TAMPA, FL (WKZO) -- Michigan State gave Mark Dantonio his first bowl victory as Head Coach of the Spartans with a 33-30 three-overtime victory over the Georgia Bulldogs Monday evening. Michigan State rallied from a 16-0 deficit at halftime to secure the victory over 16th ranked Georgia. The Spartans rallied beginning with an 8-yard-run by Le’Veon Bell to begin the 2nd half to cut into the Bulldogs lead 16-8 following a 2-point conversion.
From that point on it was a back-and-forth momentum swing as the Bulldogs grabbed a 19-14 lead on a 32-yard Blair Walsh field goal in the 4th quarter.
Michigan State regained the lead on the next possession scoring on a 7-yard pass from Kirk Cousins to former quarterback Keith Nichol to grab back the lead 20-19. Georgia however was not done as Sophomore quarterback Aaron Murray hit Brandon Boykin for a 13-yard-touchdown pass that gave the Bulldogs a 27-20 lead with only 6:44 remaining.
After struggling on their initial drive the Spartans regained possession with less than 2 minutes to play and Kirk Cousins picked apart the Bulldogs defense before running back Le’Veon Bell capped the drive with a 1-yard-run to tie the game 27-27.
Headed into overtime Michigan State appeared to have all of the momentum but Cousins fired an interception on the Spartans first possession. That interception would not cost the Spartans as Georgia missed what would have been a game-winning field goal from inside the 35-yard-line.
Michigan State and Georgia proceeded to trade field goals in the second overtime before the Spartans blocked the Bulldogs attempt at a game-tying field goal. The win gives the Spartans 11 wins in consecutive seasons and could propel the Spartans into the top 10.
Michigan State finished 2011 with a record of 11-3 while Georgia falls to 10-4 on the season. Michigan State opens 2012 at home against the Boise State Broncos on August 31st.