For our final Former Foes of the year, only two former opponents took the field, but both games were fantastic.
#16 UCF (11-1)
Beat SMU (5-7) 17-13
Against SMU, Central Florida had to come from behind three times, but like they've done all season long, they pulled ahead for good with a Blake Bortles 15-yard touchdown run at the end of the 3rd period. The game took place on SMU's home field in Dallas, Texas, but the temperature was brutally cold. The weather was so bad that only a few hundred fans showed up and UCF had to take its post-game celebration inside. It was a lot to celebrate though -- UCF completed a school-record eight game win streak, won their first outright American Athletic Conference title, and already had their first BCS bid in hand.
Despite the frozen conditions, Bortles had a good day, completing 24 of his 35 passes for 242 yards, no interceptions, and ran for 2 touchdowns. Both teams threw for more than 200 yards and compiled over 300 yards of total offense but SMU nearly doubled UCF's penalties (4-7) and failed on all three of their 4th-down attempts.
#2 Ohio State (12-1)
Lost to #10 Michigan State (12-1) 34-24
Despite being known for their defense, the MSU offense exploded against Ohio State and ruined the Buckeye's chance at the national championship game. I almost feel bad for Ohio State, but after last week's shenanigans, not so much.
This was a game of runs as Sparty jumped out to a 17-0 lead, only to watch Ohio State score 24 unanswered points to take a 7-point Buckeye lead. Connor Cook got the Michigan State offense going late in the game, scoring two touchdowns in the 4th quarter to take a 34-24 lead that MSU's defense made stick.
Cook finished the day throwing for a career-high 304 yards with three touchdowns and a pick. The dynamic running duo of Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde got their yards, but Michigan State was able to minimize damage. Hyde finished with 118 yards and Miller finished with 142 and two touchdowns, but was held to only 101 yards through the air, completing only eight passes. This will be Sparty's first Rose Bowl in 25 years.