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Resilient Michigan State Overcomes 20-Point 4th Quarter Deficit To Stun Baylor in Cotton Bowl, 42-41

Connor Cook’s gritty performance helped Michigan State overcome early mistakes and a 20-point fourth quarter deficit to shock Baylor in the Cotton Bowl.

And that’s why they play all four quarters!

Michigan State overcame costly turnovers, missed opportunities and a 20-point deficit in the final period of play to shock No. 5 Baylor in a virtual home game for the Bears at the Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Baylor piled up more than 600 yards passing, but the eighth-ranked Spartans did just enough in the fourth quarter, scoring 21 unanswered to end the game.

With the Bears leading 41-36 and having a chance to put the game out of reach for good, Marcus Rush blocked a 43-yard field goal attempt with about a minute left. RJ Williamson returned the blocked kick 36 yards to the Baylor 45.

Connor Cook then led the Spartans on an eight-play drive in 48 seconds, capped off with a 10-yard scoring strike to Keith Mumphery with 17 seconds left. Cook finished 24-of-42 passing for 314 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. His play down the stretch was clutch, overcoming critical errors and interceptions that seemed to doom MSU earlier.

The Spartans won their fourth straight bowl game, a school record, and improved to 11-2 overall. The comeback victory will likely land them in the top five of the final college football rankings.

MSU and Baylor combined for 83 points and more than 1,000 total yards of offense, both Cotton Bowl records.

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