Michigan State (7-5, Big Ten) vs. Oregon (8-4, Pac-12), Dec. 31, 3 p.m. EST.
LOCATION: Santa Clara, California.
Michigan State: QB Brian Lewerke threw for 1,868 yards and eight TDs but with 10 interceptions this season and was sidelined with a shoulder injury late in the year. But there is plenty of time for him to get healthy. DE Kenny Willekes is the Big Ten defensive lineman of the year.
Oregon: QB Justin Herbert, considered one of the top QBs in the country, stands 6-foot-6 and has completed 60 percent of his passes for 2,985 yards and 28 TDs with eight interceptions in 12 games. WR Dylan Mitchell has caught 42 passes for 517 yards and four TDs.
Michigan State: The Spartans beat Penn State on Oct. 13 then finished 3-3, including a disappointing loss to Nebraska.
Oregon: This could be Herbert’s final game, should he decide to turn pro. Oregon was 5-1 after an overtime win over Washington and could have been 6-0 had it not been for a fluky loss to Stanford. But the Ducks staggered from there, losing three of four to fall out of the conference race.
Michigan State won 31-28 in East Lansing. (Sept. 12, 2015)
Michigan State will make its 28th bowl game. It’s most recent appearance was in the 2017 Holiday Bowl, where the Spartans beat Washington State 42-17. The Spartans have won six of their last seven bowl games, the loss being to Alabama in the College Football Playoff semifinals at the Cotton Bowl in 2015.
Oregon is trying to break a three-game bowl losing streak, a streak that began with a loss to Ohio State in the national championship game in January 2015.
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