MSU Rose Bowl Game Watch 2014

MSU Rose Bowl Game Watch 2014

Michigan State fans dominated the Rose Bowl grounds and stands, with about 70 percent wearing green in the crowd of 95,173 — the game’s largest turnout since 1998. While the sideline roared and the stands rocked, even the stone-faced Dantonio celebrated.

PASADENA, Calif. — For all the analysis that precedes a contest like the Rose Bowl, for the hundreds of hours of scrutiny, Michigan State’s season hinged Wednesday on a quarterback who started the season as a backup and a linebacker who arrived on campus as a walk-on.

The quarterback is Connor Cook. He threw for 332 yards and 2 touchdowns against a stout Stanford defense, and played his best game in the final contest of his sophomore season.

The linebacker is Kyler Elsworth. He earned a scholarship before the 2011 season. He started in place of the suspended captain Max Bullough at middle linebacker, and on the game’s most critical play, he leapt over a pile of bodies late in the fourth quarter and smacked into the opposing ball carrier the way a hammer pounds into a nail.

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