TAKEN OUTBACK: Dawgs lose lead, fall to Spartans

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory is a phrase often used in sports. But today, Georgia did the opposite in its 33-30 triple-overtime loss to Michigan State in the Outback Bowl.

After Georgia (10-4) earned a 16-0 halftime lead, football fans had to be expecting yet another SEC blowout of a Big Ten team in a bowl game. But the Spartans (11-3) roared back in the second half to take a 20-19 lead with 8:22 left in the game.

Georgia would take the lead right back with a five-play, 81-yard drive. Aaron Murray hit Brandon Boykin for his second touchdown of the game on a 13-yard reception with 6:44 left in the game. The Dawgs then converted a two-point conversation to take a 27-20 lead.

After an interception by John Jenkins with less than four minutes remaining, a Georgia victory seemed imminent. The Bulldogs couldn’t run out the clock, however, and Michigan State got the ball back with an 85-yard scoring drive in just 1:41. The previously dominant Georgia defense became porous with the game on the line.

Now in overtime, the Bulldogs missed a field goal to win the game when Blair Walsh was wide on a 42-yard attempt that would have won the game in the first overtime period. Then, the Spartans blocked his next attempt, a 46-yard attempt that would have extended the game to another overtime period.

The bowl loss was the Bulldogs’ second in a row after winning four in a row from 2006-2009. It was the Spartans’ first bowl win under head coach Mark Dantonio, who had lost his first four bowl games in East Lansing.


-Georgia senior Brandon Boykin scored on offense, defense and special teams. His 92-yard punt return for a score was one of the most dynamic plays of the season. It was his first career punt return for touchdown and is the second-longest in UGA history. The punt return was the longest in Outback Bowl history.

Also, on the first play from scrimmage, Boykin tackled a Spartan in the end zone to account for a safety.

-The safety was the first for Georgia since the 2010 Vandy game.

-The Bulldogs are now 26-18-3 all time in bowls and 7-4 under Richt. Georgia now owns a 2-1 edge versus Michigan State.

-Despite missing two crucial kicks, Walsh set the UGA all time scoring record with 412 points. Walsh broke Billy Bennett’s mark with eight points today.

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