We knew coming into the 100th edition of the Rose Bowl that we were going to get all the physicality in the match up between the Michigan State Spartans and the Stanford Cardinal. Both possess punishing defensive units, but it was Michigan State’s that rose to the biggest occasion at the very right time.
With Stanford facing a fourth-and-1 from their own 34 yard line, QB Kevin Hogan handed the ball to FB Ryan Hewitt who was stopped by the Spartans defense for no gain, thus securing Michigan State’s first Rose Bowl title since 1988 and the first for the Big Ten Conference in the last three years.
It wasn’t all defense, though, that came up big for Michigan State on this afternoon in Pasadena.
Michigan State QB Connor Cook was spectacular, for the most part, completing 22-of-36 passes for 332 yards and two touchdowns. He did have one crucial interception in the first half that was returned by Stanford for a touchdown, but that was about the majority of what Cook did wrong tonight.
In helping the offense, Spartans running back Jeremy Langford carried the ball 23 timed for 84 yards and a score, and wide receiver Tony Lippett grabbed 5 balls for 94 yards and also scored what would be the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Michigan State finishes their unbelievable season at 13-1, while Stanford heads off into the offseason now at 11-3.