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History of MSU's Bowl Games
Historical Record: 12-15 (44%)

For MSU's most recent Bowl Game, click here

No. Date / Notes Bowl W / L Coach Opponent
27 Dec 28, 2017 - Holiday Bowl (40th annual)... MSU enters game ranked #16 in College Football Playoffs poll, Washington State ranked #18 (CFP) and initially favored by 3 points; both have 9-3 regular-season records... MSU QB Brian Lewerke throws for 213 yards and three touchdowns, and MSU's L J Scott runs for 110 yards and two scores... MSU trails 3-0 early but then takes and never relinquishes lead... Mark Dantonio's 100th win as MSU head coach. San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl WON 42-17 (largest margin of victory for any MSU bowl win) Dantonio Washington State
26 Dec 31, 2015 - National Semifinal Game... First time since College Football Playoffs (CFP) began in Fall 2014 that MSU has been chosen by CFP Selection Committee to participate... MSU enters game ranked #3 nationally in CFP poll; Alabama ranked #2, and initially favored by 9.5 points... Alabama advances to beat #1 Clemson; Alabama's 16th national championship... Ninth consecutive bowl game for MSU, all under Coach Dantonio. Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic LOST 38-0 Dantonio Alabama (coached by former MSU coach Nick Saban)
25 Jan. 1, 2015 - MSU enters game ranked #8 in College Football Playoff (CFP) poll, Baylor ranked #5 and initially favored by 3 points... Trailing 41-21 in the 4th Quarter, MSU scores three touchdowns to win, the last coming with just 17 seconds remaining in game... Baylor could have all but sealed the win had they made their last field goal attempt, but it was blocked; Tony Lippett's subsequent block on Baylor's kicker Chris Callahan was arguably one of the most physical legal blocks ever placed on an MSU opponent... With just 2 seconds remaining in game, MSU intercepts Baylor pass... MSU RB Jeremy Langford sets school record for 10th straight game of 100+ yards rushing... MSU holds Baylor to Minus 20 yards rushing... Most combined points ever scored (83) in a Cotton Bowl... Eighth consecutive bowl game for MSU, all under Coach Dantonio... MSU wins fourth consecutive bowl game, first time in school history... ESPN would later select this game as their Greatest College Football Game of the 2014 Season. Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic WON
42-41
Dantonio Baylor
24 Jan. 1, 2014 - 100th Rose Bowl game played... Seventh consecutive bowl game for MSU, all under Coach Dantonio... With under two minutes remaining in the game, MSU's Kyler Elsworth stops Stanford's ball carrier on 4th Down and 1... MSU wins third consecutive bowl game, first time in school history. Rose Bowl WON
24-20
Dantonio Stanford
23 Dec. 29, 2012 - Sixth consecutive bowl game for MSU, all under Coach Dantonio... MSU has longest drive in its bowl history (90 yards)... Down 13-0 at halftime, MSU rallies to win 17-16, having taken lead for good with only 1:01 remaining in game. Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl WON
17-16
Dantonio Texas Christian Univ
22 Jan. 2, 2012 - First time MSU goes to five consecutive bowl games (all under Coach Dantonio)... Down by 7 with less than two minutes remaining, Kirk Cousins rallies Spartans, and Dan Conroy kicks 28-yard field goal in third overtime... MSU blocks Georgia's field goal attempt that would have sent game into fourth OT. Outback Bowl WON
33-30
3 OTs
Dantonio Georgia
21 Jan. 1, 2011 Capital One Bowl LOST
49-7
Dantonio Alabama (coached by former MSU coach Nick Saban)
20 Jan. 2, 2010 Valero Alamo Bowl LOST
41-31
Dantonio Texas Tech
19 Jan. 1, 2009 Capital One Bowl LOST
24-12
Dantonio Georgia
18 Dec. 28, 2007 Champs Sports Bowl LOST
24-21
Dantonio Boston College
17 Dec. 29, 2003 Alamo Bowl LOST
17-3
Smith Nebraska
16 Dec. 31, 2001 - Charles Rogers catches 10 passes for MSU school-record 270 yards and two touchdowns, one for 72 yards and one for 69 yards. Silicon Valley Classic Bowl WON
44-35
Williams Fresno State
15 Jan. 1, 2000 - Game MVP Plaxico Burress sets MSU school and bowl record with 13 receptions... MSU Defensive MVP Julian Peterson records eight total tackles, including five for losses (32 yards). Citrus Bowl WON
37-34
Saban Florida
14 Dec. 25, 1997 Aloha Bowl LOST
51-23
Saban Washington
13 Dec. 31, 1996 Sun Bowl LOST
38-0
Saban Stanford
12 Dec. 29, 1995 Independence Bowl LOST
45-26
Saban Louisiana State Univ (LSU)
11 Dec. 28, 1993 Liberty Bowl LOST
18-7
Perles Louisville
10 Dec. 31, 1990 - First time MSU has gone to four consecutive bowl games (all under Coach Perles) John Hancock Bowl WON
17-16
Perles Univ of Southern Calif (USC)
9 Dec. 25, 1989 - First time MSU has gone to three consecutive bowl games (all under Coach Perles)... Game MVP Blake Ezor has 41 carries for 179 yards and three touchdowns. Aloha Bowl WON
33-13
Perles Hawaii
8 Jan. 1, 1989 Gator Bowl LOST
34-27
Perles Georgia
7 Jan. 1, 1988 - Rematch of season opener in East Lansing when MSU won 27-13... Game dominated by MSU linebacker (and game MVP) Percy Snow with 17 unassisted tackles, and four USC turnovers. Game-winning field goal by John Langeloh with four minutes to play. Key play is 3rd Down near-sack of MSU quarterback Bobby McAllister who scrambles and at last instant finds receiver Andre Rison at sideline for First Down that keeps drive alive. USC is at MSU 29-yard-line with two minutes left when USC QB Rodney Peete fumbles and MSU recovers. Rose Bowl WON
20-17
Perles Univ of Southern Calif (USC)
6 Dec. 31, 1985 All American Bowl LOST
17-14
Perles Georgia Tech
5 Dec. 22, 1984 Cherry Bowl LOST
10-6
Perles Army
4 Jan. 1, 1966 Rose Bowl LOST
14-12
Daugherty Univ of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)
3 Jan. 2, 1956 - MSU halfback Walt Kowalczyk named MVP. Game watched by 41.1% of everyone in USA with TV sets, highest TV rating of all college bowl games, due largely to racial unrest across nation. MSU Coach Hugh "Duffy" Daughterty believes strongly in equality both on and off field. UCLA plays six blacks, MSU plays seven. In stark contrast, 1956 Sugar Bowl (Pitt vs Georgia Tech) was tainted by Georgia Governor Marvin Griffin's vocal opposition to integration and whether some black players should be allowed to participate in bowl. Only one month previous, Rosa Parks made her famous protest in Montgomery (Alabama) Bus Boycott. Rose Bowl WON
17-14
Daugherty Univ of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)
2 Jan. 1, 1954 - MSC halfback Billy Wells named MVP... First year MSC was counted in Big Ten Conference football standings, having been a member since 1950... First color television "colorcast," viewable on just 200 sets across USA. Rose Bowl WON
28-20
Munn Univ of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)
1 Jan. 1, 1938 Orange Bowl LOST
6-0
Bachman Auburn