PASADENA, Calif. — Connor Cook passed for a career-high 332 yards and hit Tony Lippett with a tiebreaking 25-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter, leading No. 4 Michigan State to a 24-20 victory over No. 5 Stanford on Wednesday night in the 100th Rose Bowl.
Cook also threw a touchdown pass to Trevon Pendleton, and Jeremy Langford rushed for 84 yards and a score in the first Rose Bowl victory in 26 years for the Big Ten champion Spartans (13-1), who finished the season with 10 consecutive wins.
Michigan State’s defense capped its dominant season with one more old-school, smash-mouth performance.
“It’s a special time for all Spartans,” coach Mark Dantonio said. “I’m very happy for our football team, the resilience we showed all season long.”
The nation’s best defense ended it by stopping the Pac-12 champion Cardinal (11-3) on fourth-and-1 with 1:46 to play, stuffing a run play up the middle.
Kyler Elsworth, who started in place of suspended senior leader Max Bullough, hurdled the pile to deliver an electrifying, head-on hit to fullback Ryan Hewitt.
Tyler Gaffney ran for 91 yards and an early score for Stanford, and linebacker Kevin Anderson returned an interception 40 yards for a score late in the first half. But the Cardinal managed just three points from their offense after the first quarter.
LOUISIANA STATE 21, IOWA 14
In Tampa, Fla., Jeremy Hill rushed for 216 yards and two touchdowns, helping LSU (10-3)
and inexperienced quarterback Anthony Jennings hold off Iowa (8-5).
Craig Loston’s interception stopped a potential game-tying drive, giving Hill a chance to put the game out of reach by carrying four times for 87 yards on a six-play, 92 yard march that gave the Tigers a 21-7 lead.
Iowa again pulled within a touchdown after Jordan Cotton returned the ensuing kickoff to the Tigers’ 4.
HEART OF DALLAS BOWL
NORTH TEXAS 36, UNLV 14
In Dallas, Derek Thompson threw for 256 yards and two touchdowns, Brelan Chancellor scored twice and North Texas (9-4) beat UNLV (7-6) in the Mean Green’s first postseason appearance in nine years.
Both of Chancellor’s touchdown runs came in the fourth quarter. He had a combined 121 yards rushing and receiving.
North Texas (9-4) pulled away from a 7-7 halftime tie for its first bowl win since New Orleans in 2002. The Rebels lost in the postseason for the first time in the school’s fourth bowl game and first since 2000.
UNLV (7-6) drove 95 yards for a touchdown on its opening possession but didn’t score again until the Mean Green were up 28-7 in the fourth quarter.