TCU rung by Bell in second half
TEMPE, Ariz. — Texas Christian dominated Michigan State’s offense in the first half by bottling up Le’Veon Bell. Once the Spartans’ bruising running back got going, the Horned Frogs had no way of stopping him.
Bell ran for 107 of his 145 yards in the second half and helped set up Dan Conroy for a 47-yard field goal with 1:01 left, sending TCU to a 17-16 loss to Michigan State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl late Saturday night.
“They had 227 yards of offense and the guy ran for 145,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “You have to give him credit.”
TCU (7-6) shut down Michigan State’s offense in the first half by stuffing Bell and did just enough when it had the ball to build a 13-point halftime lead.
In the second half, the Horned Frogs couldn’t get anything going against the Spartans’ defense — 84 total yards — and leading the Spartans on the longest drive in their bowl history in the third quarter, a 90-yard march that set up freshman Connor Cook’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Burbridge.
Michigan State then recovered a muffed punt by TCU’s Skye Dawson at the 4-yard line midway through the fourth quarter and Bell scored two plays later by racing around left end for a 14-13 lead.
TCU (7-6) still had a little life after blowing the halftime lead, moving just far enough to set up Jaden Oberkrom for the longest field goal in the bowl’s history, a 53-yarder that put the Horned Frogs up 16-14 with 2:42 left.
They left Michigan State just a little too much time.
Starting at their own 25, the Spartans moved 45 yards in eight plays, setting up Conroy for his second game-winner in a bowl, after beating Georgia with a 28-yarder in the third overtime of the 2012 Outback Bowl.
TCU’s Trevone Boykin scrambles Saturday during the first half to evade Michigan State’s Max Bullough at the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.