The Michigan State Spartans football team came back to win 24-20 over the Stanford University Cardinal in the 100th Rose Bowl on New Year's Day. This was MSU's first Rose Bowl appearance since 1988, and the team did not disappoint the long-awaiting Spartan Nation. Head coach Mark Dantonio, who usually doesn't show much emotion was all smiles after the win.
Sophomore quarterback Connor Cook was crowned MVP of the game after throwing for career-high 332 yards and three touchdowns, leading the squad to victory. But the offensive players weren't the only stars. After losing Max Bullough to a suspension, the defense had to step up. And step up they did; Kyler Elsworth made a diving tackle that stopped Stanford from getting a final chance with a first down, a play that was shown on replays over and over again and earned him Defensive MVP of the game.
The team worked hard all year to earn a perfect conference record and earn their ticket to the Rose Bowl. Mark Dantonio's inspiring words all season, including "You will be the ones," were obviously true, as many hoped they would be. The squad set a school record after the win with a 13-1 record for the season. It is also the first three-bowl winning streak for the MSU Spartans in school history. Also contributing to the win were Jeremy Langford and Trevon Pendleton with touchdowns, kicker Michael Geiger with three extra points and a 31-yd field goal. Tony Lippett scored the final touchdown for MSU in dramatic fashion by reaching the football over the line just as he was going down.
The team celebrated to their signature song in the locker room to cap off a great season:
Talk is already building about a new view on Michigan State heading into 2014, and the pressure will be on to continue on the winning path. But for now, it's time for Spartans around the world to celebrate.
"We moved the rock, we moved the foundation, (and) we moved our football team here to the Rose Bowl,'' Dantonio said. "We were able to dream big.''
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