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Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: Three thoughts

No. 8 Michigan State stole a page from Baylor's book on Thursday: a furious 20-point, fourth-quarter comeback for a stunning 42-41 victory in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic in Arlington, Texas. Three things that stood out about the No. 5 Bears and their last-minute loss:

1. That was crazy. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Baylor's odds of winning right before Chris Callahan lined up for his soon-to-be-blocked field goal attempt were 99 percent. This one was in the bag, even after a bunch of fourth-quarter craziness. The events that came next -- Connor Cook driving and scoring in the final 20 seconds, Bryce Petty's sacks and interception to seal the deal -- were a series of intense, high-pressure moments that few could've expected. The Bears were cruising to victory ... until they weren't. There are a bunch of reasons Baylor fell apart, but stop for a moment and appreciate this was truly a fun and wild game with one of the most memorable finishes of this bowl season.

2. Penalties the problem once again. Andrew Billings' block in the back on the Taylor Young pick-six might've been the turning point on Thursday. Corey Coleman's offensive facemask penalty as he closed in on the goal line was costly, too, as was the false start right after it. This Baylor team led the nation in penalties at nearly 10 per game and paid dearly for that flaw. Since the start of the 2012 season no program has been penalized more than BU, and don't forget the 17 flags in the Fiesta Bowl loss to UCF. Baylor has won a ton of games despite the longstanding issue, but it'll be interesting to see how Art Briles elects to address that weakness in the offseason.

3. Kendal Briles impresses in debut. The heartbreaking finish will stick with Baylor fans for a while, but so should the first impression their newly promoted offensive coordinator made. Under his guidance, Petty threw for a career-best 550 yards and three scores in his final game as a Bear. The way Briles mixed in deep shots and trickery -- Jay Lee's double pass for a TD, big man LaQuan McGowan's big score -- with confidence deserves praise. The fact Baylor's backs gained just 22 yards on 14 carries is a testament to how stacked Michigan State's front was, but the head coach's son responded well with his plan and managed to give outgoing Michigan State DC Pat Narduzzi fits at times. The passing of the baton to Briles was a smooth transition with some exciting results.