(PASADENA, Calif) — Connor Cook passed for a career-high 332 yards and two touchdowns as No. 4 Michigan State held off fifth-ranked Stanford 24-20 to win the 100th Rose Bowl on Wednesday night.
Cook hit Tony Lippett for a 25-yard score in the fourth quarter that gave the Spartans (13-1) the lead for good.
“It’s a special time for all Spartans, and we came here in force,” coach Mark Dantonio said. “I’m very happy for our football team, the resilience we showed all season long.”
Stanford (11-3) was driving late in the fourth quarter when Michigan State’s defense stepped up. Kyler Elsworth stuffed fullback Ryan Hewitt on a fourth-and-1 with 1:46 remaining to seal the victory.
“You have to give it to Michigan State for stuffing that,” Stanford’s Tyler Gaffney said. “Everybody in the building knew exactly what was coming. A run was coming up the middle, and it was a test of wills, and they got the better of us.”
Kevin Hogan threw for 143 yards and one interception in the loss for the Cardinal.
Michigan State finished its season with 10 straight wins. The Big Ten champions won a Rose Bowl for the first time since 1988.
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Lois M. Collins, Deseret News