TEMPE, Ariz. – Dan Conroy kicked a 47-yard field goal with 1:01 left, Le’Veon Bell ran for 145 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown, and Michigan State rallied to beat Texas Christian 17-16 in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on Saturday night.
Michigan State (7-6) labored through the first half before going on the longest drive in the school’s bowl history, a 90-yard march capped by freshman Connor Cook’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Burbridge in the third quarter. The Spartans recovered a muffed punt by TCU’s Skye Dawson at the 4-yard line midway through the fourth quarter and Bell scored two plays later by racing around left end for a 14-13 lead.
TCU (7-6) rallied to set up Jaden Overkrom for a 53-yard field goal with 2:42 left, but left Conroy too much time for his second straight postseason game-winner after beating Georgia with a 28-yard kick in the third overtime of last year’s Outback Bowl.
Trevone Boykin threw for 201 yards on 13-of-29 passing with an interception for the Horned Frogs.
TCU and Michigan State came to the desert with an awful lot of similarities.
The Horned Frogs opened their first season in the Big 12 with four straight wins before losing four of their final six games. Michigan State started 4-2, then lost four of six down the stretch.
Michigan State had the nation’s fourth-best defense and was 10th in scoring defense during the regular season. TCU was 18th in total defense and 10th against the run.
Michigan State quarterback Andrew Maxwell was up-and-down in his first season as Kirk Cousins’ replacement, throwing 13 touchdown passes and nine interceptions. Boykin took over after four games for Casey Pachall, who was suspended and later left the team, and threw for 15 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Michigan State had three first downs and 76 total yards in the first half.