Michigan State’s path to the College Football Playoff
Michigan State earned the No. 3 seed in this year’s College Football Playoff. Review the 2015 season that led the Spartans to the Cotton Bowl.
December 07, 2015
1 of 13Rey Del Rio/Getty Images
Michigan State 37, Western Michigan 24: The Spartans kicked off the year with a 20-point first quarter and didn’t look back against the Broncos.
2 of 13Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Michigan State 31, Oregon 28: The Spartans avenged their 2014 loss to the Ducks by holding off Oregon at home in a thriller.
3 of 13Rey Del Rio/Getty Images
Michigan State 35, Air Force 21: The Spartans couldn’t get much going on the ground against the Falcons, but Connor Cook threw four touchdown passes, three of which were caught by Aaron Burbridge.
4 of 13Leon Halip/Getty Images
Michigan State 30, Central Michigan 10: Gerald Holmes rushed for two touchdowns to lead the Spartans over the Chippewas, while defensive lineman Shilique Calhoun had a big day on defense and special teams.
5 of 13Rey Del Rio/Getty Images
Michigan State 24, Purdue 21: The Spartans almost blew a 21–0 halftime lead to the Boilermakers, but survived when Purdue’s final drive ended in an incomplete pass.
6 of 13Elsa/Getty Images
Michigan State 31, Rutgers 24: In another close game, the Spartans won on a 3-yard touchdown run by L.J. Scott with 49 seconds remaining. It was Scott’s second TD of the night.
7 of 13Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Michigan State 27: Michigan 23: Who could forget the ending to this one? The Spartans and Wolverines created an instant classic when Michigan’s punter improbably fumbled a snap on the final play and Jalen Watts-Jackson recovered it for a touchdown, stunning the Wolverine crowd.
8 of 13Rey Del Rio/Getty Images
Michigan State 52, Indiana 26: The Hoosiers hung around for three quarters, but the Spartans outscored Indiana 24–0 in the fourth quarter to stay undefeated.
9 of 13Michael Spomer/Cal Sport Media via AP Images
Nebraska 39, Michigan State 38: The Cornhuskers stunned the Spartans with 17 seconds left on Tommy Armstrong’s 30-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Reilly that survived a video review. Nebraska’s upset win in Lincoln handed MSU its lone blemish on the season.
10 of 13Icon Sportswire via AP Images
Michigan State 24, Maryland 7: Michigan State easily disposed of Maryland, but the win came at a price. Starting quarterback Connor Cook left the game at halftime after suffering a shoulder injury.
11 of 13Khris Hale/Icon Sportswire via AP Images
Michigan State 17, Ohio State 14: Michigan State kicker Michael Geiger drilled a 41-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Spartans past Ohio State in Columbus. The win ended the Buckeyes’ 23-game winning streak and put MSU in the driver’s seat to win the Big Ten East.
12 of 13Rey Del Rio/Getty Images
Michigan State 55, Penn State 16: The Spartans clinched the Big Ten East with a convincing win in East Lansing against the Nittany Lions. Connor Cook returned from injury and threw for 248 yards and three touchdowns.
13 of 13Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Michigan State 16, Iowa 13: A hard-nosed touchdown run by L.J. Scott with 27 seconds remaining lifted the Spartans past the Hawkeyes in the Big Ten championship game. The win also secured Michigan State’s place in the College Football Playoff.
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