by CFP Staff
December 30, 2012
Dan Conroy's 47-yard field goal with 1:01 left gave Michigan State a 17-16 come-from-behind win over TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, the last of five Saturday (December 29) games.
Trailing 13-7, a misplayed punt return at around the 8-minute mark of the 4th quarter gave the Spartans new life with a first-and-goal at the TCU 4-yard line. Le'Veon Bell scored two plays later on a 4-yard run around left end to give his team their first lead after trailing 13-0 at halftime.
TCU answered on its ensuing possession with a Jaden Oberkrom 53-yard field goal to regain the lead at 16-14 with 2:42 to play.
The Spartans then drove 45 yards to the TCU 30 where Conroy made what proved to be the game-winning kick.
The first meeting since 1953 between the two schools was a nailbiter that became typically emblematic of the program in 2012. In 13 games this season, the Spartans lost 5 games by a total of 13 points and won 3 games by 4 points or less. They had an overtime win and an overtime loss.
The win gave each team a 7-6 record which represents TCU's worst mark since 2004 when the Horned Frogs went 5-6. For Michigan State, it's the school's first consecutive season wins in bowl games since 1989-1990 and the first time the school has won two bowl appearances in-a-row since 1999 and 2001.
Le'Veon Bell was Michigan State's offense in this game, rushing for 145 yards, catching 2 passes for 13 yards and throwing one for 29. His 187 total yards were all but were all but 62 of the team total.
Trevone Boykin was TCU's offense. The QB threw for 201 yards and ran for 37 more, accounting for 248 of TCU's 288 total.
MSU's first score came on Connor Cook's 15-yard pass to Aaron Burbridge just before the end of the 3rd quarter.
TCU's only touchdown came on its second drive of the game when a 9-play, 73-yard march culminated with a 4-yard run by Matthew Tucker
The Horned Frogs had won 6 of their previous 7 bowl games and would have evened their bowl record with a win. Instead, the program dropped to 13-15-1.
Michigan State is just 9-14 in bowl games.
The Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com had TCU winning by 2.30 points.