Michigan State rallied for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to upset Ohio State and knock its biggest rival out of the national championship picture.
No. 10 Michigan State came into the Big Ten title game determined to shake things up and it did. The Spartans rallied from a seven-point third-quarter deficit by scoring the final 17 points to defeat No. 2 Ohio State, 34-24, and earn selection as the Week 15 winner of the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Year contest.
Michigan State scored the first 17 points of the game and then watched Ohio State’s Braxton Miller, Carlos Hyde & Co. run over the nation’s stingiest defense for the next 24 points.
But Spartans quarterback Connor Cook responded by leading his team to a field goal near the end of the third quarter followed by a 9-yard TD pass to a wide open Josiah Price with 11:41 left in the game to regain the lead, 27-24. Cook, who won game MVP honors, threw for 304 yards and three TDs.
Michigan State sealed its victory over Ohio State, which had the nation’s longest winning streak at 24 games, when running back Jeremy Langford broke free for a 26-yard TD to put the Spartans up 10 with 2:16 left to play. Langford ran 24 times for 128 yards, becoming the first player this season to top 100 yards against the Buckeyes.
A national panel of experts selects the weekly winner of the Academy’s College Football Game of the Year Contest. Each week’s winner is considered for the award honoring the best College Football Game of the Year at the end of the season. Last season’s winner was Texas A&M’s 29-24 shocking upset of Alabama in a Southeastern Conference showdown.
This committee is currently chaired by Jack Lengyel, the former athletic director at the United States Naval Academy. Lengyel was also a college football coach best known for being the head coach who resurrected the Marshall University football program, as depicted in the 2006 film, “We Are Marshall.”
Daniel Moore, the American Sports Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) 2005 Sport Artist of the Year, is commissioned by the Academy each year to create a painting honoring the selected College Football Game of the Year. The Academy, also known as America’s Sports University, donates the painting and $5,000 to the general scholarship fund of the annual winner.
The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu