game since downing Fresno State 45-35 in the 2001 Silicon Valley Classic, finished the year 11-3 after going 11-2 a year ago. Head coach Mark Dantonio was winless in four previous bowl games, including a 24-12 loss to the Bulldogs in the Capital One Bowl at the end of the 2008 season.

Georgia opened and closed a 10-4 season with back-to-back losses. In between, the Bulldogs ran off 10 straight wins.

Georgia has now dropped two consecutive bowl games for the first time since the 1981-1982 seasons.

Cousins finished his collegiate career as the school's all-time career leader in passing yards and total offense.

Brandon Boykin had a 92-yard punt return for Georgia that gave the Bulldogs a 16-0 lead at halftime. He also caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Murray that put the 'Dawgs ahead 27-20 with 6:44 left in regulation.

The score was 2-0 after Boykin tackled Keshawn Martin in the end zone for a safety on Michigan State’s first offensive play.

Georgia's Tavarres King led all receivers with 205 yards on 6 catches, including an 80-yard touchdown that put his team ahead 9-0.

69.7% of voters picked Georgia to win, but the Congrove Computer Rankings at forecasted a 4.32-point victory for Michigan State.


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