At Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday night, two Big Ten Conference juggernauts clashed for the conference title. The Ohio State Buckeyes were in their first post-season game after 24 straight wins under second year coach Urban Meyer. The second ranked Buckeyes were hoping that a win would send them straight to the BCS Title game. Instead the Spartan football team, with their top ranked defense, persevered, coming back from behind in the fourth to earn the win, the Big Ten Championship, and their first trip to the Rose Bowl in 26 years.
The Spartans started the game out on a high note. On the opening drive they were able to advance the ball well before being stopped short just outside the red zone. Michael Geiger opened up the scoreboard as he booted a 40-yard field goal to give MSU the early lead.
Michigan State’s defense started out really well at containing the explosive OSU offense led by Braxton Miller. For the first time this season, the Buckeyes were shutout in the first quarter.
Michigan State’s offense padded the lead 10 seconds into the second quarter when Connor Cook hit Keith Mumphrey for a 72 yard pass. On their next drive Cook connected with Tony Lippett for 33 yards to bring the score to 17-0.
After that the Buckeyes revamped a few things on their offense and started to pose a challenge. After a huge 48 yard rush, Miller hit Corey Brown for a 20 yard touchdown pass. Before the half OSU knocked in a field goal, and headed to the locker rooms down by 7.
In the first drive of the third quarter, Miller showed his stuff again. Splitting rushing duties with Carlos Hyde, the Buckeyes pounded into the Spartan defensive front all the way down the field. Miller himself ran eight yards for the touchdown, tying the game at 17.
Before the end of the third, after another rushing touchdown from Miller, the Buckeyes had scored 24 unanswered points, leading 24-17.
Connor Cook and the Spartans bounced right back. After drawing defensive pass interference on OSU, Cook hit tight end Josiah Price for nine yards and to retake the lead. The Spartan defense showed new life within as brought back the dominance they showed in the first quarter. After a clutch fourth a two stop, a Spartan victory started to look very promising. It was solidified when Jeremy Langford rushed up the middle for a 26 yard rushing touchdown, giving MSU a 10 point lead with a little over two minutes left in the game. Again the Spartan D was able to shut down the Buckeye offense. Cook kneeled and ran the clock out for the victory.
Now the Spartans have moved up to No. 4 in the polls, and have officially earned their bid to play Stanford University in the Rose Bowl on January 1st, 2014, their first Rose Bowl since the same day in 1988.
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