ARLINGTON, Texas -- After trailing by 20 points in the fourth quarter, Michigan State roared back to stun Baylor 42-41 Thursday in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.
Here's what happened in this thriller:
It was over when: Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook hit Keith Mumphery in the back of the end zone for the game-winning touchdown with 17 seconds remaining. The Bears were in command going into the fourth quarter but failed to deliver the knockout punch. Riley Bullough intercepted Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty with two seconds remaining to ignite the Michigan State celebration.
Game ball goes to: Cook, who came up huge when the game was on the line. On the Spartans' final drive, he laced a 17-yard completion to convert a fourth-and-10. Three plays later, Cook found Mumphery for the game-winning score. Cook, who threw a pair of interceptions in Baylor territory, wasn't perfect. But he certainly was clutch when it counted most.
How the game was won: Despite controlling the first three quarters of the game, Baylor couldn't put the Spartans away. The Michigan State defense stiffened, limiting Petty and Co. to just 87 yards of offense in the fourth quarter after giving up 496 yards through the first three. And Cook engineered scoring drives of 71, 60 and 81 yards in the fourth quarter to rally Sparty.
Stat of the game: According to ESPN Stats & Information, only one other FBS team has come back from a 20-point fourth-quarter deficit this season: Baylor, when it rallied to knock off TCU 61-58 on Oct. 11.
Best play: After a Corey Coleman reception to the Michigan State 1-yard line was negated by his offensive facemask penalty, Baylor lined up for a 43-yard field goal attempt that would have clinched the game. Instead, the Spartans blocked the kick, R.J. Williamson scooped up the loose ball and Tony Lippett leveled kicker Chris Callahan, all of which set up the game-winning touchdown drive.