PASADENA — Tony Lippett caught the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter and the Michigan State defense did the rest as the No. 4 Spartans downed the fifth-ranked Stanford Cardinal, 24-20, in the 100th annual Rose Bowl.
Connor Cook was an efficient 22-for-36 for 332 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, while Jeremy Langford totaled 84 yards on 23 carries and a score for the Spartans (13-1), who won their fourth Rose Bowl and first since 1988.
“People keep asking me does the championship feel better, all these different things, these levels of excitement,” said Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio. “I can just tell you that every level, I’m just so excited for our football team and our players and our Spartan fans and our families of our coaches, and our coaches.”
Lippett finished the game with five catches for 94 yards along with the score, and Trevon Pendleton also caught a touchdown pass for Michigan State, which handed Ohio State its first loss in two years in the Big Ten championship game.
“I told the guys, we had one heck of a year, and got beat today,” said Stanford head coach David Shaw. “They played better. They made more plays. That’s the bottom line. You know that every time you suit up, it’s about who makes the most plays and who scores the most points.”
The score had been tied at 17-17 since early in the third quarter, but Michigan State got the ball back at the Stanford 27 after a short punt, combined with a 19-yard return from Macgarrett Kings.
On the third play of the possession, Cook hit Lippett with a pass over the middle near the 5, and he stretched it in on a 25-yard score for a 24-17 lead with 13:22 to play.
Each team then punted once, with Stanford getting the ball back at its own 28 and Michael Rector taking a carry 27 yards to get the ball across midfield. A holding call on Michigan State gave Stanford a fresh set of downs, but the drive stalled at the MSU 17.
Lining up for a 34-yard field goal, the holder bobbled the ball, but completed a pass for an apparent first down, but an illegal formation call on the team moved the ball back five yards. Jordan Williamson then hit a 39-yarder to make it a 24-20 game with 4:15 to play.
Michigan State was then held to a three-and-out and Stanford got the ball back at its own 25 with 3:06 to play and one timeout left.
Quickly facing a 4th-and-1, Ryan Hewitt took a quick handoff and tried to get over the pile, but he was knocked back and the Spartans went into the victory formation.
Capital One Bowl
(8) South Carolina 34, (19) Wisconsin 24
ORLANDO — Connor Shaw ended his college career on a high note, accounting for five touchdowns in the eighth-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks’ 34-24 victory over the 19th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers in the Capital One Bowl.
Shaw completed 22-of-25 passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns for the Gamecocks (11-2), who won their third straight bowl game. The senior quarterback added rushing and receiving scores. Bruce Ellington threw a touchdown pass and caught six passes for 140 yards and two scores.
South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney said after the game that he will enter the 2014 NFL Draft. Clowney came into the season with sky-high expectations but fell short of immeasurable hype with a disappointing season. He had three sacks and 36 tackles heading into Wednesday’s bowl game. Joel Stave completed 9-of-13 passes for 80 yards, two touchdowns and an interception before leaving with a right shoulder injury for the Badgers (9-4), who lost in the Rose Bowl the previous three seasons.
(15) UCF 52, (8) Baylor 42
TEMPE, Ariz. — Blake Bortles accounted for four touchdowns and Storm Johnson rushed for a trio of scores, as No. 15 UCF outgunned sixth- ranked Baylor en route to a 52-42 triumph Wednesday in the 43rd edition of the Fiesta Bowl from University of Phoenix Stadium.
Bortles completed 20-of-31 passes for 301 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions while rushing for 93 yards and a score on eight carries for the Knights (12-1), who made their first BCS bowl appearance thanks to an undefeated run in the American Athletic Conference.
Johnson racked up 124 yards on 20 carries and Rannell Hall hauled in a pair of touchdown passes in the win, UCF’s ninth in a row since suffering its lone loss of the season against South Carolina on Sept. 28.
The Bears (11-2) notched their first-ever 11-win season, Big 12 championship and BCS bowl berth thanks in large part to the nation’s top scoring offense during the regular season, but were unable to put up enough points to keep pace with the Knights despite a five-touchdown effort from Bryce Petty.
(14) LSU 21, Iowa 14
TAMPA, Fla. — Jeremy Hill rushed for a career-high 216 yards and two touchdowns to lead No. 14 LSU to a 21-14 win over Iowa, in the 28th annual Outback Bowl.
After losing senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger in the final game of the season to a torn ACL, the Tigers (10-3) were forced to rely heavily on Hill and a defensive unit that forced three turnovers (two interceptions, one fumble). Hill was named the game’s MVP.
Freshman quarterback Anthony Jennings struggled in his first career start, completing just 7-of-19 passes for 82 yards with an interception while also rushing for a score. With the victory, LSU set a school record with its fourth straight season with at least 10 wins. Jake Rudock started the game under center for the Hawkeyes (8-5), but left the game in the second half with an apparent leg injury. He was 9-for-22 passing for 102 yards and an interception before exiting.
Nebraska 24, (23) Georgia 19
JACKSONVILLE — Tommy Armstrong Jr. hit Quincy Enunwa with a pair of touchdown passes, including a school-record 99-yard connection in the third quarter, as Nebraska held on for a 24-19 victory over 23rd-ranked Georgia in the rain at the Gator Bowl.
Armstrong threw for 163 yards and Ameer Abdullah ran for 122 yards with a touchdown for Nebraska (9-4), which had concluded the regular season with an ugly home loss to Iowa on Thanksgiving weekend. Enunwa caught four passes for 129 yards in the victory and was named the game’s MVP. The Cornhuskers improved to 25-25 all- time in bowl games and also snapped a three-game postseason slide, which included a 45-31 loss to Georgia in last year’s Capital One Bowl.
Hutson Mason completed 21-of-39 passes for 320 yards with a touchdown and an interception for Georgia (8-5), which played without record-setting quarterback Aaron Murray. The senior suffered a torn ACL in the next-to-last game of the regular season.
Heart of Dallas Bowl
North Texas 36, UNLV 14
DALLAS — Derek Thompson threw two touchdown passes as the North Texas Mean Green beat the UNLV Rebels, 36-14, in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
Thompson completed 21-of-30 passes for 256 yards for the Mean Green (9-4), who played in a bowl game for the first time since 2004. Brelan Chancellor carried the ball seven times for 47 yards and two scores for North Texas. He also hauled in six passes for 74 yards. Caleb Herring connected on 22-of-41 passes for 196 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for the Rebels (7-6), who made their first bowl appearance since 2000.