Michigan State 20
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) Coach George Perles said he hopes his Michigan State Spartans have made Rose Bowl visits a little less scary for Big Ten teams.
"I don't know if we proved anything, but I hope it clears up a lot of anxiety for the people who come out here in the future," Perles said Friday after the eighth-ranked Spartans beat No. 16 Southern Cal, 20-17, to release the Pacific-10's stranglehold on the Rose Bowl.
The Spartans' victory snapped a six game losing skid by Big Ten champions in the Rose Bowl, and the Pacific-10 representatives had beaten the visitors from the Midwest 12 of the last 13 New Year's Day meetings in Pasadena.
"People talk about the jinx," Southern Cal Coach Larry Smith said of the Pac-10's previous domination, "but maybe now they'll forget about it and just play the game."
Lorenzo White gained 113 yards on 35 carries and scored twice for the Spartans, and John Langeloh kicked the game-winning field goal with 4:14 remaining.
The Trojans, victims of five turnovers in a season-opening 27-13 loss to Michigan State at East Lansing, also had five costly turnovers in the Rose Bowl rematch.
Southern Cal quarterback Rodney Peete threw three interceptions and lost a fumble in Friday's defeat. The lost fumble, coming on the snap from center, was recovered by the Spartans' Todd Krumm and snuffed a Trojan drive at the Michigan State 23
with 1:33 left.
Then John Miller's interception of Peete's "Hail Mary" pass at the Michigan State 13-yard line with three seconds left sealed the victory.
The Spartans committed no turnovers.
"It was a nervous game," Perles said. "The thing we did, have done, is not have turnovers."
"I'm disappointed in the way we lost," Smith said. ''We made more mistakes and that's why they won.
We ended up No. 1 in the nation in turnovers (only 25 total, but 10 in the two games against the Spartans). We don't turn the ball over normally.''
Spartan quarterback Bobby McAllister threw just seven passes completing four for 128 yards. But he came through at important times- including the key play on the drive to Langeloh's winning field goal.
With the game tied 17-17 and the Spartans facing a third-and-8 at their own 30, McAllister made a spectacular 36-yard completion to Andre Rison. Forced out of the pocket, McAllister jumped and was sailing out of bounds when he unleashed the key pass.
"It was a broken play. It (the completion) was strictly on the ability of Bobby McAllister and Andre Rison," Perles said.
A 55-yard pass from McAllister to Rison earlier set up the Spartans' second touchdown.
Michigan State, 9-2-1, had not played in a Rose Bowl in 22 years.
White carried 35 times for 113 yards and scored on runs of 5 and 3 yards as Michigan State took a 14-3 advantage in the second quarter.
But Southern Cal came back on a 33-yard touchdown pass from Peete to Ken Henry in the third quarter and a sensational fourth-quarter TD grab by Henry. Henry's touchdown catch in the back of the end zone and Quin Rodriguez's extra point kick tied the game 17-17.
Henry leaped high and pulled down the 22-yard pass from Peete, barely getting a foot down in the back of the end zone before he was shoved out
The touchdown came after Kevin McLain, who had cost the Trojans a possible three points earlier by bobbling a snap on a field goal try, ran 8 yards on a fake field goal when Southern Cal had fourth-and-4 at the Michigan State 30.
Langeloh kicked a 40-yarder earlier in the final period to put Michigan State ahead 17-10.
Southern Cal drove to the Michigan State 30, but Peete fumbled a snap and Michigan State's Krumm recovered with 1:33 left Southern Cal took over again on its own 25 vita 31 seconds left after a punt, but after two incomplete passes by Peete, Miller got his second interception of the game allowing the Spartans to run out the final three seconds.
In a game that was similar to the Michigan State-Southern Cal season opener, Spartan linebacker Percy Snow had 17 tackles in the Rose Bowl as MSU's defense forced me Trojan five turnovers.
Peete, victimized for two interceptions and a lost fumble when Southern Cal lost at Michigan State, threw three interceptions in the Rose Bowl and lost the critical fumble in the closing moments.
Peete completed 22 of 41 for 249 yards in the Rose Bowl, while Michigan State quarterback Bobby McAllister was just four of seven for 128 yards. McAllister, however, was not intercepted and the Spartans had no turnovers. And he set up their second touchdown with his only completion of the first half, a 55-yard pass to Rison, then put the Spartans in position for the game winning field goal with the another long pass to Rison.
White gained 89 yards on 24 carries in the first half and on Michigan State's first touchdown drive, he carried 10 times for 51 yards.
Southern Cal scored on its second series of the game, marching 52 yards before Peete threw three consecutive incompletions and the Trojans settled for Rodriguez's 34 yard field goal midway through the first quarter.
The Spartans came up with a pair of interceptions in their own territory to keep the Trojans out of scoring range m the second period.
Miller picked off a Peete threw at the Michigan State 24 on the first play of the quarter, then Kurt Larson intercepted another errant Peete throw at the Spartan 25 with five minutes left in the half.
The last previous time a Big Ten team won the Rose Bowl was in 1981.
|Lorenzo White||Bobby McAllister|
|Andre Rison||Rodney Peete|