NCAA Game Summary - Michigan State vs. Texas Tech|
(Saturday, January 2nd)
Final Score: Texas Tech 41, Michigan State 31
San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - Steven Sheffield came off the bench and
sparked a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter, as his touchdown pass to
Detron Lewis proved to be the difference in Texas Tech's 41-31 victory over
Michigan State in the Alamo Bowl.
Down, 31-27, midway through the final frame, Sheffield relieved Taylor Potts
and connected on 6-of-6 passes for 75 yards on the pivotal march, which was
capped by an 11-yard rifle to Lewis with 5:03 to play.
Franklin Mitchem's leaping interception of a Kirk Cousins pass on the ensuing
possession and Baron Batch's touchdown run put the finishing touches on a
tumultuous week for the Red Raiders, who fired embittered head coach Mike
Leach on Wednesday amid allegations of abuse of a player.
Potts injured a finger on his non-throwing hand in the fourth after throwing
for 372 yards with two touchdowns and an interception for Texas Tech (9-4),
which dropped a 47-34 decision to Ole Miss in last year's Cotton Bowl.
Lewis ended with 114 yards on 10 catches, while Batch added 100 yards and two
scores on 22 carries in the win.
Cousins finished with 220 yards and two interceptions on 13-of-27 passing for
the Spartans (6-7), who have dropped four straight bowl games. Keshawn Martin
caught a TD from Cousins and tossed another to Blair White, who logged 114
yards on six grabs.
Edwin Baker amassed 97 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries for Michigan State,
which was playing shorthanded after head coach Mark Dantonio suspended several
players -- including three starters -- and dismissed two others for their role
in dorm brawl.
With defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill serving as interim head coach and
Adam James -- the player involved in the Leach incident -- standing on the
sideline, Texas Tech went in front, 34-31, when Lewis caught Sheffield's quick
out at the right sideline and spun his way across the goal line.
"Speaking for everyone, we all want Coach Ruff to be the next head coach,"
Batch said. "That was kind of us just showing that. There's no divisiveness
amongst the team or players or anything for that matter. We fully support
Coach Ruff and we're ready to run through a brick wall for him."
Following Mitchem's pick at the MSU 35, the Red Raiders went for it twice on
fourth down and converted both times, as Alexander Torres caught a six-yard
slant on 4th-and-5 and Lewis hauled in a five-yard out on 4th-and-4.
Batch's 13-yard jaunt over the goal line with 2:08 remaining clinched the
Cousins was picked off in Texas Tech territory on the game's opening touch,
and the giveaway turned into seven points when Batch took a handoff and ran
into the end zone on third down from the MSU three.
Baker tied the game by running through the TTU defensive line for a 46-yard
scamper at the 3:47 mark of the opening quarter.
Matt Williams' 21-yard field goal on the second play of the second quarter put
the Red Raiders back on top, and Potts made it 17-7 when he found Lyle Leong
for a two-yard score at the 11-minute mark. The TD was set up by Austin
Zouzalik's 51-yard reception on a flea flicker.
Three minutes later, Cousins cut into the deficit when he escaped a sack and
found Martin behind the secondary for a 48-yard touchdown.
Williams missed a 48-yarder on the ensuing drive but booted a 38-yard try just
before halftime after Brett Swenson's 52-yard attempt for MSU was blocked.
Swenson made up for his missed field goal when he recovered Eric Stephens'
fumble on the second half kickoff. Backup quarterback Keith Nichol gave the
Spartans their first lead, 21-20, on a seven-yard draw following the turnover.
With 6 1/2 minutes left in the third, TTU's Jacoby Franks hauled in a 14-yard
pass in the end zone to cap a nine-play, 92-yard drive highlighted by Batch's
A pair of trick plays later in the frame gave Michigan State the lead again.
After punter Aaron Bates hit Charlie Gantt for an 18-yard pass on a fake field
goal try, Martin lined up behind center and hit White for an eight-yard score.
"We were playing to win the game, and those (trick) plays we felt were our
best opportunities on that play," Cousins said. "And they were working."
Potts was picked off on the third play of the fourth, leading to a Swenson 44-
yard field goal to increase Michigan State's lead to 31-27 with 8:05 to play.
Sheffield then stepped on their field and swung the game's momentum.
This was the first-ever meeting between the teams... The Red Raiders improved
to 11-22-1 in bowl games, while Michigan State is now 7-13 in postseason
play...James was on the sideline but not dressed to play...Martin logged 86
yards on four grabs for Michigan State, which had just 13 first downs compared
to 31 for Texas Tech...Potts completed 29-of-43 passes, while Sheffield was 9-
of-11 for 88 yards...Batch added 85 yards on six grabs...The Red Raiders
outgained the Spartans, 579-396.
01/03 03:20:30 ET