By Cody Soto
ARLINGTON – The 79th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic is underway at AT&T Stadium, and the fifth-ranked Baylor Bears lead No. 8 Michigan State 24-14 at halftime.
The Bears finished the first half with 292 total offensive yards behind a powerful performance from senior quarterback Bryce Petty. Petty was 18-for-27 from the field for 245 yards and a touchdown.
Michigan State opened the game with a powerful opening drive as running back Jeremy Langford broke away and jetted to the one-yard line. After a wide open pass fell incomplete, Langford ran in the end zone for a two-yard touchdown run.
Baylor’s opening drive was arguably just as powerful as the Spartans’ first showing. Petty established the passing game right away and found six different receivers to march down the field. Petty connected with freshman receiver KD Cannon for a huge 49-yard touchdown pass to tie up the game at 7-7 with 8:56 left in the opening quarter.
Michigan State got the ball back and worked its way back into Baylor territory. Cook’s 10-yard pass to Josiah Price to get to the 11-yard line. R.J. Shelton picked up the rest of the yards for another Spartan score.
Baylor came right back with an answer. After a Petty rush for three yards, junior receiver Jay Lee threw a 53-yard bomb to sophomore receiver Corey Coleman for a Baylor touchdown and a 14-14 tie.
The Baylor defense stepped up and forced a Michigan State turnover after a powerful stop from senior linebacker Bryce Hager, setting up the Baylor offense. Petty powered through the defensive line for a Baylor score and the first lead of the game for the Bears.
Baylor powered down field once again after another Michigan State punt but was unable to punch the ball into the end zone after several penalties. Freshman kicker Chris Callahan nailed a 25-yard field goal to put the Bears up 24-14.
The Bears will receive to start the second half. The game is airing live on ESPN.