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OUTBACK BOWL: Michigan State defeats Georgia in OT, 33-30

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TAMPA, Fla. – Blair Walsh missed a 47-yard field goal in triple overtime and Michigan State held on for a comeback 33-30 win over Georgia before 49,429 at the Outback Bowl in Tampa.

Earlier in OT, Walsh was good from 47 yards. Michigan State’s Dan Conroy kicked field goals from 35 and 28 yards in OT as neither team could score a TD.

Spartans took their first lead of the game, 20-19, with 8:22 to play. Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins threw a 50-yard pass to Brian Linthicum to the Bulldogs nine. Two plays later Cousins found Keith Nichol in the middle of the end zone for a nine-yard scoring strike.

Cousins finished 27 of 50 for 300 yards and three interceptions.

The Bulldogs led 27-20 with 1:38 to play on QB Aaron Murray’s 13-yard pass to Brandon Boykin. But the Spartans’ Le’Veon Bell’s one-yard run sent the game into overtime. Bell had 51 yards on 17 carries.

Michigan State scored twice in the third quarter to pull within two points.

Spartans avoided the shutout with Bell’s eight-yard score. The two-point conversions, a Cousins’ pass to Linthicum was good.

On Georgia’s next possession Marquez Dennard picked off Murray for six points. Michigan State went for the tie, but this time the two-point conversion failed.

Murray was 20 of 32 for 288 yards and two interceptions.

Boykin returned a punt 92 yards for a TD with 1:39 to play in the half setting a Georgia record for longest in a bowl. Boykin was named the game’s MVP.

Georgia opened up a 9-0 first half lead with 3:06 to play. Murray threw an 80-yard scoring pass to Tavarres King. King has 205 yards in receptions on six catches.

The Bulldogs got on the 26th annual Outback Bowl scoreboard early. Boykin tackled Martin Keshawn for a safety after he caught a pass from Cousins on the Spartans’ first play from scrimmage.

For the first time since the Vanderbilt game in 2010, Georgia registered a safety. It was set up after senior Drew Butler booted a 51-yard punt, downed by sophomore Blake Sailors at the three-yard line.

The Spartans made a key defensive stop midway through the first quarter, following the safety. Georgia had marched to the Michigan State five and faced a fourth and one when the Spartans’ Denicos Allen hit Ken Malcome for a one-yard loss behind the goaline.

Leading 16-0 at the half, it was the first time since game three against Coastal Carolina on Sept. 17. the Bulldog defense blanked its opponent in the first half.

Also in bowl history, it was the first time since the 1998 Outback Bowl when Georgia posted a first-half shutout, leading Wisconsin 19-0 en route to a 33-6 victory.

After two quarters Cousins was 9 of 15 for 68 yards. Murray was 13 of 16 for 185 yards going into the intermission.

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