The third Bowl Game of 2012 is another match-up between schools from the Big Ten Conference and the Southeastern Conference; the 2012 Outback Bowl. Guest contributor–and EA SPORTS Game Changer–Jason Burt returns for his second contribution to the BOWL BLITZ INVITATIONAL here at STAT BOX STORIES to play out this match-up.
This year, the Outback Bowl brings the nation a very unique match-up between the BIG 10 and the SEC football conferences. The game features the Michigan State Spartans versus the Georgia Bulldogs. The match-up is unique because both of the schools lost in their Conference Championship games after winning their divisions. Both teams also come into the game with a 10-3 record on the season and ranked in the Top-20. Michigan State enters the bowl following a heartbreaking loss in the final 4 min of their Conference Championship game and looking to win their first bowl game since 2001. Georgia comes into the game coming off a crushing loss to #1 LSU in the SEC title game and looking to rebound from an embarrassing 2010 bowl loss to Central Florida that almost cost Mark Richt his job. For this game, I took the Georgia Bulldogs because of my SEC ties.
The Outback Bowl starts with Michigan State winning the coin toss and electing to take the ball to start the 2nd half. The Spartans are wearing their white road jerseys with green helmets and the Georgia Bulldogs are in their traditional red home jerseys with red helmets. Georgia receives the opening kickoff and proceeds to drive the ball down the field on the Spartan’s defense. Georgia takes an early 7-0 lead behind HB #3, 7 yd TD run.
Michigan State takes their first possession out to midfield before the drive stalled and was forced to punt the ball away. Georgia takes their 2nd possession all the way to the Red Zone, but Sophomore QB #11 throws a costly interception to Michigan State OLB #10 at the 5 yard line. The Spartans make the Bulldogs pay on the turnover by driving down the field and tying the game up 7-7 on a 39 yd TD pass from QB #8 to WR #82.
The Bulldogs take the next possession and methodically drive down to take a 14-7 lead with a 1 yd TD run by HB #3 to end the half.
The 2nd half starts with Michigan State receiving the kickoff from a fired up Georgia defense. On the 3rd play of the drive, the Georgia Defensive Coordinator dialed up a zone blitz to force an interception from Spartan QB #8. The Spartan defense pushes the Bulldogs back and Georgia takes a 17-7 lead following a 47 yd FG by K #57. On their next possession, the Spartan’s QB #8 throws another interception after being pressured by the Georgia defense. This time Georgia QB #11 drives a dagger into the Spartan’s heart with a 25 yd pass to his High School teammate TE #7 to take a 24-7 lead.
The Georgia coaching staff unleashed the blitz brigade the rest of the game knowing that the Spartans are forced to pass being down by 17 points late in the game. The Bulldogs force another turnover on fumble by HB #4 and go down to kick a 28 yd FG by K #57 to lead 27-7. The Michigan State offence struggle the remainder of the game and Georgia puts another three on the board in the fourth quarter on a 31 yd FG by K #57 to lead 30-7. The game comes to an end after Georgia stop the Spartans try on 4th down and take the field in victory formation. The loss is the second year in a row that the Spartans have been blown out by an SEC school in a bowl game.
Will today’s 2012 Outback Bowl be another lopsided loss for the Spartans? Be sure to watch the game this afternoon–along with the other Bowl Game action to begin the new year–and read through the rest of today’s entries here at STAT BOX STORIES for the BOWL BLITZ INVITATIONAL!
Guest Author Bio:
Jason Burt is an EA SPORTS Game Changer and the sports game reviewer for PlanetXbox360.com. He is also a graduate of the University of Alabama, which means he’s already getting anxious about the upcoming January 9th, 2012 BCS National Championship game when the Crimson Tide take on the LSU Tigers. You can follow him on Twitter at @SGdirtyburt.