2012 Outback Bowl
26th Outback Bowl
1234OT2OT3OT Total
Michigan State 001413033 33
Georgia 214011030 30
DateJanuary 2, 2012
StadiumRaymond James Stadium
LocationTampa, Florida
MVPBrandon Boykin[1]
FavoriteGeorgia by 3[2]
RefereeEd Ardito (C-USA)
PayoutUS$3.4 million per team
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersMike Tirico (Play-by-Play)
Jon Gruden (Analyst)
Jenn Brown (Sidelines)
Nielsen ratings5.14
Outback Bowl
 < 2011  2013

The 2012 Outback Bowl was a post-season American college football bowl game, held on January 2, 2012, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, as part of the 2011–12 NCAA Bowl season. It was the 26th edition of the Outback Bowl, and was telecast at 1:00 p.m. ET to a national audience on ABC. It featured the Georgia Bulldogs from the Southeastern Conference (SEC) versus the Michigan State Spartans from the Big Ten Conference. Michigan State won, 33–30, in the third overtime period.


The 2012 Outback Bowl was played at Raymond James Stadium.
The 2012 Outback Bowl was played at Raymond James Stadium.

The Spartans and Bulldogs had met two times before. Georgia held a 2–0 all-time record against Michigan State coming into the game.


See also: 2011 Georgia Bulldogs football team

Georgia entered the game with a 10–3 record as the SEC East Division champion. In the 2011 SEC Championship Game, Georgia lost to LSU 10–42. The Bulldog's defense entered the game ranked 3rd in the FBS in totals yards allowed, allowing only 268.5 yards per game.[3]

Michigan State

See also: 2011 Michigan State Spartans football team

Michigan State entered the game with a 10–3 record as the Big Ten's Legends Division champion. In the 2011 Big Ten Football Championship Game, MSU lost to Wisconsin 39–42. The Spartan's defense entered the game ranked 5th in the FBS in total yards allowed, allowing only 272.7 yards per game. MSU also entered having lost 5 straight bowl games. The Spartan's last bowl win was the 2001 Silicon Valley Football Classic, where the Spartans beat the Fresno State Bulldogs 44–35.[3]

Game summary

The Bulldogs scored first when Brandon Boykin tackled Keshawn Martin in the end zone for a safety. On the ensuing drive, the Bulldogs drove to MSU's 5-yard line. However, on a 4th-and-1 play at the 5-yard line, UGA's Ken Malcome was stopped for a 1-yard loss, turning the ball over to MSU. The rest of the 1st quarter remained scoreless.[1][4][5]

In the 2nd quarter, UGA scored on an 80-yard touchdown pass to Tavarres King to go up 9-0. On the ensuing drive, the Bulldog defense forced the Spartans to punt. UGA's Brandon Boykin preceded to return the punt 92 yards to go up 16-0 at the end of the half.[1][4][5]

The Spartans finally got on board in the 3rd quarter on an 8-yard Le'Veon Bell touchdown run to cut the deficit 16-8 after a two-point conversion. MSU closed the gap even further when Darqueze Dennard intercepted Aaron Murray 38 yards for a touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt failed, making it 16-14 going into the 4th quarter.[1][4][5]

Taking advantage of an interception, Georgia extended their lead 19-14 in the 4th quarter on a 32-yard field goal from Blair Walsh. The Spartans took the lead on a 7-yard touchdown pass to Keith Nichol to make it 20-19 after a failed two-point conversion. Georgia responded with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Boykin to go up 27-20 after making a two-point conversion. On the ensuing drive, Jonathan Jenkins intercepted Kirk Cousins with only 3:56 left in regulation. However, Georgia was unable to run out the game clock and punted the ball away. With 85-yards to go, no timeouts and only 1 minute and 55 seconds left in regulation, Michigan State was able to tie the game 27-27 on a 1-yard touchdown run from Le'Veon Bell with only 14 seconds left in the game, forcing overtime.[1][4][5]

Michigan State was on offense first in the 1st overtime period. The Spartan's offensive possession end when Kirk Cousins' pass was intercepted by Bacarri Rambo. UGA's Blair Walsh, however, missed a game winning 42-yard field, forcing a 2nd overtime period. Michigan State and Georgia both traded field goals to go into the 3rd overtime period tied 30-30. In the 3rd overtime period, MSU's Dan Conroy kicked a 28-yard field goal to go ahead 33-30. Georgia attempted to force a 4th overtime on a 47-yard field goal attempt from Blair Walsh. However, Walsh's kick was blocked, sealing the victory for Michigan State.[1][4][5]

Georgia cornerback Brandon Boykin was named game MVP for scoring on offense, defense and special teams.[6] Several Outback Bowl records were broken in the 2012 game, including longest punt return for a touchdown (Boykin's 92-yard punt return) and receiving touchdown (Tavarres King's 80-yard touchdown reception).[7]

Scoring summary


Scoring summary
Quarter Time Drive Team Scoring information Score
Plays Yards TOP MSU UGA
1 12:07 1 -2 0:06 UGA Keshawn Martin tackled in end zone for a safety by Brandon Boykin 0 2
2 3:06 1 80 0:12 UGA Tavarres King 80 Yd Pass From Aaron Murray. (Blair Walsh Kick) 0 9
2 1:47 3 7 1:27 UGA Brandon Boykin 92 Yd Punt Return. (Blair Walsh Kick) 0 16
3 7:52 9 48 2:47 MSU Le'Veon Bell 8 Yd Run. (Kirk Cousins Pass To Brian Linthicum For Two-Point Conversion) 8 16
3 1:47 5 32 2:34 MSU Darqueze Dennard 38 Yd Interception Return. (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed) 14 16
4 9:58 3 -3 1:23 UGA 32-yard field goal by Blair Walsh 14 19
4 8:22 4 59 1:36 MSU Keith Nichol 7 Yd Pass From Kirk Cousins. (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed) 20 19
4 6:44 5 81 1:38 UGA Brandon Boykin 13 Yd Pass From Aaron Murray. (Aaron Murray Pass To Malcolm Mitchell For Two-Point Conversion) 20 27
4 0:14 10 85 1:36 MSU Le'Veon Bell 1 Yd Run. (Dan Conroy Kick) 27 27
2OT UGA 48-yard field goal by Blair Walsh 27 30
2OT MSU 35-yard field goal by Dan Conroy 30 30
3OT MSU 28-yard field goal by Dan Conroy 33 30
"TOP" = time of possession. For other American football terms, see Glossary of American football. 33 30


Statistics MSU UGA
First Downs 15 15
Rushes-yards (net) 29–73 39–51
Passing yards (net) 318 288
Passes, Att-Comp-Int 51–28–3 32–20–2
Total yards 391 339
Time of Possession 28:26 31:34


  1. ^ a b c d e f Michigan State rallies for three-overtime win at Outback Bowl. ESPN. 2 January 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  2. ^ Bowl Schedule, Los Angeles Times, December 7, 2011
  3. ^ a b Bartle, Jeff. Michigan St.-Georgia Preview. Yahoo Sports. 27 December 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Michigan State Spartans vs. Georgia Bulldogs play by play. ESPN. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Michigan State Spartans vs. Georgia Bulldogs box score. ESPN. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  6. ^ Auman, Greg. Georgia senior cornerback Brandon Boykin named Outback Bowl MVP. Tampa Bay Times. 3 January 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  7. ^ 2012 Outback Bowl Records (tied or broken) Archived 2012-01-12 at the Wayback Machine. outbackbowl.com. 2 January 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2012.